Anger usually manifests in violence, in word or deed, as the quickest way to overcome a perceived threat. Violence is the default problem-solving strategy children use until they are taught more pro-social solutions to problems and conflicts.
Physically, you can tell when someone is ready to lash out in anger when you see their fists clench. If you are in a heated conversation with someone and you see their fists clench, don’t be surprised to soon see those fists flying toward your face.
Anger, of course, breeds regret; we hurt others when we would not have, had cooler heads prevailed.
Anger thrusts us into quick, thoughtless action, the simplest action being to make a fist and hit.
Mental Strategies like “Stop and Think,” are beneficial, yet sometimes Physical Strategies are even more effective.
Fortunately,The Kenpo Salute our students learn provides a powerful strategy to align with this impulse to lash out and literally, put a lid on it.
You see The Salute in every class, the hand covering the fist. The Salute represents the Warrior (the body) and the Scholar (the mind). We remind students to “cover our weapon” as a reminder that our minds should control our bodies (the hand covering the fist).
When a student wants to lash out, the simple solution to control this behavior is to align with the motion of punching. Instead of punching someone else, the student simply redirects this tendency and punches his fist into his hand, making The Salute.
It’s as if he catches his anger in his own hand before he hurts someone. This gesture prevents a student from lashing out because he cannot simultaneously hit another person and punch himself in the palm.
Now, after making The Salute, the student can take a breath and remind himself he is covering his weapon. When the angry outburst is controlled, this allows the student time to think and use other mental strategies to resolve conflict peacefully.
Anger is an emotional hijacking that produces rash actions, actions we’d rather not take, actions we’d take back if we could.
Simple physical strategies, like making The Salute, can eliminate the pain of regret.
Yesterday we had some friends over for brunch and I got into a fascinating conversation.
Three of us somehow got onto the topic of our exercise regimes, and specifically what each of us does to stay on track and talk ourselves into working out when we don’t want to.
Sarah, who, years later, still uses the WarriorFit workout I invented, mentioned a time when her boss intruded on her tight workout schedule.
As he (or was it she?) prattled on about something fairly unimportant, she was getting more and more anxious about her exercise window closing.
All three of us have these “dedicated, scheduled times” we adhere to that create powerful HABITS that we don’t have to think about.
That’s one Master Key to perseverance.
Paul’s little story was another.
One of the strategies I frequently use to motivate myself is imagining how I will feel when I am finished working out — I always feel great.
Thinking of the end result gets me through the rough spots and periods of low-motivation.
Paul was at the rec center and overheard a conversation between two elderly men.
One said, “I tell myself, ‘I’ve never regretted a workout.’”
I thought this was brilliant, simply brilliant. A prime motivator for all of us is the question, “will it be worth it?”
This gentleman gives himself the pat (and true) answer that obviously has worked well into his advanced age.
Add that question to your repertoire.
People who persevere are no different from those who don’t; there is no magic willpower gene that makes us continue when we don’t feel like it.
The ONLY difference is that people who persevere learn and apply specific techniques every day to build habits of thought and action that keep them on the path of success. Often times a Lack of Will is just a Lack of Skill.
Think about that the next time you think you or your child doesn’t have what it takes to persevere.
Success leaves clues…
Ah, the New Year. This is the time when we are supposed to clear out the old and usher in the new, to wipe the slate clean and start all over. Or so they say.
What kind of way to go through life is that?
I can’t imagine wiping my brain clean of all the knowledge and experience I worked hard for each year and thinking that starting from scratch every January is a good strategy.
It’s really daft when you think about it.
Last year, January 2012, I decided to buck the trend and not to focus on anything new. I’ve lived long enough and have had enough different experiences that I thought I’d rather take a look at things I started but didn’t finish, and other things I got pretty good at but not great, and get back to them.
This starting from scratch every year mindset is like building the foundation of a house. Then, instead of building the walls and roof, you go and build a new foundation each year. Looking back after a few years all you see are a bunch of empty foundations. Not one complete house.
I played the piano as a child. I took it up again as an adult. I stopped my lessons for 2 months to work on my book. I scheduled my return date, Jan. 10th, to resume my lessons.
What I DIDN’T do was decide to take up a different musical instrument and try to start from scratch just because it’s January.
