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The Difference Between Acting Tough and Being Tough

“You don’t need to ‘act tough;’ you need to be tough.” -Gary Halbert, “The Boron Letters” Gary Halbert wrote the previous sentence to his son, Bond. There's actually a good deal to learn and apply from these eleven words. There's been so much ink spilled on the subject of "toughness." One way of thinking says that you need to harden your mind and body through listening to personal transformation podcasts and performing grueling physical workouts. The idea is to become a civilian version of a special operations soldier or modern-day "Spartan," straight out of the pages of history or some comic book/graphic novel. Yet another school of thought says that you should join a martial arts school, show up at every class, take private lessons, compete...

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How a weekend trip became an exercise in self-protection

It's been a few days since our last article and I wanted to share a bit as to why that is. For the past five days my family and I were spending time with some out of town friends, a fellow pastor and his wife. It truly was time well spent. These friends opened their lives to us. They shared their lake house with us, packed the refrigerator and cabinets with food, and basically took care of us for the time we were there.  In addition to this we had the chance to relax, just the six of us. We spend time together by a lake, unwinding and not concerning ourselves with anything other than enjoying one another.  We also...

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The Consequences of a Lack of Self-Protection

  In light of my last article I wanted to expand a bit on some insights that I gained from going through the trials I shared with you. I’m roughly eighteen months since I resigned from my pastoral position. Along the way I’ve come to recognize that the conflict in which I found myself brought with it certain negative ramifications in my life and I’m going to share these things by organizing them into three categories; the physical, the mental, and the emotional.  As I lay them out for you keep in the back of your mind that since I’m sharing the negative side of not protecting myself I’m also affirming the positive perspective on those things. First, there were...

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What is "Self-Protection?"

Now that we’ve established the role of a mentor and the role of a mentee let’s go into a more detailed discussion of the field of “self-protection.” In this article I’m going to answer the question I posed in the title, “What is ‘Self-Protection?’” You see, I use that term because “self-defense” is too narrow a term to describe what I teach and how I mentor. My time as an ordained minister has broadened my definition of “self-protection.” I’ve heard my role as a minister defined as that of a janitor, something I’ve decided is far more accurate than any definition that I’ve heard since I began the process to become a minister. Here’s what I mean: I warn others...

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What a "Self-Protection Mentee?"

  In our last article I discussed who I am as a “Self-Protection Mentor.” I spoke generally but here I’ll lay out, via a helpful list provided by Morag Barrett back in 2014, a summary of the role of a mentor, as I believe it’s a good list with which to start: Advisor and coach- The mentor provides advice, guidance, and feedback, shares their experience and expertise as appropriate, and acts as a sounding board for ideas and action plans. Champion and cheerleader- The mentor offers encouragement and support to try new things, they help mentees move out their comfort zones, they celebrate successes, and they help mentees understand when things do not go as planned. Resource and recommendations- Mentors...

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