I have a few hobbies that really get me. I love to workout and try and figure out the best, fastest and most efficient way of doing everything fitness related. Basically Tim Ferris’ idea of Minimum Effective Dose (MED) – as in “Is there a way for me to do less, but get even better and bigger results?”
I have also over the last few years really enjoyed getting out of my zone and being uncomfortable. This has led me into the personal security, firearms training and self defense stuff. I have a few groups I work on with this, that are local, that just so happen to be the some of the best in the business, world wide.
If you are into this stuff check out APT Firearms Academy as well as Rifle’s ONLY. These groups are First Class in everything they do and their training extends WAY beyond how to hold and shoot a gun. Life changing lessons are pretty commonplace with even just a weekend or evening spent learning from them. These courses have changed the way I SEE THE WORLD! So when they speak I not only listen but engage. One of the lead instructors in the world, in my opinion, comes down to Corpus Christi every few months and teaches and trains. His name is BJ. He runs APT. He’s the real deal. APT
I love his training and constantly find myself writing down his tactics, ideas and personal experiences. These are great notes to go and look over a few days after a seminar and make the important stuff stick.. It’s my MED.
What I notice more than anything as I review his stuff is that I tend to jot down his quotes. First off, BJ is almost nerve wracking serious. His job is of “life and death” so there’s no time for PC or puppy love. He’s practical, he’s an ass kicker and has most assuredly gone through his share of doors in the name of law and order. But he has this magical way of also and at the same time being funny and de-stressing a situation by dropping little quips and word bombs
My favorite of his, repeated often is, “It’s called a clue.”
For instance, he’ll talk about how to walk about in a foreign city. “You should walk in the middle of the sidewalk. Everyone else can get the hell out of your way. You don’t want to walk next to open doors where you could be abducted nor do you want to be right on the edge of the road where a van could coast up and in a two second snatch you’re “a poof” of kidnapped problem. Sound Advice. “And for God’s sake, look around. Be aware, see the guy across the street that has been staring at you and is dressed in all black. He stops when you stop, walks when you walk and is stalking you like a lion does an antelope. It’s called a clue. Get your head out of your ass and pay attention because you’re about to be lunch.”
It’s called a clue.
Another point of his on general situational awareness…
“Let’s say you really want to get something at the mall and on your way into the stores you notice a group of strange, erratic, severely nervous looking sweaty guys, overly hyped up and chanting or mumbling with a look of hatred and evil in their eyes. These guys are just outside the doors or in the parking lot and they are wearing clothes inappropriate for the season (such as large jackets and sweaters) on a 105 degree S. Texas day. I’m just saying…you may want to look up from your phone for just a minute and pay attention a little more than usual – probably those cute shoes can wait for another day. There is trouble and it’s about to go down!”
Some clues like this are huge, some are small and less obvious. The point is that we are always seeing and mindfully IGNORING CLUES that could improve our lives. In the above scenario, I could easily imagine dozens of people walking right on by, ignorantly and blissfully unaware and about to be at the wrong end of a tragedy. BJ makes sure we see this. He has thousands of videos and PowerPoints showing everyday people missing EXTREMELY OBVIOUS SITUATIONS just like this.
The idea goes much bigger, much like I apply the MED from Tim Ferris, so too can you apply the advice from my friend and mentor, BJ.
“It’s called a clue” is just a fantastically simple learning tool and something you can apply to your life right now.
Some clues could keep us alive in a situation like BJ teaches about, but some clues could probably just make our lives better all around. The more I think about this, the more applications I can put to use in other situations.
I teach this to my own (elementary school) kids. Example. “If you keep picking up that cat when he’s trying to run away and you notice his ears pasted back – that could be a clue as to why he bites you each night when you get home.” Look, the cat is not mean, in fact he’s given ample warning. Yes, I know this all sound too simplistic and easy but seriously. I said this and my kids looked at me like I was the smartest guy in the world. They looked at me like I just came down from the mountain with two tablets…like I said something more like Buddha than dad.
You just don’t see what has not been pointed out sometimes. When I asked BJ about this he mirrored what one of my earliest mentors and best tacticians states over and over again at his facility. Jacob from Rifles ONLY explains it like this. “ You know, as a man, that keys are hard to find. (feel free to substitute, wallet, shoes, watch, wrench –whatever fit you man)”
“ You are in a hurry and the car keys aren’t there. You know you hung them on the hook, you always hang them on the hook, but you looked they are not there. You look all over the place, it is now a half hour later and your wife has finally got out of the shower and you’re sweating and crazy and overcharged and you ask in a moment of desperation, “Honey have you seen the keys?” – she waltzes over to the hook and plucks them off and hands them to you – you didn’t see them and they were in plain sight!” Jacob explains, “This happens all the time. No you‘re not losing your mind –it’s just simple lack of awareness of your ‘routine.’ You have been blunted into redundancy and routine and it became invisible.” That’s where the clues come into play. To remind you of what you should be seeing.
