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Breadth is Power, but Depth is Potency

I remember having a great talk with my Shoshin Ryu Sensei about how I’ve gone through so many martial arts. At the time I told him that I’m not trying to master the art as much as take a journey in myself that has a lot of turns. I still stand by that, but I’d like to support the other side a bit.

There is only so much time in life, but that can be increased exponentially through focus. In truly diving deep into an area of expertise there is an ever increasing return. Precision, excellence, and mastery can’t be gained accidentally or waywardly. You must drive through to a single point, consciously and deliberately. Anything else is drifting.

Whether your journey is into the depths of the self, towards mastery or success, or towards some knowledge, it has to be focused, discerning, and driven to a single point. Breadth is power, but depth is potency! Don’t forget.

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We’re all dying because everything kills us

We are all dying. Everything kills us. Technology kills us. Nature kills us. GMOs kill us. Raw foods kill us. Rainbows have a band of ultraviolet light, therefore cause cancer. HOWEVER…

It is only through our values life can have meaning. This isn’t my opinion, this is the very definition of “meaning.” That being said, living to your values also means to choose to be killed by the same. That’s what it means to “give your life to something.”

If you support social change, allow society’s resistance to slowly kill you. If you work towards feeding the world, then be consumed by hunger. If you are an entrepreneur, business will beat you down and just let it happen. And if your cause is longevity, you will see hours pass away as you play the game of life safely in a bubble.

We are all dying. But what’s beautiful is that though we don’t get to choose how, but we get to choose why. Choose why.

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The “Self” in Self Efficacy

A few thought leaders have been promoting how SMART goals don’t work, that thinking is obsolete and their new revolutionary systems are trending a bit. I want to make it clear what’s actually going on.

First, SMART goals are still valid and are still being proposed through these new systems. What they are doing is distinguishing that SMART goals are an adequate tool for goal *setting*, but not for goal *achieving*, which is entirely different.

Second, all the new acronyms and systems that you might buy into, no matter the coach, author, or organization, are just the scientific method with buzz words and a brand.

In short, don’t throw SMART goals out of the window. Just frame your goals with testable patterns, a system of note taking, and honesty when reviewing what failed and what didn’t.

I’m not saying not to get a coach. I use two of them, but I use them to keep focused, not to tell me something that I already passed a test on in high school. There, I just saved you all thousands of dollars.

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Becoming More Valuable – Weekly Goal Update

We are more than halfway through the week, so let’s talk about the goals I planned on Sunday.

My priority was to continue to keep increasing my value. I decided to focus on auditing the following traits:

  • Activity
  • Credibility
  • Engagement
  • Actionability (May or may not be a real word)


After really looking at the way I log my time I realize that my activity falls short of being the best use of my time. Even this week I have spent time in banal conversations that could have been spent around quality opportunities and managing important projects.. I aim to measure 1/3 of my day as being actually progressive activity. For most of us that means that if you work 8 hours a day to use those 8 hours for work and absolutely nothing else. This also suggest that the work is the best investment of your time, not busy work or filling a space to make wage.


I run digital technology companies and like to focus on clients and industries in wellness and well being industries. Do I carry an aura of credibility and authority for my knowledge, skills, mission, and values? Part of this project is to create a high transparency, high accountability system to help instill the habits and actions I will use to improve myself, but it’s also to provide a window towards what I am actually doing. Make your value and experience obvious.


Value is a purely human judgement, so to be valuable I need to provide value to others. The old adage “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all” comes to mind. If I can add something to a conversation with useful experiential knowledge, or at least well placed practiced wit, I contribute. If I can’t, I listen. If I have no business in that conversation or scenario, it’s a distraction and I walk away.

Actionability (still may not be a word)

I recommend you do anything to remove phrases like “how about this weather” from your vocabulary. The idea here is to work with highly actionable thoughts, plans, and speech. In conversation ask questions that dig deeper around the concepts and subjects of the conversation, and give responses that are direct and lead into follow up conversation. With plans be certain that there is a measurable follow through. And with your thoughts go from “why me” to “I can fix this by…” and from wondering to investigating.

The process

To work these I took a block of time out to engage in new conversations online and at networking events following a very simple formula. Introduce an interest in a person and ask them about what interested me in them. Ask 2 or 3 intelligent questions as they responded. Craft a short sentence about how our conversation satisfied my interest. Offer a “pitch” about what I do segued from the context of our conversation. Offer to be of some service to them or ask them how I could be helpful to them. This doesn’t mean you have to try and sell something. In several of these conversations the service I offered was an opinion or an introduction.

Three days of this trained and instilled the habit.

Other marks to hit

I began training for the Black Man Running 5k. The week has been rainy but I got one good day of running 4.6 miles and 2 days of cycling to follow up.

To help learn more and promote my business community I have begun writing for Exit Event, a site focusing on startups and entrepreneurship in North Carolina. This puts me in front of many quality professionals and up and comers, as well as teaches me an incredible amount.

Finally I am innovating a product to turn a job I do fairly repetitively into a product to increase revenue. I will be launching this to select existing clients with my consultancy this week.

Thank you and please comment with opinions, experiences, and suggestions.