Cross the Finish Line

Cross the Finish Line

Cross the Finish Line

How many projects do you have open?  Ever begin a new one while there was still sooo much left to do on the others?  Because you had to, right?  If you’re anything like me, you have multiple projects going at one time, most of them somewhere just below or above the halfway mark of getting done.  They’re sitting there, lounging about in various stages of undress, thumbing their noses at you and beckoning the rest of the world to have a looksee at how disorganized you are….

…Or is that only me?



Misery loves company.

Projects are not the only things I collect.  Apparently, I have a penchant for Internet Browser Tabs.  They’re addicting.  I mean, sure, I tell myself that I leave them open as a reminder.  A 21st Century trail of breadcrumbs, leading me back to the land of unread articles and ignored interweb pals in desperate need of a witty reply.  But, that’s just an excuse.  I’m pretty sure I’m a Browser-Tab Hoarder.


Another thing I like to collect, this one falling more on the plus side of my Mordant Habits, is To-Do Lists.  Short ones, long ones, day–week–month ones…I’ve got a bunch.  Just recently I set myself up with yet another Master To-Do List.  (Yes, there have been others.)  I’m really proud of this one.  It’s three columns wide—enough to fit my Tortuga Twins, Mordant World, and personal to-do stuffage.  Then it breaks down into recurring tasks, weekly, and people I need to contact.  I take something from each of the columns and put them down on an index card.  Those items are the ones I’ll be working on for that specific day.  It appears a little convoluted, but it’s not that complicated…not really.  My brain seems to like it and I’m getting stuff done, (yes, this blog is on the list) and that’s what matters.

I could delve more into To-Do Theory, but that’s not what this blarticle is about.

(Please stop applauding.)

The reason I bring up such things as to-do lists & browser breadcrumbs is to share a bit of my own mental clutter and let you know I’m guilty of everything I’m chatting about here.  That is why I’m sooo knowledgeable on this subject—firsthand experience.  Mental clutter isn’t the topic either.  Then, why have I “wasted” 383 words (as of last sentence) talking about it?  Because those aspects of mental clutter are part of a long list of things that keep you from completing your work/finishing your projects/achieving your goals.  They get in your way, delay and trip you up, preventing you from being able to…Cross the Finish Line. Btw, this is what this blarticle (blog-article—so, sue me) is about.

Busy is the new Lazy.

Often insidious, sometimes distractions & excuses come cleverly disguised as work.  You heard me.  I believe that one of the things we do to keep from Crossing the Finish Line is busy work…or, more specifically Busywork.  You know, those day-to-day things we “have to” get done.  It may be some other project or a task you’ve been putting off.  It could even be something that, once you begin working on it, opens doors to various forms of distraction.

Social media anyone?  No?

When was the last time you “just checked” your Facebook for a minute…

10 minutes…

Holy crap, where’d that hour go?!

Don’t beat yourself up too much—my good intentions have led me down this self-same road.  The problem with Busywork is its ninja-like ability to sneak in under your distraction-detecting radar, keeping you sooo busy that you don’t have time to do the really important things—for your family, your dreams/goals, even the J-O-B.  Sinister & sneaky, Busywork is the Sith Lord of distractions.  You’re spinning your wheels, exhausted from all the quality work-time you’ve spent managing various “necessary” tasks.  Yet, at the end of the day, you’ve done nothing to further your goals, level up beyond your current circumstances, or enrich your quality of life.  You’re stuck—finish line in sight, but lacking both the drive & energy to sprint those final meters and cross.

Crossing the Finish Line is something we all struggle with from time to time.  You’ve done it; I’ve done it.  The good thing about all of us being in the trenches together is we can share our experiences, both positive and negative, and the wisdom harvested from them.  Below are four steps I use to help me get over the hurdles and across the finish line.


MAKE A TO-DO LIST:  No, I’m not kidding.  This really works.  Not only is this good for you & me, but it’s grand for other highly successful people.