Some people have a special closet, the one full of gear from 20 different activities that they gave up on all too soon, vainly giving in to NEW every year.
I wouldn’t forgive myself if I were a Yellow Belt in 10 different martial arts, or could only play Chopsticks on 10 different instruments because of the siren song of “novelty.”
Last year I published another book, Systema Revelations. The many articles that comprise the book were written years ago. Last year I decided, not to write something totally new, but to FINISH something I had mostly done. To RE-NEW my efforts. 2013 is, for me, a continuation of many projects that I must finish this year; I have a computer full of them.
In 2013, I recommend you take a look at what’s old and make it new again by renewing your commitment to finish or to take things to a higher level. You may just have to add the small, next step to your effort to achieve something extraordinary.
You may be eating healthy already, but drinking soda may be the last little tweak you need to make to drop those last few pounds. You don’t need some crazy overhaul resolution that won’t last more than 3 weeks anyway.
My point is to ride out the momentum you already have home and add to it to accelerate you growth.
This year RE-NEW for Success.
I just heard on NPR today that the Zig Ziglar has died at the age of 86. If you don’t know who Zig Ziglar is, let me begin by telling you how I first heard of him.
I had just graduated from college and moved to Fort Meyers, Florida to continue my martial arts training. I was staying in the living room of a student I had met and have since become close friends with, and I had just begun teaching at Mr. Wedlake’s martial arts school. I was also working at a bike shop on Fort Myers Beach in the daytime, before classes started. I didn’t really know what I wanted to do professionally, but I did know that I wanted my own martial arts school. Working for my teacher gave me the vision that it was possible to teach martial arts full-time without being distracted by “a real job”.
While in Florida, my father thought he would help me out so he emailed me two cassette tapes and told me to listen to them. It was one of the best things he ever did for me, a young adult. One of these cassettes had the name Zig Ziglar on it with the word “goals” on the other side. On my way to the martial arts school, I popped the cassette into the player of my Dodge Aries K, nicknamed Blue Thunder, and was immediately enthralled.
Up to this point, I’d never heard any type of motivational speaking outside of church or my dad’s other favorite speaker, Leo Buscaglia, on PBS. Leo spoke mainly about love while the Zig was talking to me about hopes, dreams and what I would make with my life. It was exactly what I needed at that point in time because these were the questions I sought to answer as I wrote in my journal sitting under a palm tree beside the pool in our apartment complex.
Zig gave me the idea to put up visual reminders of my goals everywhere through his “Jockey shorts” story. He was looking at a magazine and saw a picture of a model wearing jockey shorts. He thought to himself that he wanted to look like the guy in the ad, and not like himself, so he ripped out the picture and put it up on his bathroom mirror. That way he could look at the picture every morning for inspiration and to remind himself of the goal he was working toward. He even went so far as to put his weight in a new book he was publishing. The catch was that the weight he wrote down in his book was about 46 pounds less than he currently weighed. Because he made it public, it forced him to actually lose the weight before the book came out. Long before scientists like Roy Baumeister studied willpower and came to the same conclusions, Zig was using such proven strategies to achieve his goals.
I went through Zig’s goal setting process for all parts of my life:
- state your goal
- set a completion date
- list the knowledge you will need
- to list the groups you will work with
- list the obstacles to your goal
- list the steps you will have to take to achieve your goal, your plan of action
- state why you want your goal, “what’s in it for me?”
One of my goals was to open a martial arts school, but I realized Florida was not the place, Colorado was what I wanted and chose to live. As soon as I got my own room (when Ozzie realize I wasn’t going away we found a two-bedroom apartment in the complex and moved), I hunted down a map of the state of Colorado, bought a really ugly Colorado Rockies hat and put up posters of snowboarders and a No Fear poster of a rock climber on my bedroom walls. I researched all I could about the state of Colorado, narrowing down my choice to Boulder County. I sketched out what my school would look like and made a 3-D drawing of the interior, which I also put on my wall. I didn’t have a school or a business, but according to Zig what I needed and what I could have was a plan. I began spending my free time in the library and checked out every book I could on how to open my own business. I bought a giant three-ring binder, and without any help laid out every aspect of the martial arts school and how to run it I could. I created a massive business plan in my spare time. Oddly enough, when I presented this plan to David Macy he rented me the space for my first school on the strength of my business plan alone.
