The Unsinkable brian cork™

Brian Patrick Cork is living the Authentic Life
Browsing Kobayashi Maru

brian cork IN Life


I’ve just met with one of those people that change and affect everyone around them, always. I’m standing here thinking, “do we allow good things to happen, or make great things occur?

I’m inspired.

he was more interested in capturing what was happening on the day. I think he’s like a guy poised with a butterfly net and waiting for that “moment of truth” to go by.

but, he can recognize that moment for what it means and what it might be worth. and, he evidently makes it work for everyone around him.

updated 05/17/2011 with two additional thoughts:

your outer life is your reputation with people, but your inner life is your reputation with God.


thankfulness depends on what is in your heart, not what is in your hand.

living for the moment, and your fellow man. that’s a great life and example.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork


proverbs and Promises


I use the phrase “Chinese Interesting” fairly often.

NOTE: that video will make a lot more sense once you’ve read this post (the first minute or so will likely suffice).

I can’t recall where I first heard that phrase, and you probably don’t care.

however, recently, while, again, walking someone new to my story through the events around “Colorado” (there are more lessons in those horrific days than I’ll ever be able to use for good, but I’m sure going to try) a coaching client of mine asked me what it (the phrase) meant. I will almost invariably offer this cryptic summary (that I believe is a proverb):

“the promise can be in the punishment, and the punishment can be in the promise”.

I’ve found that it’s normal to pursue passions and outcomes. but, just not to become overly attached to those outcomes. mostly, I suppose, because trying to predict the result is much like playing craps or timing the stock market. my view is, if I keep doing the right thing, it’s harder to go wrong. for example, I may not know if Christ rose from the dead to seal the deal between God and mankind. but, I hope He did. and, if I try with both a will and purpose to live my life like Him, I’m more likely to do good (or, at least better). by the way, I do feel that this requires courage, in some form, because, unlike stated Christians, for example, I also don’t know if there is a reward for all of that best-efforts, other than being remembered as a true and goodly man.

I know many of you have read about my seeking heart a lot before today. but, and trust me, you will again. I simply don’t shy away from it or Colorado. my past life in Colorado has little to do with my faith, but is as much a part of me as whom I want to be.

man… that was a tough and awkward sentence to work through.

I found myself in a lot of trouble in Colorado, even though I thought I was doing the right thing.

by the way, Colorado was not all bad. that place gave me Haley Anne, allowed me to be a firefighter, taught me that more men in that community valued more the man I was over what I did, and, ultimately, set the stage for what I do today. it certainly gave me the props for one of the best days of my life with, Sammy: The best argument I ever knew for Dogs in Heaven.

so… the art is in being happy regardless of the outcome. I find comfort in that tenant of life is attached to most of the meaningful religions, in some form or fashion. I like and appreciate the consistency.

but, to put it into perspective, I’ll offer a parable that I believe is Buddhist in it’s origins. and, that is close enough to being Chinese because I’m certain it’s roots are realized, there:

a great story is the Zen master and his student walking by a river. a prostitute was there and needed to be carried over the river. the Zen master picked her up and carried her across the river, and then gently put her down on firm soil. then the Zen master and student moved on an continued their journey. a few hours later the student, who was evidently agitated, finally asked the question: ‘Master, how could you touch and help that prostitute! that’s against what we believe in!’ and, the Master said, ‘I left her by the river. why are you still carrying her?’

what’s my point, here?

well… those events changed my life and formed who I am today and what I do going forward for the rest of my days. I hope all of it put me on my own goodly journey. that’s certainly part of my own prayers. nonetheless, God knows that I am in pain every day with the burden.

that was the punishment being in the promise.

so, each hour is spent trying to recognize the face of my Father (both earthly and spiritual), and be the best man He bothered to create. yesterday I was never good enough. tomorrow I have to be better.

that has to be a good thing, right? can’t the promise be in the punishment, for me? no Kobayashi Maru, that.

today, I’m listening to: Losing My Religion, the Glee Cast version. but, just so we’re clear, the REM effort will remain dear to my heart.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork


what is it with the "high road"?


I am a deeply (deeply) flawed human bean.

shy, really. and, often socially awkward. It’s not that I could, or should be compared to Howard Hughes, mind you. it’s just that I am always (always) focused. and, driven, of course, with a keen desire to win and prevail – and, with a higher standard.

it sets me apart. and, this can unnerve (most) people.

when I was eleven years old my younger brother, Greg, leveraged a lot of poor judgment and decided to toss some insults at a neighborhood bully named Tony.

I was eleven, Greg was six, and Tony was thirteen.

Tony came from a large (as in both physical stature and head-count) family, that lived up the street, and around the corner from us. for a couple of years I thought his name was actually “Hay Tooney” – you know, like a professional ball player. every time anyone (and, everyone) ever addressed, called for, or was looking at him, they would always (and, loudly) say, “Haay Tooney”!

in any event, he went after Greg. dude did not even hesitate; he was on my little brother like sewage out of the pipe. Greg had his little legs churning up our drive way for all he was worth with a head-start only just good enough that allowed for him to start calling for me. to this day I can’t remember much as I hurled myself out of the TV room, through the garage, and then with ten running steps later, full body into Tony. he already had a piece of fence in his beefy hands that he clearly meant to flail Greg with. instead, he beat me relentlessly with that piece of wood but I kept swinging and pushing. suddenly his resolve melted, possibly with my fury, and then he was on his back with me turning his nose into lasagne.

so… my Mom, the proper Sacramento debutante she was her whole life made me march over to his house the next day and apologize for giving him a beating.