“I have always lived my life by making lists: Lists of people to call, lists of ideas, lists of companies to set up, lists of people who can make things happen.  Each day I work through these lists, and it is that sequence of calls that propels me forward.”

~Sir Richard Branson~

Jot down the “to-do” you want to work on for that day and number each task accordingly.  Begin a task and finish it.  Try not moving on until you’re done or have “hit a wall” (i.e., need someone else to “do their part” before you can take up the reins again).  *Tip: Let’s not live or die by this order—if you’re on #3, but you’re moved to knock out #7 or can do it with alacrity, feel free to make that Quantum Leap.)

TURN OFF YOUR “DISTRACTIONS”:  Facebook, television, video games…your phone—turn them all O-F-F!  There’s nothing more hindering than being pulled out of your flow by a buddy with an oh-so important message for you or the *ping-ping-ping* siren call of new emails.  Set aside your creative time for being creative.  The world and its catastrophes will be there when you plug back into the Matrix an hour or three later.  Meanwhile, your Real Life, the life you are meant to have if only you would do whatever it takes to make it your own, is waiting for you to crank up the power and go get it.

MAKE IT A GAME:  The only person you’re really in competition with is yourself.  Why not use this attitude to your advantage?  Find a way to have fun with even the most mundane tasks.  How?  Try setting various deadlines and rewards for finishing early.  (You have a week to complete your task.  For every day before your deadline you finish, give yourself a little sumthin’-sumthin’.)

People like to be scared.  That’s why rollercoasters and horror flicks do such a big business.  Why not discover enjoyment in facing those things that challenge you?  I was a touch fretful when going to invite singer/artist Afua Richardson to guest on The Other Side of LIVE!  I’d never met her before and I wasn’t sure how she’d take this motivational blonde guy with the Tony Stark goatee.  (*Spoiler Alert* — I can be shy sometimes.)  I decided to walk my talk and Fail Forward.  Though nervous, I sought her out and asked her to be on the show.  She said “Yes,” and I even managed to vlog the moment.  It was scary.  It was outside my comfort zone.  It was fun and I’m sooo glad I did it!  As long as I kept it a game, I was able to play through all my doubts and negative self-chatter.  In the end, I both lined up a guest for TOSOL and deposited some serious cred into my self-esteem account.  You can, too!  Just make it a game and remember…

“Have fun dammit!”  ~Cindy Lu~

KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE PRIZE:  Don’t forget your Why!  Instead of looking at all the crap you have to go through to get to where you’re going, stay focused on the accomplishment and its benefit.  While working as a painter’s apprentice, I had to walk a narrow ledge to get from one painting site to another.  I was fine as long as I kept my eyes on where I was going, my destination, my goal…not on my feet and where I was walking.  Relaying this story to writer/aerialist Allison Williams, she told me that this was true for aerial performers of all varieties—especially the tightrope walkers.

Your Why (your reason for doing those crazy-wonderful things you do) is what keeps you going when all about you is chaos.  When the doubts creep in and you’re not sure you’ve made the right choice in pursuing your dream, your Why will keep you Crossing the Finish Line when others are quitting the race before they’ve even worked up a sweat.  Your Why is the “reason for the season,” folks.  It is, literally, why you began running your race in the first place.

Keep your eye on the prize, trusting your feet to land where they’re supposed to land, and you, my friends, will Cross the Finish Line, accomplishing every fantastic thing you set your mind to do.

“Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”

~W. Clement Stone~

Click here for the Cross the Finish Line:  >>>Podcast<<<

Click here for the Cross the Finish Line:  >>>Vlog<<<


Here I was, cresting the wave of this high I’ve been on lately.  Smooth sailing all the way, with nothing but the open seas before me.  When all of the sudden I run smack-dab into the wall that is my Comfort Zone.  Actually, I’m not much of a boating person; this is only a metaphor.  The wall?  That’s a metaphor, too.  My Comfort Zone, however, and me needing to be on the outside?  That’s all too real.

