“A Champion Within” Q & A

excerpts from “A Champion Within’ The Autobiography of Robert Williams

Q. What Kind of College Football Player Were you?

A.  I believe most of my college teammates would say my physical talents were marginal at best.  I did not run a fast forty and weight lifting was an embarrassment.  Often teammates would joke and make it an issue for comedy relief or chastise me for my weak work ethic in the weight room.   They were mostly right, I did not run fast in a straight line, and lifting weight seemed to be a waste of time.

In my view, we did not play the game on the track and I seldom remember running downon the kickoff and tackling someone on a weight bench.   The bottom line, I possessed tremendous skills and a cognitive gift for the knowledge of the game.  I relied on something most football player were accused of not having…a brain.

I was an intelligent and tough football player, I studied game film intensely my entire career at Eastern.  The coaches often reminded me of this value as I sat in on a few game planning with them.  The game of football is about being smarter than your opponent and then exhibit your might; I had large muscles in those areas.  However, some teammates were jealous because they did not conceive those traits as important than their speed or bench max.  I believe I never received the accolades from some teammates because of my minuscule physical traits and my abrasive in your face personality. ..

…Football is an egotistical game and teammates can become jealous quite easy.  In 1983, I was named to the AFCA Kodak All-American for the second consecutive year.  As customary the award was given at the half time of a home basketball game.  However, the same year my teammate Chris Nicholson had a tremendous season.  He led the team in sacks, tackle for lost, he was a force of nature.  In the air was the feeling that “Thick Nick” as we referred to him deserved the prestigious award instead.  Some teammates made their position known that night in Lantz gymnasium as their applauds was cool at best when my named came across the PA system…

Sadly, some felt I was less than deserving of the award and they made sure I knew this in an implicit manner…I was hurt by their reaction but not surprise; I heard rumors and rumblings earlier in the week.  I remember only receiving a few handshakes that night from teammates and the mass coolness from many detractors…

“Thick Nick” deserved All-American honors in 1983 as he was a stellar ball player, as was myself, but the selective committee saw fit to honor my play instead.  I had nothing to do with that…my being one of only two first-team All-American in Eastern Illinois history remains controversial for some but albeit deserving…some teammates believe they were better than me and rightly so I guess, I just wished their play was awarded nationally as so to quantify it.

Robert A. Williams

The Return of the Dragon, Starring “The Black Dragon”

tattoos,tattoo,dikaya,woman,love,alternative-327f273b3a46a8acff177225f8cee816_hI ventured into the psyche of others to engage in fantasy. Normally this “castle in the sky” process as expected clips the massive reptilian wings. Is a Black Dragon a cold-blooded vertebrate or a groveling, mean, despicable creature? Hmm, one wonders. Again, I am diarist, maintaining a longhand journal, electronic blog, radio show, and an ironclad memory.

Nevertheless, inside the mind…

outside in humanity…

in the lives of others:

I am an enigma.

As mentioned, the Dragon engaged in his often-unannounced sabbatical inside the perfect dilemma recently. Important lessons appeared learned and some taught, however (I am weary of the second decree). First, never acquire the cluttered lives of others; the only realistic measure may insure your being bewildered.

The mind is a terrible thing to waste, or maybe not always, maybe the heart, yes: Is not the “Heart” a terrible thing to throw away?  His smoke-filled nostrils signal perplexity.

How does one help…banished as a prisoner in a deserted prison castle?  The Dragon may not. The mortgage on life has received a foreclosure notice; the debt, too great. For some, to go over the cliff is better than to request a Black Dragon’s love…inside my mind outside in their lives. I return among rebuffed fellows waiting an opportunity for redemption.

The Invisible Dragon

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Book Review: Greatest Salesman in the World

Note:  I have more Christian friends than a mega church could shake a stick at.  My friends and I share and read books.  We share books not as an attempt of conversion to either faith or philosophy but spiritual growth. Hence some books receive a succinct written appraisal because of their indelible impression on the Dragon.  Such a book is below.

