Rayner never did time in the military. Never spent years as a hard-bitten detective. And the layout of buildings shaped like doughnuts or pentagons is a mystery to him.
He just reads stuff. Learns things. And – in thousands of hours of training and personal development – puts them into practice.
He calls them his Life Kata. At the last count, they ran to 99 skills in one big circular chart, subdivided into ring and slices of physical, intellectual, and practical.
The Physical kata are all about conditioning: specific routines to build strength, speed, and stamina in equal measure. The skills to climb a sheer wall. To swim a hundred metres underwater. Or put three attackers on the pavement with a solid thump. The Intellectual Kata keep his brain in the same trim, from analysing financials to working out a hidden game plan from sparse data. While Practical includes such things as Getting Into Buildings You Don’t Have a Key For and Hitting a Coin-Sized Target at 300 Metres.
In their own way, the Life Kata are Rayner’s biggest-ever business consultancy project.
DON’T BE AN ACTION HERO, BE A BUSINESS CONSULTANT.
SO MUCH MORE SCOPE FOR ADVENTURE.
The Kata are cross-connected. Physical: Grip might involve kettlebells the size of watermelons. But follow the line across to Practical: Grip and it’s the skills needed to climb a vertical wall when the holds are as thin as a coin’s edge. While Intellectual lists moves and sequences from a hundred great climbs: stuff to learn. Everything’s connected.
Each Kata has a Stretch Goal. Rayner’s touchstone: find the point fewer than 1% of practitioners can reach, then go there. Like sprinting a kilometre in 150 seconds. Benching twice your bodyweight. Or surviving two weeks in the jungle without tools. His training pattern revolves around a 90-day cycle, constantly taking each skill to the next level. After all, the best way to learn new skills is to relate them to something you already know.
In his work as a business consultant, the Life Kata have delivered outcomes for everyone from smart startups to billion-dollar corporates. The only thing his clients have in common is a List. A single sheet of paper with the contact details of men who can approach today’s business challenges with a little … creativity. Men you don’t ask too deeply about methods. Rayner’s on a dozen or so Lists, and his Life Kata keep him there.
RAYNER’S NOT A MAN THINGS HAPPEN TO.
HE’S A MAN WHO MAKES THINGS HAPPEN.
And what’s more: anyone could do it. More easily today than ever before.
Because we live in a world of instant information and connected content. Much of it free. With today’s technologies – mobile, broadband, large-scale networking and huge computing crunch – there’s no excuse not to be the strongest, fastest, smartest You possible. The resources are there for all of us. To learn from the best, model what works. If you have the resolve.
And Rayner’s got it in spades.
He’s worked out where he wants to be life, and is constantly honing the skills to get there. Whether it involves sieving insights from Big Data, reshaping global supply chains, or focussing on a spot ten centimetres behind an assassin’s head and how his fist can get there the hard way.
Rayner’s not a bad person. But he’s not quite on the side of the angels, either. The only reason he does anything is for the experience. And when you’ve done the things Rayner has, those experiences have to be deep.
Rayner wonders if one day, when he’s too old for adventures, he’ll publish his Life Kata as a self-help book. Then he realises: you’re never too old for adventure.