What actually constitutes a “Comfort Zone”?  According to Alasdair A. K. White in his research paper “From Comfort Zone to Performance Management”:

The comfort zone is a behavioural state within which a person operates in an anxiety-neutral condition, using a limited set of behaviours to deliver a steady level of performance, usually without a sense of risk.


Put love first.  When you concentrate on your job, you succeed.  When you invest time learning about a career skill, your favorite sports team, even more about your friends, you become an expert in those fields.  What about the Arena of Love?  Don’t you think you should spend more time and effort in that area?  You do want a fabulous love life…don’t you?  When it comes to your relationship, are you the student, reluctant to crack your textbooks…or the connoisseur?

It’s no secret, your relationship is not something you can set & forget, just “wishing” for the best.  You have to do something about it, growing the intimacy in your life…even when you’re not in the mood.  I’m not saying you should look at this like work.  Love isn’t a chore…though sometimes it may feel that way.  Have fun with cultivating deeper intimacy in your life.  Treat it like a new fascination, looking for opportunities to get back to romantic playtime.  The feelings will follow, especially when you and your partner begin to turn up the steam.

When you put love first, you concentrate on it, you focus on it.  You’re putting God and the Universe, as well as yourself and your partner on notice that you’re serious about having intimacy in your life.  Begin doting on your relationship as you would a favorite hobby.  Have a weekly Date Night, where you and your mate get back to your romantic roots.  Read up on the latest regarding intimacy, relationships, and—yummy—sex!  Create a Dream Board with your partner, pasting pictures of what you want your relationship to look like on a board suitable for framing.  Do whatever voodoo you need do, but…


R. Mordant Mahon

There’s been some confusion of late, as to what you should call me. You’ve seen or heard me throw out the names “Mordant,” and “Raphael,” and “Riki”—and perhaps a couple others tossed here and there into the mix. What’s up with that?! What should you call me and where do all these names come from anyway? I’m a little public for the Witness Protection Program, so it’s not that. Probably. Perhaps I’m just eccentric (read: weird), and like the thought of a ton of pseudonyms. You know…having so many people in my head that I don’t ever feel alone. But, that would be just a little too whack-a-doodle, don’t you think? The voices in my head agree with me, so it must be true.

I was adopted at birth and given the name Ronald Richard Robinson. My family goes by their middle names, and that’s where Riki comes in—from Richard. (Much better than the other nickname I could have gotten from Richard, believe you me.) It’s always been Riki and it’s always been spelled the way it is. In my teens, I tried to shorten it to Rik, but my mother said, “No! You’re name’s Riki.” And so, Riki it is.

Until I became a Tortuga Twin.

In 1987, I co-founded a comedy troupe. Known mostly as a trio (there are currently six of us on the roster), but back then we were a duo. We were portraying twin gypsy brothers looking for their lost princess—a brilliant way to meet girls according to our twenty-something minds. We needed a catchy name that sounded ethnic. The Tortuga Twins fit all that.

At the time there was an independent comic book known as Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (you might have heard of it). Tortuga means turtle in Spanish. As a play on words, and to pay homage to our geekdom, Jef took the name Donatello (he later changed it to D’Angelo), while I took Raphael. Besides, it began with an “R.” I have a fondness for “Rs.” Go figure.

To mix things up even more, if you ever happen to find a lost cell phone of mine, you’ll see the name Riki Tortuga on it. That’s how I’m known by most on the renaissance festival circuit. Again, go figure.

What does all this have to do with Mordant? Don’t worry, that’s next.

In 2003, I reconnected with my birth mother, Mary Mahon (her maiden name). While spending time with her—first in Florida, then in Spain—I asked her what name she would have given me. Being British of Irish descent, it would have been a doosie. John Edward Antony Noel Mordant Mahon, after her late brother. Wow.

As I was the only of her children that she had contact with—there is another that I know of—she asked that I do something to carry on the family name. Thus R. Mordant Mahon was born. I especially like it because “Mordant” is a reagent used on color in the dyeing process (“it makes things stick” as a friend of mine recently pointed out). Also, in literature, it is “a biting reply.” Not too shabby for a writer if I do say so myself.

