Monday, November 20, 2006

Success Books - Chuck Norris/"The Secret Power Within" Part 2

This is Part 2 of my review of Chuck Norris’ The Secret Power Within. The book deals with Norris’ understanding of Zen, and of life. . As I mentioned in Part 1, I am neither a Zen practitioner nor a martial arts adept, but Norris has been a success in two fields: as a martial arts world champion and as a successful onscreen performer so it behooves one to delve into the sources of such outstanding results.

As I understand Norris’ words, Zen is a calm, clear mind, devoid of unnecessary structures and preconceptions, meeting The World and it's events at the instant of NOW. The victorious person has prepared for NOW through meditation, training, self-mastery, and the building of confidence. If properly prepared, one’s victory will be assured. Now, these are my words, not Norris’ but, in fact, I feel his words have resonance in life far beyond the martial arts. I have seen many successful executives work in such a manner, solving problems in the blink of an eye. In fact, very few dynamic, successful people I have met have tended to “over think” matters. They are, in a sense, Zen practitioners in their engagement with reality on the instantaneous level.

Some of Chuck Norris’ other points:

Ridding oneself of negative thoughts . He has a great technique for this (which I won’t reveal here).

Turning Points . He suggests that Zen is involved in recognizing and being open to “turning points” – flashes of insight that might come from anyone, anywhere, at any time….as a Samurai swordsman must be ready day or night for battle…are we ready for that next word or event that will turn our lives on a dime? Can we accept and deal with meaningful events quickly?

Life-As-Dojo (marital arts training space): Who succeeds? Often it is the respectful, the courteous, the punctual, the healthy of mind and body, the non-addicted: lots of parallels to “real life” here, no?

The Wheel of self –development:
We are only as effective as our weakest “spoke” This too is true not just in martial arts, but in the inventory of our personality and the current of our souls.

The book is intriguing. One final note: Norris returns again and again to the turning point of achieving his black belt. It was, for him, a rite of apssage to self-realization. He says, over and over again, that after you do that “first hard thing”, success builds and builds. I wonder if today, some people are missing out on the opportunity to challenge themselves to do that first “hard thing” and thus create the "feedback loop" of achievement-begetting-confidence-begetting-achievement….I know people whose lives may have never touched on that opportunity…and so much potential has been lost.

Do that first “hard thing”. For your future’s sake.

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