Tao of the Zentropist

November 28, 2009

The Zentropist Now Appearing on Inqbation

Filed under: General Business,networking,Uncategorized,writing — zentropist @ 7:50 pm

While we’re long overdue for some updates to the Tao of the Zentropist (which will be remedied soon), the first in my series of planned regular contributions to Blake Newman’s inQbation blog have been recently published. Feel free to check out the postings below:

“Learning from Failure”

“The Power of Imagination”

“How and When to Hire a Consultant”

As always, your comments are welcome…


February 11, 2009

The Creed of the Zentropist & Preview of Coming Attractions

Filed under: Uncategorized — zentropist @ 5:32 pm

I have previously made reference to the creed, or motto, of the Zentropist, which is, “The fluent blade cuts cleanly.”

I believe that this concise phrase penetrates to the essential core of the Zentropist. I also want to pay tribute to the source of this inspiration, which is the novelist Takashi Matsuoka from a passage in Cloud of Sparrows (Dell Publishing, 2003) which reads as follows:

“Words can damage. Silence can heal. Knowing when to speak and when not to speak is the wisdom of sages.

“Knowledge can hinder. Ignorance can liberate. Knowing when to know and when not to know is the wisdom of prophets.

“Unimpeded by words, silence, knowledge or ignorance, a fluent blade cuts cleanly. This is the wisdom of warriors.”

We’ll explore the Zentropist Creed in greater detail in a future posting.

For those chafing at the bit and wondering when I’ll be exploring tangible business topics and getting past all of the philosophical musings, rest assured that this is coming in the weeks ahead. Among the topics that I’ve already identified for editorial are:

  • Project management and the sudden surge in its popularity
  • The role of storytelling techniques and devices in business
  • Specialist, Generalist or Zentropist?
  • Integrity and the Zentropist
  • Principles and the Zentropist
  • Dealing with Difficult Clients and other studies from the Case Files of the Zentropist
  • The differences between Business Plans and Strategic Plans
  • Understanding Capital Sources
  • Marketing Ideas that Won’t Break the Bank
  • And much, much more!

So hopefully this will entice those of you who have begun following this blog to keep returning! Our monthly newsletters have begun circulating as well. If this sounds like it may be of interest, click here to join our mailing list.

January 29, 2009

This I Believe…

Filed under: Uncategorized — zentropist @ 12:14 pm
Tags: , ,

Many of you may be familiar with National Public Radio’s (NPR’s) audio program, which originated decades ago and was resurrected in recent years and brought back to the airwaves. I thought that it might be productive to give this some thought, and what follows is my submission, which can be found in NPR’s archives as well..

“Mastery is a Path and Not a Destination”

“I believe that the constant practice of the Art of Wing Chun will enable me to transcend to a higher mental and physical level.”

So begins the pledge that has been handed down within Traditional Wing Chun Kung Fu. Gung Fu, literally means “work performed over time” signifying a lifetime commitment to self improvement, self-mastery and the full realization of one’s potential.

Practitioners of various martial arts traditions quickly learn that the physical aspects of such training are but one level of understanding, and that the real value of such practice is to embrace the moving meditation, discipline and life lessons that are intertwined with the physical expression of the art.

For one without the other is an empty vessel, regardless of whether one studies a traditional Eastern system or more modern Eastern or Western variant. Invariably, in the hours spent honing one’s physical skills, a transformation occurs, particularly when sparring, when failure to “live in the moment” and “flow like water,” to borrow a famous quotation from Bruce Lee, results in the unpleasant consequence of getting hit.

Life is like that. Since we cannot know the future, and we cannot defend without fail from every possible angle of attack, it is inevitable that we will take our hits, and from this reality must spring an attitude that no matter what, I’ll keep going and persevere. We all get knocked about and sometimes even knocked down in life, but what separates those who are most successful from those who have given up is their willingness to wade back into the fray and apply the lessons learned.

Some of these lessons are embodied in Wing Chun’s core principles.

Guard your centerline. Whether in a physical fight or simply going about one’s daily routine, you must always be aware of what is most vital to you, and avoid allowing your center to be compromised. If you don’t know what is important, and you don’t have a solid sense of your center, you will be vulnerable and ultimately directionless.


Don’t fight force with force. All too often, our first instinct is to meet strong energy with the same. If we’re stronger than the energy we are encountering, we may overwhelm it, but sometimes it is better for us to deflect or release that energy instead and counter on a different path. Within every crisis lies opportunity.

Remain interruptible. While it’s important that we commit to a course of action, if we over-commit we lose our balance, unnecessarily exposing our center. We must retain the ability to shift quickly to another path, so when one gate is closed to us, another one opens. The destination does not necessarily change; how we get there does. The ability to adapt to adversity, to turn failure into ultimate success, is what keeps us going in our darkest hours.

And, finally, when obstacles seem most daunting and we question our most basic assumptions, we would do well to remember that, “Mastery is a path and not a destination.”

Jonathan Ross is a writer and business consultant who lives in Los Angeles. He is currently undergoing instructor training in Traditional Wing Chun Kung Fu under the guidance of Sifu Eric Oram one of Si-gung William Cheung’s leading instructors. He is also an American-trained instructor of Krav Maga now affiliated with Eyal Yanilov and the International Krav-Maga Federation. His consulting Website is found at www.blackrockconsult.com

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