There you have it. Call me Mordant. Some because I really like the name even if it doesn’t begin with an “R.” Some because as I brand it into the public consciousness, that’s how they’ll know me. But mostly, and honestly, because it pleases me dear mum.

R. Mordant Mahon

As An Addendum
Okay…to avoid FURTHER confusion – call me Mordant HERE. And when I’m out doing Mordanty things. It is my author name, but should not become a stumbling block for my old friends. The “R” in R. Mordant Mahon is for Riki after all. =)

We live in a society that vacillates between whether or not it is okay for men behave as gentlemen and women to act and expect to be treated like ladies.  In her book Miss Manners’ Guide to Excruciatingly Correct Behavior, Judith Martin says Miss Manners has a puzzling time trying to decide why one courtesy is ‘demeaning’ and another is a ‘gesture of respect,’ and therefore would like to forget the entire symbolic aspect of this ritual. . . .  We agree that the opening and shutting of car doors will not be a test of character or physical strength. . . .”

Get into the practice of opening the car door for her—even if she’s driving.  Not just for her in specific, but all hers.  By doing so, you will set yourself apart—from all other sons, suitors, and spouses.  Walk over to her door and open it for her.  Hold it open until she gets in, and then close it.  Important Safety Tip:  Wait until she’s all the way in to close the door.  (You lose major cool points for catching her or any part of her outfit in the car door.)

If you want to stand out from the rest of your ilk, then make the strong choice to show courtesy—at least in this one aspect.  Make this a part of your regular routine.  It’s not sexist; it’s polite.  Open the door for any woman with which you’re riding.  Do it in spite of strange looks.  Do it no matter how many times she tells you it’s not necessary.  Do it until it feels weird not to.

It doesn’t matter who you are or what walk of life you claim as your own.  From Ivy Leaguer to Inner City Gangsta, you will set yourself at the front of the pack by performing this small courtesy.  You will be remembered.  First as that guy, then as that boyfriend, and then as that husband by all her friends.  If you’re not looking for a mate, then you are that fellow.  No matter what, you’ll be the guy with that special something.  At the end of the day, not a bad way to be remembered.

R. Mordant Mahon

The question keeps coming up: Why do real women drink straight tequila?  The easy answer is “um…well…um…”  Actually, that’s the thing that came to mind when my editor posed this question in preparation for my first interview.  Funny now.  Not so funny then.

Tequila is an opiate, a party-hearty painkiller for the working class stiff in all of us.  Sure, you can pretty it up a bit by drinking the high-end brands or slinging it to and from crystal containers…but in the end, it’s still tequila.  Gut-wrenching, mind-numbing, eye-crossing tequila.  So, why would a woman, real or otherwise, want to throw a splash of this vile nectar past her luscious lips?

Real women drink straight tequila because it makes a statement.  It declares an attitude of someone willing to roll up her sleeves and dig into the mud of whatever needs to get the job done.  She will bleed, she will sweat, she will slog on as the tears stream down her dirt-caked face until whatever is keeping her from what she desires—to have, to be—is out of her fervently feminine way.

In life, in love—wherever she may roam, a real woman drinks straight tequila because she has fought hard to get where she is and be who she is.  From child rearing to running corporations, to placing the necessary bandage on our skinned hearts and knees—do not doubt the power of a woman.  She has earned the right to do whatever she damned well pleases.

R. Mordant Mahon

Every time I bring up the subject of dating to my married and coupled friends, I get blank stares and we’re-out-of-that-game attitude.  Dating is something you should do your entire life.  In other words, it’s not just for singles any more.

A relationship is a living, breathing organism – not unlike a newborn that you must nurture and feed.  You can’t just leave it alone and hope for the best.  If you want your most intimate relationship to bring the best that life has to offer, you have to put in some time and effort.  In fact, you should spend more care cultivating your relationship than you did catching this “big fish” in the first place.  Oh yes, and it should be fun.  This is where Dating comes in – even in the bonds of a relationship.