“we are Cork’s. we take the higher road. you’ll understand better as you get older”, is all would say about it.

Tony and his Dad, with a small army behind them, met me at the front door. I extended my hand and simply said, “I apologize”.

…but, I didn’t mean it. not at all. I, in truth, felt like a flat-out liar. I wanted to cry. even howl, maybe.

“okay”, and sullenly, is all he said. his Dad said nothing. he just stared at me with a distant and mildly confused look splayed across his big bland olive-skinned face with a light stubble.

…the high road?

recently, I’ve lost something. and, man, it is, or was, dear to me. but, it’s really gone. and, I feel like it was stolen. now I have people that think I need to take that damn high road again and say things like, “best of luck to you. I offer my fullest support. I know you’ll do great”.

but, my heart isn’t in it. I did my best, and it was really good. the results were evident. now, some how and inexplicably, I’m taking a beating. and, it REALLY hurts. but, I have to go to the people that hurt me and take the high road because it’s, collectively, (maybe) good (maybe) for some of the people I care deeply (deeply) about.

I took a hard run Saturday and I admitted to God (but, He already knew, of course) that I did not want to take the high road. I wanted to be hurt and angry. I wanted to win. prevail. …protect people from the evil that I know is looming.

“come on, God”, said I . you and I both know there won’t be sincerity. and, what about hypocrisy?

I really do want to honor God with my response to this challenge, and the people that I’ve influenced. there’s a broken part of me that’s looking for someone(s) to be mad at. I’d love to exchange that for the patience and grace that He has, and hopefully will continue to show me. but, that’s so hard, right now.

that’s me being authentic.

this is another Kobayashi Maru, isn’t it.

however, as I was cooling down (literally, and miraculously in my heart) I knew that if I just said the words, something like, “it’s okay. I know you all will be great. I support you all”, that would, eventually (eventually) become the reality. it’s what they all expect of me, after all. let’s be very (very) clear. the words would not be sincere. they would ring hollow, in my own ears, in fact.

but, I’ll have said them. and, they might then have a life of their own, and there could be an effect.

my pain is meaningless, really. the people involved mean more to me than, well, me.

so… I wish them all the best (maybe because I want them to be happy and the best they can all be). I’ll have to move on.

…please. please (please), allow them to make me proud. and, remember, there has to be a difference between being pleased and being satisfied.

not because I say so, but because I really mean it.

peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

brian patrick cork


prayer and change


I don’t pretend to be a Christian.

many people do, though.

but, prayer is for everyone regardless of how or what people define faith – theirs, or otherwise. it focuses the mind and aligns it with heart and spirit.

I tend to pray most when I want something, or think I need something. I used the word “something” twice in one sentence because the concept of the what ever it is renders itself huge.

just like God.

lately I’ve been praying (or, mumbling) quite a bit because of what’s been happening to my Shockers. I’m going to lose a bunch of them and a dream long worked hard for. it feels like treachery and satan and all that stuff. I face a genuine Kobayashi Maru. however, I know darn well that change can be a good thing. it really comes down to what you make of it. character seems to be part of the definition.

so… I’m pondering the whole prayer thing. my question is now this: do I, or that collective we, pray for the things we think we want or need? Or, does He have us pray to align our minds, heart, spirit and actions with what He wants or needs from us?

my eyes are welling up as I tap these words gently into a keyboard. I’m so incredibly blessed, lucky and fortunate . my family is happy and healthy (other than some challenges with school and grades). business is great. and, I feel pretty good as my training continues. so, that list of positive adjectives could run on for some time. but, suffice it to say that the ball has bounced in my favor many times – and, possibly because I always try to do the right thing.

this post is already being populated by words that I had not planned in advance. so, maybe God is carefully at work, because, as I create this message, I’m thinking my prayer(s) need to be that God have me do the right thing(s), soften my heart, and simply steer me where I am actually needed and wanted. I’ll raise my hand.

I just need a path and an opportunity to be a beacon to light that of others.

Peace be to my Brothers and Sisters.

Brian Patrick Cork

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What’s All This About?

"What am I looking at?", you might wonder.

Lots of stuff.

Meanwhile, here, I discuss events, people and things in our world - and, my (hardly simplistic, albeit inarticulate) views around them.

You'll also learn things about, well, things, like people you need to know about, and information about companies you can't find anywhere else.

So, while I harangue the public in my not so gentle way, you will discover that I am fascinated by all things arcane, curious about those whom appear religious, love music, dabble in politics, loathe the media, value education, still think I am an athlete, and might offer a recipe.

All the while, striving mightily, and daily, to remain a prudent and optimistic gentleman - and, authentic.

brian cork by John Campbell

photos by John Campbell


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