- When: 02/24/2018
- QIC: Gazelle and Tonka
If you have not done so, please take time to read about the Whetstone Project in the previous two pre-blasts.
Tonka has agreed to open up and share his testimony about how mentors have had an impact on his life. Below are his words:
At this point you have probably heard about the Whetstone Project and are in one of three buckets:
- I’m In!
- On the Fence.
- I don’t really have time for anything else and I am doing alright.
Having spent the majority of my life as a dull blade and striving over the last 8 years to become sharper, I can tell you that if you are not intentionally seeking out opportunities for guidance and direction from the Whetstone your edge will inevitably fade. This is how the Whetstone has worked in my life.
The Formation of the Blade
The abbreviated version goes like this. My father left when I was an infant, chasing a high that would never bring him the peace he sought. I was raised by a good, moral, hard working mother and a stepfather that did the best he could given the circumstances of inheriting a two year old. I spent my adolescence with a constant feeling of inadequacy and fear. When I was 14 I found what appeared to be the answer to my all my problems. I chased it, just as my father before me until it matured into a full blown drug addiction that sought to destroy any chance I had of escaping a fate that seemed inevitable in my family tree. After a series of very unfortunate events and a trail of destruction, I entered a treatment facility as a drug addicted 26 year old and emerged a clean young man with little direction and a head full of fear.
Beginning a new life: As I sought to avoid the pain and wreckage of my youth, I was reminded by those around me that I could not do it alone. I was very fortunate to find good men that showed me how to live a life without drugs. These men held me accountable to a set of spiritual principles, continued growth, and showed me that there was a better way to live. Until this point, I just assumed that I was supposed to know how to do it on my own. I am a relatively intelligent person so this egotistical and false idea of complete self sufficiency was magnified. I learned two very important things early on in my recovery: 1) I definitely cannot be successful unless I surround myself with successful people and 2) I do not know as much as I think I do. These Men showed me the way and to them I owe 8 years clean and maturation into the man I have become today.
A good Dad and a Husband: There were a few things that I knew I was missing in my late 20’s. I was a young father and husband but I did not have a clear path to success in these roles. I had some general ideas of what success looked like but I didn’t really have great role models growing up and I didn’t have guidance in my daily life. When I began F3 I found men like Splinter that were the father’s and husbands that I hoped to be one day. I have purposefully sought guidance from these HIM within F3 to offer experience and strength in the family man arena. Without these men showing me the way I would lack the accountability and experience that I need in order to succeed.
Finding a Purpose and Being a Leader: Lack of Intentionality really sums up the majority of my life. I always played a role that was given to me and took actions based on the will of others. When I saw men in F3 taking a leadership role in their own destiny I was both intrigued and inspired. Men like T-Bone, who I regularly look to for guidance in the area of purposeful leadership, have shown me the importance of DX2 and how tapping into my DX2 can both positively impact my life and those around me. These men have shown me purpose and have inspired me to lead.
Maintaining the Blade: One of my passions is cooking and If I had to throw out all the gadgets and keep only one tool, it would be a good sharp knife that I kept. I get a great deal of satisfaction preparing a meal with a freshly sharpened knife. Unfortunately, the demands of everyday life get in the way and I often go months without pulling out the stone and refreshing the blade. This means that I spend many a night using a dull blade, resulting in the application of unnecessary force, crushed vegetables, and a general dissatisfaction with the process of cooking. Just as a real blade, the metaphorical blade requires constant sharpening in order to be effective. I encourage you to reach into the drawer, and pull out the Whetstone. I promise the process will be much more effective and enjoyable with a fresh blade.