Have dinner, take a stroll on a hot summer night, picnic in the park – anything as long as it’s the both of you, spending time together.  Don’t let anything get in the way of Date Night.  Nothing is more important than the relationship you will be creating by spending quality time reaching out to the person you call your most Intimate.

Go out on a date with your loved one – your spouse, your fiancé, your boyfriend/girlfriend.  It doesn’t matter what point you’re at in your relationship, you should date.  Intimacy happens when you spend a quantity of time in your love one’s company.  The level of intimacy depends on the quality of that time spent.

R. Mordant Mahon

Welcome to my Mordant World.  I’ve been talking with various friends of mine about creating and continuing a blog.  This to promote various aspects of my life—mostly the creative parts.  After hemming and hawing, then not doing much about it, I figured I might as well put something down, thus making ready for that auspicious moment when I actually do put an official blog together.

For those of you who don’t know, I am a man of many hats.  My Facebook & Twitter bios read:

Globetrotting Renaissance Man…Actor, Author, Entrepreneur…Universal Healing Tao Instructor, Quantum Manifestations Life Coach…Tortuga Twin.

This pretty much says it all.  I crisscross the United States, performing comedic stage shows at various festivals—mostly of the renaissance variety.  It is true that I am a world traveler.  I was born in Karachi, Pakistan in the 60’s.  Next came the Philippines and Laos during the Viet Nam War before settling down in Tarpon Springs, Florida.  All of this before entering third grade.  As an adult, I’ve hit Europe, Asia, Mexico, and Canada.  Boy, are my arms tired.

I am a hopeful on-camera actor.  I say “hopeful” because I haven’t gone so far as to get an agent yet (again at the time of this writing), and only worked on independent and student films—none of them paying gigs.  It doesn’t sound very hopeful, but I am.  You’ll have to take me at my word on this one.  I’ll do my best to prove it to you later.

I have co-authored a dating/relationship self-help book titled Why Real Women Drink Straight Tequila—The Tao of Intimacy.  Currently, I am working on a fantasy novel as well as yet another self-helpy type book.  I’m hopeful about these, too.

I am a Universal Healing Tao certified Instructor, trained under Grandmaster Mantak Chia at Tao Garden in Chiang Mai, Thailand.  Using various methods of Chi Kung meditation, I guide others in learning how to transform negative aspects of their energy and live a life of positive vitality.  Sounds a little woo-woo I know, but it works for me.

Though writing this illustrious, long-winded blog, I haven’t officially set anything up yet.  I’ve been thinking WordPress, but good friend and fellow writer Allison said she likes Blogger.  I should probably ask Marrus what she uses, as she is a big fan of blogging to inform, promote, and entertain (not necessarily in that order).  I guess you could say I’m hopeful about blogging, too.  We’ll see.

Sooo…if there were a theme to my wannabe blog, it would have to be…have hope.  I’m not talking about the kind of hope where you sit back and wish for good things to happen to you.  No, I’m a firm believer in imagining what you can do, then doing something about it.  Yes, you should dream dreams.  These dreams will become the blueprints for your fantastic life if you let them.  But, you can’t stop there.  Not if you want to succeed.  You have to visualize your success, seeing it in your mind’s eye and believing it can happen.  Then comes the work part.  The setting down tangible goals, then getting off your butt and knocking them out one by one part.  Big steps or baby steps, it doesn’t matter.  It’s the forward momentum that counts.

So, that’s the gist of this first blog.  Dream your dreams and take the steps necessary to see them to fruition.  Above all, have hope.  It will keep you going through the character-building rough spots.  Don’t worry; I’m not going to Pollyanna my way through everything I write.  I’ll share some of my trials, conflicts, and failures.  Besides, they’re all a part of this growing process, and extremely necessary if we want to develop into the kind of people we dream about becoming.

R. Mordant Mahon