Writing to Taste Life Twice

First in the Moment then in Retrospect

(Reading time: 4 - 7 minutes)

Plan Execute Deliver

I learned this while climbing the ladder of my old day job. It just makes sense and applied it to my own business and personal life. I found that the martial arts world had been saying the same thing by directly delivering life philosophies during training. There are three different kinds of plans to use. These are strategic, tactical and operational. Let's take a look at them and overlay our martial arts training on top of it with questions attached to it. Check it out:

First and Foremost

Have a morning ritual (Crucial)

  • Begin with success reps. Make your bed before you leave the room. I bumped into a video of Admiral William H. McRaven addressing a graduating class at Texas University. He later wrote a book called Make Your Bed which I picked up and made it a part of my personal library. Watch this 6 minute video that describes this success task.



  • Read one thing that is educational, inspirational or motivational. No more. No less. NO SOCIAL MEDIA. No detractors while training your mind for the day.
  • Pick something to be thankful for no matter how small it is.

Oh, and before we get to it, let's get one phrase defined. It's called Chaos Temperature. I'll mention it in each section and it will serve as a placeholder for the chaos levels we feel when trying to progress towards our achievements. Alright, let's get started. 

Strategic Planning

Time coverage of plan: Years or Long Term

Create one on Sunday. This is your Why and When. 

  • WHY: Why am I training? Why am I going to work? Why am I going to school? Why do I get up in the morning?



    This is the mission that you review constantly AND consistently. If there was something that you should do constantly and consistently, is that you must remember why you’re doing this thing in the first place.

  • WHEN: When does it need to be done?

 When do you train? When do you expect your goal to be achieved?

    Every day; Every morning. Just because you’re not in the physical class, doesn’t mean you should not train what you’ve been taught. Just because you’re not driving to your day job doesn’t mean there isn’t work to be done. In an article of the Student's Handbook, High Level Goals, you will see it taking shape.

Reveal: When you honestly answer these questions, a goal will be not only be revealed, but will have clarity attached to it.

Chaos Temperature: Low.  This kind of planning is the planning we all want to be in. We don't feel the chaos here. In my opinion, it is the most refined way of planning. That's what makes it simple. What makes it difficult is not having a personal mission or desire that you're willing to do anything for.

Tactical Planning

Time coverage of plan: Months or Mid Term

Review the plan you created on Sunday. This is your Where and How

  • WHERE: Where are the resources I need? Where can I find support? Where do I need to be?

    These are the mid term questions. Some of us know to ask but most times it’s difficult to remember when settling on some mediocre routine because we got tired of thinking. I’m talking about real thinking. The kind that makes you zone out and visualize. A type that when you're around your people, they try to snap you back into reality. But hey, let’s not get caught up here on a mid term activity. That’s what Sundays are for.

  • HOW: How do I get my resources? How do I get support? How do I get to where I need to be?

    Once we get to these questions, you’ll feel yourself zeroing in. Concentrate, focus, listen. You’ll feel your mental faculties rise. Take advantage of this elevated state and get after it.

Reveal: Discipline would be strengthening at this point. You'll also feel your desires/goals are making you more unwaivering. Tactical planning is more than likely the place you'll want to stay in majority of the time while peeking at the strategic plan every once in a while to refresh your energy and using the operational plans to know what's happening next.

Chaos Temperature: Low to Medium Low. This kind of planning is usually the first step out of the day to day chaos. This is a standard level of life planning. Another opinion of mine is that if you fall below this level of planning, something is blocking this elevated state and must be dealt with immediately before risk gets out of hand.

Operational Planning

Time coverage of plan: Days or Short Term

Executing with a daily plan. This is your What

  • WHAT: What am I doing today? What are the most important things to do? What order do I do them in?

    These questions are easy to come up with. Its the first level of prioritization and the most common in approaching the day to day. Operational planning is probably the only kind of planning where it is acceptable to do on the fly BUT...only if you have a tactical plan in place.

Reveal: Time would feel structured. Certainty will become a reward.

Chaos Temperature: Medium to High. This kind of planning must be a servant to the tactical plan. The risk is only acceptable when a tactical plan exists. Its acceptable because we planned. We are moving towards higher levels of readiness. It will still feel like a lot is going on, but we are going about it with a better screwed on head and the mission will always be on. Hard work will become satisfying.

Keep Training

Stay sharp. Stay disciplined.

Once you own these questions, planning gets easier and easier. When doing the planning, set yourself up with an agreement to execute the plan. It could be with yourself, your spouse, your family, your friend or who ever you need to agree with so that when something pops up, you can always defer to the plan. Maybe you need to adjust it. Maybe you just need to get back on track. Whatever the case maybe, the plan will save you the thinking of doing it all over again. Write it down.

Your training dictates the quality of which you handle your life. Martial arts is the only lifestyle that I can think of that constantly advocates staying sharp even through old age. I like to tell my students that the sword in your hand is merely a tool. You are the weapon and must stay sharp. The daily grind will dull us and we accept that. But at the end of the day, the end of the week, the time we use to recover ourselves, it is important to visit the grind stone and get sharp again.Its required and everyone benefits from your sharpness.

You need it.

Even as we get older and older.

Become effecient at the grindstone.

Become an efficient achiever.

Only the most experienced swords have tasted worthy adversities.

Keep training.

Stay sharp.

Stay disciplined.

Find yourself looking forward to Monday. Its the only day of the week that the disciplined go to work. We don't have to go to work. We GET to go to work.

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