A question worth focusing

In front of me is a master.

I came to see the master in a moment of struggle. In reality, I was at a cross-road. The master can detect my struggles by looking at me in a complete stillness.

The master: “I see that you have been struggling. It seems to me that your attention has been on how you will survive.”

Pausing for a long moment, the master continues: “You will probably survive.”

The master: “and you also focus too much on how to be successful…That’s a wrong question.”

Pausing again for a longer moment, looking at me in complete calmness of a master, he continues: “The question is how to be useful.”

With that, I am enlightened. A great teacher changes my life in a matter of seconds.

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About the author: Hoan Do is a certified leadership coach, a value-oriented investor, and an entrepreneur. Hoan led multiple teams at Symantec Inc. across the globe delivering world-class solutions to protect consumers and businesses. Hoan is an expert in building highly performing teams. He believes that the best leader is the leader that could grow his followers to be leaders. Hoan has trained many leaders via mastermind groups, workshops, and one-on-one coaching.

If you would like to have a conversation, open your email and send me an inquiry at coach@hoanmdo.com

What you master uses you

Bruce Lee had a quote saying to the effect that it’d be better to practice a kick 10,000 times than to practice 10,000 kicks.

When I was learning Karate in college, I was taught 5 katas within a semester. I could perform those 5 katas fairly well. I thought I was good.

When I joined the Musokai Karate dojo, I was surprised that many blackbelts could do only one kata Naihanchi Shodan.

I only found out what Bruce Lee said was right when I sparred with my seniors. Even though I knew 5 katas, I could not even touch them. Their moves were natural,  simple, precise, effective, and fast.

In other words, I was thinking what to do while they did not. They were used by their techniques while I were using my techniques. While I was trying to figure them out, they saw openings for effective actions and delivered what worked. Before I could figure anything out, they already finished their attacks.

I was lucky that Shihan Arakaki saw what I was doing and pin-pointed it out in a way that I got it.

Once I got it and was able to actually do it, I lived in a new world, the world of Musokai Karate (as Shihan explained, the word “Musokai” also means “an organization of infinite thought or action without conscious efforts”). Practices became more fun even though more challenging. Sparring also became more fun and more effective. What was ordinary, trivial and boring suddenly became extraordinary, fun, energetic, and challenging. A simple move like walking became a totally different move involving many different parts of the body. I loved learning Musokai Karate so much that I never missed a practice unless a real emergency came (I did live about one hour driving away from the dojo, was working full time and doing a MBA).

Once I was able to do Musokai karate, I lived into the world of Musokai Karate. Even I now live in another state, I come to live in that world whenever I practice or spar or teach Musokai Karate or come back to the dojo. And I do so without thinking or figuring out. In other words, what I mastered uses me.

I’d invite you to check in your own experience: what you master uses you. In order to master the art, you must discover for yourself.

P/S: Musokai Karate headquarter is located in Salt Lake city, Utah. There are classes for both adults and kids. If you are looking for a unique training experience and the opportunity to train with the world-class master who not only masters the art but also can teach you to master it, please check out Musokai Karate or its facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/okinawakaratedocenter/

Shihan Arakaki is the author of many best selling books. His English book “The Secrets of Okinawa Karate” is my bible and training manual while I am away from the dojo.

If you are in Salt Lake city, Utah, you and/or your kids are invited to try out one class. Click on the Musokai Karate website for detailed schedule and contact information.




May you make everyday your masterpiece!


On January 1st, 2017, I declared:

“Onto 2017, I am inventing a possibility for myself and those who come into my life a year of getting my axx on the line, being unreasonable, unconditional love, unconditional happiness, and unreasonable successes.

I am happy to report that I have lived my 2017 much by what I declared. 2017 was a perfect year.

The best way to describe my 2017:

I am not what I ought to be,
Not what I want to be,
Not what I am going to be,
But I am thankful that
I am better than I used to be.

May 2018 be the best year!
May everyday of your 2018 count!
May each day of your 2018 be better than the day before!
May you make everyday your masterpiece!

Happy new Year WhatsApp Status 2018

PS: If you want to explore how to make everyday count, contact me by sending me an email to hoandojmx@gmail.com

The mastery of self – the notes and quotes

The mastery of self:

  1. Unconditional love vs. conditional love
  2. Goal settings from the place of unconditional love

As human beings, we have wants and desires. When we become too attached to those desires and wants and they aren’t fulfilled, the result is that we suffer.

Attachment is the action of taking something that is not a part of you and making it a part of you through emotional or energetic investment. The key to realize here is that attachment is not a part of you but you make it so. This also means you can make it not so.

Domestication is the system of control. It’s the way we learn conditional love. An example of domestication: my kid got a bad grade from school. He showed it to me. Coming from conditional love, I would scold him for getting a bad grade. I would tell him that it’s very bad to get a bad grade and that he’s a very bad kid for not doing well in school. He would see my temper and learn that in order to be good, he must get a good grade. The moment he realized that, he’s domesticated. He would do anything to get good grades in order to be a good boy and gain my love. I successfully control him by putting a system of good grades equalling good boy.

When we become so domesticated by or attached to a belief or idea that we can’t let go of it, our choices narrow until any notion of choices is really an illusion. Our beliefs now define us and will dictate our choice. We are no longer the master of our own self.

We can choose to let go in order to be in control. This is real control. Doing so is the mastery of self in action.

“Humans are the only animals on the planet that self-domesticate.”

