Tag Archives: personal development


Here, it is not yet a week since an addled young man shot up his former high school in Parkland, Florida. And people everywhere are afraid.

We have all felt fear, so there’s seldom a need to define dread. It’s burn graduates through degrees of apprehension to stark terror in every life, because we are fragile and fleeting creatures bounded in an uncertain existence by a beginning and an end, with our anticipated span between at best an assumption. Fear is natural once we witness hurt … or worse.

In our next release and Boone’s fifth novel, A Garden in Russia—currently editing—the wife of Russia’s FSB Director, my character Ana Lyubov, has this to say about the duty and responsibility for comporting oneself:

“Faith is given to overcome fear, girl, for those who live in righteousness. It is history’s lesson at every turn. This is our time to be strong … for your father’s sake.”

And again, to another:

“Let me tell you, Deborah Vosse … though my husband is in prison, and my daughter a captive, I feel no less the hand of God in these difficult days.”

And this from Boone:

“When fear keeps you from your promises, your duty, from accomplishing whatever it is you are tasked to do by your love for others … only then are you a coward.”

To fear is no dishonor. Fear can be motivating, as adrenaline is invigorating. What follows behind sometimes is problematic.

Fear exists as a tool for those whose main ambition is to direct the lives of others. Like  animal predators in nature rather than society, spiritually deficient personalities seek, sense, cultivate, and exploit it because they recognize the manipulative advantage of leveraging terror.

Terrorists use it as a means to an end. That the techniques of terror are more blatantly homicidal than a politician whose strategy is identical in its heartless essence marks only a matter of decrepit degree. The core value of both sociopathic subsets is dominance. In each case goal-oriented behavior exhibits to the exclusion of valued humanity.

In every case, fear depends on its acceptance in the targeted group embracing the emotion. Sometimes this occurs out of fatigue following relentless, propagandistic assault, but more often the cause is a perception of helplessness. Those manipulating the sensation of horror have some transition in mind, and often what presents as a solution is anything but.

Today the architects of fear are targeting the natural right of free people to possess the means of their defense. The framers of our Constitution recognized this before all but a few when delineating the rights its first ten amendments safeguard, because they were about setting down unchanging principles of governance unhindered by tyranny. In doing so, they were setting the boundaries of government free people would not need to fear.

Frank Herbert’s masterpiece Dune has his portrayed Bene Gesserit trainees recite their litany against fear as “the mind killer” and “the little death that brings total obliteration.” Herbert’s characters, so prepared, faced their emotion, let it go, and traced its path afterward to better understand themselves. So should we.

Fear stems from uncertainty, but certitude is a matter of education. It is infuriating that fear is being cultivated in our educational institutions these days. Its introduction is diminishing rather than edifying.

Malleability originates in a condition of essential incapability. Performance anxiety in vital aspects of life, such as assuring one’s personal safety, amplifies perceptions of dependency, whose end result is to make its subject weak rather then strong. Personal, emotional and physical strength should be the goal of worthwhile mentors. To do otherwise brings into question the motives and honor of those responsible for producing the next generation of citizens, and the ideological condition their curriculum is designed to produce.

I repeat: fear, in whatever condition one finds oneself, regardless needs to be embraced to have an influence. The strength to do otherwise is bestowed first in the spirit and then in the mind, where a decision to act must take place. This is why those whose sum displays in their ambition go to such lengths to assure its abundance in prospective subjects. Tyranny is never in the best interest of the oppressed, and tyrants know this better than anyone. It must be made to appear as the best choice, and to do so more noble aspects of the human experience must be put out of mind.

The fear of death, the scariest and most inevitable doorway we face in life, is the tool God’s enemy uses to turn us from His will. That the enemy and his plans are defeated already through the Resurrection of Christ is the treasure of faith and secret strength for those of us who believe, and freely available should it be sought. This realization is God’s goal, just as His enemy’s schemes intend to keep you from it.

So, here in the wake of another tragedy and in the midst of upset and proposed, agenda-based solutions on the political Left, I would encourage you. Find your faith and build your strength in the company of worthwhile teachers in whatever aspect of your personal development seems lacking. They are the ones whose goals are to make you strong, independent, reverent, and capable rather than a quailing thrall. They will teach you how to help yourself rather than carry or steer you into servitude. They will ask nothing but their due in exchange, if wishing anything at all but that you likewise pay forward the lessons accumulated from similarly happy, formative circumstances of their own in days gone by.

They are the ones you will remember on the day you’re able to say, “I’m not afraid, I am free.”

Choose to love, -DA


In production news, as mentioned, the fifth installment of Boone’s File is editing and anticipating a September release. As always, whether you have read in Jon’s Trilogy, or Sean’s File, or followed Boone’s progress, we depend on your recommendations and your reviews to get out the word.

“If you’ve read something, I hope you said something.” Your few words, describing to prospective readers how my novel made you feel, will never stop helping me … or go unappreciated here.

Unbreakable: A Navy SEAL’s Way of Life

Generally, I am in the business of writing books, not reviewing them. Now and again, however, one encounters an opportunity that must be seized. This occasion was one such.

I was privileged to receive a copy of “Unbreakable: A Navy SEAL’s Way of Life” for the purpose of this review. Essential bordering on vital, the title fulfills its promise of providing insight into the process of cultivating a mental state that allows building up some of our most effective special operators.

I have known a number of such men, and more who earned their stripes in the arena of law enforcement. They are, to a man, preternaturally capable specimens. Their capability results in a level of confidence not normally encountered in day-to-day life, because such a life does not raise up an outlier. That level of confidence is sometimes taken for arrogance by the unfamiliar. In some cases, the presumption may be correct, but for most I sense only a spirit of command and control whose unshakable nature is unsettling in those used to uncertainty, trepidation, and the usual overarching desire to avoid conflict.

The aura serves as a warning as well; these men—and in many cases, women—are dangerous. It is a benevolent danger: a sword that is sheathed unless it is called to draw the blood of the unrighteous. It is a danger that an enemy of gentle people must bring with him. It is a conviction acknowledging that he who would set aside his humanity loses the consideration of civilized folk.

Highly decorated Naval Special Warfare veteran Thom Shea, in assembling a set of motivational lessons and memoirs for his children, has produced a handbook for the mastery of what he terms Internal Dialogue. He richly illustrates applicability of each precept through relating portions of his own war story.

His writing style reflects its source. In the no-nonsense cadence of a seasoned instructor, Senior Master Chief Shea lays out the framework of an Unbreakable mind and sets each component with enough validating mortar to grant his theories a universal relevance.

Anyone with more life experience behind them than before them will recognize and appreciate the wisdom herein; anyone on the upslope of a life will find applying Chief Shea’s adamantine philosophy worthwhile, interconnecting, and even transformative.

downloadI am glad I encountered “Unbreakable.” It is a philosophy of excellence, self-control, and commitment to individual responsibility. If only it were adopted without fail, the result in each adherent would be a quality of character in whom tares of social exploitation—the soft bigotry of low expectations, dependence, and fearmongering—would find no place to sink their barbs.

I highly recommend this title, and rate it five stars on merit. It is the writing of a warrior and a teacher, not a wordsmith. Necessarily, it is a book about Thom Shea: his story, and how he got there and back again. Regardless, everyone, especially those responsible for producing the generation that will follow our own, should absorb and apply the treasure of deliberate thinking that is the bounty of this book.

Get it through Amazon as a Kindle Book or trade paperback, or at Barnes and Noble for the Nook.

Choose to love. -DA