Zig was a phenomenal speaker who got his start as a door-to-door salesman selling cookware. He began motivating other salesman and eventually generalized his lessons to the rest of life. Zig is famous for his quote, “you can have everything you want if you help enough people get when they want.” As far as guiding principles go, this is one of the best because it begins with service to others instead of greed and selfishness. It acknowledges that each of us has our own needs and desires, but the best way to fulfill them is to help other people first, to give before we receive. A bonus of following this advice is that research has shown that helping other people makes us happier than the actual goals we’re striving for. The real gold is in building strong relationships.
Third, was the idea that motivation wears off and that disciplined action is what is needed for long-term success. Success is about much more than just feeling good, it really is about doing what you know you need to do when you feel the worst. Motivational speakers get a bad rap because they pump everyone up and move the show onto the next town, leaving everyone feeling good for a while but without the discipline to take the necessary steps and follow through once the speaker is gone. Sometimes we all need to be pumped up, but what we really need to do is get to it– now.
Zig Ziglar is dead but we can all benefit from his expertise through his speeches and writings. I’m thankful for that, I’m thankful that he chose to share his expertise and I’m thankful for my father for exposing me to Zig Ziglar.
Rest in peace.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
If April is the cruelest month then March is the luckiest, thanks to the Irish. People extol the virtues of luck, and being lucky, as if it is some magical quality that you have no control over. But let’s take a closer look at luck.
- Are you the lucky type that always gets the parking space right next to the store?
- Are you “lucky in love?”
- Do you produce lucky streaks at the craps table in Vegas because you are on a roll?
- Do things always seem to go your way?
If so, or if you know someone like this, we need to talk.
There is another way to describe this type of luck, its called random chance.
I’ll bet that if you add up all the times you were looking for that perfect parking space but had to settle for one a little farther back you’d see that, statistically speaking, you are probably about average in getting the prime spot. Plus, the higher and faster the turnover rate, the more likely you are to find an open spot up front.
And no previous roll of the dice affects the probabilities on the current roll; it doesn’t change them or make “7’s” more likely than they already are. That streak is just a statistical hiccup that eventually averages out in the long run.
Sorry to burst your “lucky bubble.” However….I do have Good News!
You CAN affect how lucky you are.
“The harder I work, the more luck I seem to have.”
Once you see the connection between luck and probability, you now have the key to being as lucky as you want. Let’s define luck as a good event, lucky meaning having GOOD LUCK. Let’s also say that a “lucky outcome” definitely happens once every ten times, so 10% of the time:
Try 1 time, you have a 10% chance of a lucky event.
(people would see you as not very lucky)
Try 10 times, you are guaranteed a lucky event.
(people would say you got lucky)
Try 100 times, you are guaranteed 10 lucky events.
(people would say you are a Lucky Person!)
So how do you control your luck?
Luck Secret #1: Try More
By the one thing you can directly control — how many times you attempt something. The more you attempt, the greater the likelihood of a lucky event popping up. This is called “The Law of Large Numbers.” Babe Ruth hit lots of home runs…but he also struck out more than any other hitter of his day. What do we remember, the home runs or the strike outs?
Luck Secret #2: Try Longer
We have a saying, “Black Belts are just White Belts Who Didn’t Quit” but no one would consider Black Belts lucky. We all know earning a Black Belt takes hard work, but take note of this luck secret: the longer you are in the game the better chance you have of being in a position to win. Good events sometimes need time to find you.
Luck Secret #3: Be Somewhere
I know people whose lives consist of the same routine. They wake up, go to work, come home and watch TV. And repeat daily. The narrow scope of their routine only allows for a limited possibility of experience. There’s little chance of a Lucky Event happening without changing their routine and getting out in the world, doing different things, meeting new people and going to different places.
Luck Secret #4: Be Prepared
“Luck is when Opportunity Meets Preparation”
Be prepared to take advantage of lucky opportunities as they arise. I’m sure you have many opportunities knock on your door but you are not in a position to profit from them. If you are looking for a great deal on a new home, NOW is the time because people are walking away from their homes and everything is “on sale.” If you are prepared, you can tell everyone you found a lucky deal.