Self-domestication is the act of accepting ourselves on the condition that we live up to the ideals we have adopted from others without ever considering if those ideals are what we truly want. In other words, we live the life of someone else without even being aware of it. It’s absolutely ok to live up to the ideals we adopt from others as long as we are aware of it and fully choose to do so. The point is the we make a conscious choice.

Attachment does not always come from domestication, but domestication left unchecked always lead to attachment.

The cure for domestication and attachment is unconditional love.

Conditional love only allows us to see what we want to see and domesticates anyone who doesn’t fit our projected image. The keyword of conditional love is “if”. “If you do this, I will give you my love.”

Unconditional love allows us to see other as they truly are: beautiful expression of their greatness.

The mastery of self sees all beings through the eye of unconditional love.

At its core, domestication is a system of control and conditional love is its primary tool.

The key to transform ourselves is to bring unconditional love to all of ourselves, including our fear, enemy….

If we see the world through the eyes of conditional love, we are by definition attempting to control others, imposing our wills so that they conform to the definition of who and what we think they should be. If they don’t agree to our demands, they will receive the punishment of our judgement. However, we are merely punishing them for not following the agreement they never made.

When we see another with the eyes of unconditional love, we are then able to clearly see who is actually in front of us, a living being who is trying to survive and thrive in a world filled with domestication and conditional love. Unconditional love allows us to disagree with the choices or beliefs of others while still respecting their right to have them.

Coming from the place of unconditional love rather than conditional love may still involve doing or saying something that others don’t like; but speaking our truth from a place of love and respect is the mastery of self in action.

When we come from the place of unconditional love, we can have the confidence that whatever action we take is the right one and the outcome of any situation is beyond our control. We can be responsible for what we say but we can not be responsible for what others hear.

The following are direct quotes from the Mastery of Self:


“Not approaching someone you would like to meet or not applying for a position you aspire to have is not the same as when our body acts instinctually, as the former are learned behaviors, rooted in past domestication of “not being good enough.” If left unchecked, attachment to this idea will control you to the point that any choice you think you have is an illusion. A Master of Self cultivates the practice of awareness, and in so doing is conscious of the choices he or she makes so that they are reflective of his or her Authentic Self.”

“Only when we have cultivated the practice of awareness can we know if we are making choices based on what we really want, or if we are making choices based on our domestication and attachments.”

“Choosing the opposite for the sake of the opposite is often dictated by fear, and any choice that is dictated by fear is not a free choice, no matter how well intentioned it may be.”

“The simple act of pausing before making a decision or taking an action, thinking about what you really want in a situation versus what may be an automatic choice, is the first step in breaking the cycle of the automatic.”

“What do I really want right now? ”

“First, by becoming conscious of all the little choices you have throughout the day and by taking a path that is contrary to your usual choice, you will train your mind to observe what is happening in the present moment, rather than wander about as it usually does when it deems a choice is “unimportant.”

“Second, by making different choices with the little things (some of which you may end up preferring over your normal choice), you prepare yourself to answer the question, What do I really want now? when the larger choices arise”

“Third, by making different choices with the little things in your life and discovering the variety of possibilities, you step into the unknown, or the only place where true transformation can occur.”

“The part of the Mastery of Self is being able to detach from any identity you have acquired”

“As a Master of Self you recognize this, and it allows you to respect the projection of others, especially when doing so is helpful. This is shape-shifting.”

“A shape-shifter is formless because life is formless. Mind you, knowledge creates and gives us form; thus, a mask gives us form in the perception of another.”

“Seeing others through the eyes of unconditional love allows you to make the best decision in the moment as to whether or not to wear a mask, or to shape-shift in their perception. The most important thing is that you be aware when someone is projecting a mask onto you, because then you can make a conscious choice as to what action you will take in each situation.”

“The world around us is virtual; it is all a dream. And in my family’s Toltec tradition, we absolutely insist on creating enjoyable experiences in the Dream. In other words, we like to have fun!”

“That is the trap that the Master of Self avoids, and the way to do so is by loving yourself unconditionally, seeing that you are already perfect in this moment and there is no goal you need to obtain to be worthy of your own love.”

“As a Master of Self, the way out is to remind yourself that you are perfect in this moment and you don’t need to do or achieve anything in order to be complete. ”

“As a Master of Self your priority is to love yourself unconditionally throughout the process of working toward any goal you have set for yourself.”

“Setting goals from a place of unconditional self-love”

“The first step is to remind yourself that this is something you want to do”

“A wonderful benefit of setting goals this way is that when you have unconditional self-love throughout the process, you’ll find that a natural self-confidence grows within you as you move along the path toward your goal’s achievement”

“When you use unconditional self-love as the starting point when setting any goal, you remain aware that perfection is not tied to the end result, but rather the reality of the present moment.”

“You were perfect at the onset and you are perfect now; you are perfect throughout. You are aware the entire time that the end result won’t define you.”

“A Master of Self knows that life will always provide exactly what is needed in the moment.”

“When you live your life from a mindset of trust rather than a place of fear, the result is that you stop trying to force or control the people and situations that are happening around you and instead surrender to whatever life brings.”

“In this case, you can begin to compare yourself to your role model, and use their positive example as a tool to chide or whip yourself for not being more like them. You create conditions on your self-love based on a desire to be like someone else.”

“Another trap related to role models occurs when you mistakenly believe that a single role model or teacher has all of your answers. ”

From: don Miguel Ruiz. “The Mastery of Self

PS: if this article inspires you, don’t wait. Take action immediately. If you want to have a powerful coaching conversation, contact me by sending me an email to hoandojmx@gmail.com