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Overview

Og Mandino, (1968) “The Greatest Salesman on Earth.” Overview: Jay Redmond dutifully sworn to inform me of Christian genres did so with best-selling author Og Mandino’s book “Greatest Salesman in the World”. Why, the forewarning? Because we do not trade books so heavily slanted that any message of worth is drowned out by ideology or mythology.  This is not to say religious books make me scurry but some attempt to covert by text. I’m not a big fan of these books and pleasingly Jay takes this heed.

In fact, before Jay dropped it on my desk, I could honestly say, never heard of it. Jay’s an avid reader as well as philological gent, a light-skinned African-American fellow drenched in thought. He informed me of the mission, “read this book, I think you’ll enjoy it”.  This tape will self-destruct in 5 seconds, damn that Jay.  Spoiler Alert!!!   Greatest Salesman on Earth (1968) is not about last month’s quarterly reports.

Hafld:  Teach Me

The date did not bother me (1968) concerning contextual relevance. The Tao and Bible are much older; the Buddha, a tired elder, long should have retired. What the book has in common with these books and philosophical thinking patterns is the art of the parable. The story sets in Jerusalem in about the time before Christ’s birth, when the young man Hafld wishes and learns the secrets of success.

The educational tutelage came from one of the wealthiest men at that time. The well-off elder was repeating the gesture he himself requested and received long ago, “the secret of success”. The story reveals ten scrolls handed down to Hafld, these lessons of principles necessary to build one to self-actualization.  Without giving much if anything away, the scrolls provide lessons to change one’s circumstances through a change of consciousness.

The story inside the story is a powerful plug for Christians; as such reading the book in its entirety will be a great revelation. Greatest Salesman on Earth is a nice story of self-identity building and remaining faithful to one’s beliefs.

My Take:

Og Mandino’s “Greatest Salesman in the World” has sold over 14 million copies. There are some helpful, empowering tools in the classic. However, my reaction to the book was lukewarm mainly because the anecdotes were familiar to my schema. This book would be more advantageous to a person just beginning their journey, such as the main character Hifld.

In addition, the book offers great insights and then produces thoughts that baffled me, as such, “Experience is comparable to fashion; an action that provoked successful today will be unworkable and impractical tomorrow, only principles endure (pp42).”

Principles become experience when applied in real life situations. It is similar to hope, it only becomes hope when actions are secured, or “when the rubber hits the road”.
This book favors individuals who desire external guidance in the beginning of their journey.

Three Dragons… Recommended for purchase…
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Next Book Review
Malcolm Gladwell’s Outliers: The Story of Success

purple dragon

The Invisible Dragon

Monday’s Poem: Numb by Will J. Hobbs

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“Eyes wide open with my mind wide shut. Heart still beating with the blood flow ceased. Arms outstretched but my hands can’t feel. In the midst of a storm stark naked begging for the refreshing coolness of the rain the ease the burning of my ignorance. Pouring the water on my tongue hoping that it will quench this insatiable thirst to feel what so many others seem to experience.

Staring glazed over into a mirror hoping to become enlightened in my own self worth and existence. Searching for my way around a dark room feeling nothing but hoping to find a way out. Peeling away at my own flesh hoping to develop a new layer of sensation. Unaware of the concept of pain and incapable of understanding the affection of emotion.

Eyes wide open with my mind wide shut. Heart still beating but the blood flow has ceased. Arms outstretched but my hands can’t feel.

I am numb…”

By Will J. Hobbs

purple dragon

The Invisible Dragon

Tao 73, Non-Action

 

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The Tao is always at ease.

It overcomes without competing,

answers without speaking a word,

arrives without being summoned,

accomplishes without a plan.

**

Its net covers the whole universe.

And though its meshes are wide,

it doesn’t let a thing slip through.

tao te ching, Stephen Mitchell’s Translation

Personal Development:

The harder one fights to grasp a pearl the more distance it becomes. This is why the tempered spirit uses non-action to accomplish all things. By letting things flow, one lives in harmony with the way things are. Non-action is a perfect state of being.

Why listen to someone who has nothing to say?

 

Miles Davis

The Invisible Dragon