There are clues out there for nutrition, relationships, health, workouts…on and on. Clues to YOUR LIFE!
Heck, the guy with the banjo sitting on the porch of his cabin has figured out his bum knee means hold off on planting the beans until next week “cuz’ a Norther is blowin in.” You can figure this out. Even better – You can wield this power to become SUPERHUMAN and BRILLIANT – like me with my kids.
I’m not here to be your personal Sherlock Holmes here so I’ll give you a quick crash course as a helper. Understand, it is your responsibility to use clues for your needs and not just make stuff up and hope your life sorts itself out perfectly in a half hour ala Scooby Doo and the gang.
Nutrition – every time I eat “x”, 15 minutes later I run to the bathroom and explode.
Despite the great taste, your trainers’ advice, your life long love of this food item guess what? Your body HATES this, so much so that it treats your intestines as if a terrorist attack just took place on your body. It evacuates the building. Everything. This is Not normal. A clue
Every time I eat “x” I get a histamine reaction. This happens to me with spicy salsa, maybe you too. (hint, it’s not the jalapeño)
This is a tricky clue, the bodies version of a corner of paper with the killers’ initials on it .
It’s usually small time – sniffles (nose running) maybe eyes water etc. This usually goes along with 15 minutes of a “case of the bitches.” ie: Normal little things like your kids jumping off the back of the couch drives you crazy. Guess what – it’s a reactive food, it’s a clue, you’ll probably be 2 pounds heavier each morning after even a little of this product (additional clue).
Oatmeal, Tomatoes, salsa, sweet potatoes all do this to me. We each have our own set of reactive foods that get us. – I personally missed oatmeal as a reactive food for about 30 years as I considered it a health food. Not for me it isn’t – I know, the idea of REACTIVE FOODS is deep, lets save that for another post. The problem is I love salsa so much I’ll eat it anyway. Blinders. I consistently get jammed on this food –but I am no longer oblivious to it.
You ask her to marry you and she says no
Really? Think that never happens? I’ve heard of this hundreds of times – scale this back 100 fold for day to day stuff. The homecoming queen said no to your advances. Again.. guess what, turn around – some cool chick behind you has a crush on you. You ask a girl to dance at the club – just don’t –take the clue and act on it.
You fly off the handle about something and she doesn’t really seem to care –
Most likely a clue AND Probably.. it’s not that big of a deal, let it go
Look, I erased all my other relationship stuff I had here – it’s not my place – not the point of this post anyway and more than likely I don’t even know you. Be aware and look for clues, most relationship stuff can just happen naturally and easy, don’t make the small stuff into big stuff and don’t let infatuation blind you.
That irregular heart rate that springs up from time to time and last for 5 painful hours…not normal –it’s a clue…– sounds too ridiculous and obvious huh? No one would ever be that dumb…It took ME two years to get to the root of my arrhythmia and get treated – denial and your own belief systems is a hell of a tricky curveball – we all have these – “My shoulder hurts when I sleep, is that normal doc?” NO! “Getting out of bed is getting tricky” what?! Out of bed?, not good, not normal.
I see this all too often – “I’ve been stretching for months now it’s not helping”
Then why are you still doing it.
“When I do this it makes it worse.”
C’mon man, stop it. These are all true stories – we all do it –
It’s not that we’re dumb and most of this stuff is where the “Captain Obvious” term stems from. We’re just not aware, conscious or not in the moment.
OR….Many of us subconsciously or often times even with extreme effort and prejudice put on the blinders for any number of reasons.
Maybe the truth is just too painful (she doesn’t love me) maybe it attacks our belief system, (oatmeal is a healthy food and is good for me), emotional scars or maybe you’re just too damn stubborn. (I love pizza with football, I’m not changing)
Now just because having and using a clue is simple in application does not mean it is easy. Change takes effort, being aware takes effort.
And I’m not talking wasted effort. Nonsense that makes you appear busy. That doesn’t count.. Remember my keys hidden in plain sight? I once looked behind the TV for my wallet – my wife still makes fun of me…
Get a clue dude, make your life better.