If you want to increase your luck remember that L.U.C.K. stands for Laboring Under Correct Knowledge.
One final story about luck:
A man asks God to win the lottery. (now there’s a truly lucky event).
Each week when he doesn’t win he asks, “God, why won’t you help me?”
To which God replies,”At least you have to buy a lottery ticket.”
About two weeks ago Bruce Tiemann told me that he had been tying his shoes wrong and saw a lecture about how to do it correctly. I don’t recall what brought this subject up, but it might have been something about tying Jai’s karate belt.
Of course I learned to tie my shoes the same way, and when he explained it to me I knew I was in the same boat. Aside from pure curiosity, I had a vested interest in testing this whole shoe-tying thing out.
I have a pair of LL Bean slippers that are among my favorite things, especially on cold winter days like today. My aggravation has been that, as comfortable as they are they have leather laces that constantly come untied. As a result I’m regularly tripping on them and I’ve developed a love-hate relationship with these shoes. I’ve even been looking at a different kind of slipper to replace them with.
So home I went to try this “new way to tie my shoes.”
How’d it go?
With the correct way, i.e. a stronger knot, my leather laces stayed tied for about a week and I haven’t tripped over them once. It turns out it wasn’t the slippers’ fault.
Success! Thanks for the tip Bruce.
Here are three BIG points to take from learning how to tie your shoes:
1. Never take for certain how you’ve been taught something.
You might not have been shown the best way to do things, and you might not have learned correctly and completely. Kenpo Grandmaster Ed Parker said that tradition should be bound by knowledge, that tradition should change as we learn more about our world. There are many ways to perform the same task, some are equally correct while some are objectively superior. If you’ve learned something incorrectly or inefficiently don’t hold on to it because of habit.
2. Always be prepared to change and adapt your beliefs and behavior based on new evidence.
This is not waffling, flip-flopping or being wish-washy as politicians are apt to accuse each other of, it’s being an intelligent person. I’m not talking about changing because of an opinion, but because of new, proven information. Prior beliefs may no longer serve you and need to go for you to progress.
I’ll never consciously tie my shoes the old way again, based on this new information. As Oliver Wendell Holmes said, “a mind stretched by a new idea never goes back to its original dimension.”
3. Little Tweaks Make Big Differences.
Sure these two knots are similar and when it comes to tying your shoes it might not matter to you much, but what if that knot was responsible for saving your life? A little difference like looping the knot in the other direction has major consequences.
Whether it is god or the devil in the details, details matter. Martial arts students know that the small details are the difference between a technique working and failing utterly, which is why the expert eye of a master instructor is necessary.
I’ve posted a link to the video so you can see for yourself and try it out:
I was driving home from Denver recently when I looked over at the car passing me when I noticed the bumper sticker on the back that read, “my kid can choke out your honor student,” right next to a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu school sticker. Now, I’m sure that this person is very proud of his martial arts school and how tough it makes him and/or his child feel, but something immediately struck me as wrong about that bumper sticker.
First, an image immediately popped to my mind: a rough and tough kid bullying the skinny smart kid in class. That image took me back to my own days in school when I began self-defense training because I wasn’t the biggest, toughest kid in class (but I was an honor student). This bumper sticker and its attendant philosophy seemed a distortion of everything I’ve learned martial arts. Instead of humility and only using martial arts in self-defense, now someone is using his martial arts training to lord it over the smart kids, the successful kids. It seemed very low-class to me, as if this child has nothing else going for him other than the fact that he can beat up other kids.
That mentality is really sad especially to me, a martial arts instructor.
The US has gone from a place where we were proud to show off our children’s accomplishments in school by letting people know that he or she is an Honors Student — it’s an honor — to a place where others might feel bad because someone else is doing better in school than they are so everyone is honored. Now, parents can just teach their children to beat up other kids who out-perform them in school. For a time, it seemed that the US was moving away from being a barbaric society but signs such as these make me wonder.
This whole “my kid can choke out your honor student” mentality reminds me of a proposed sequel of sorts to the movie Revenge of the Nerds. In the original the nerds were tired of being picked on by the jocks and got their revenge in increasingly humorous ways. The sequel idea was that the nerds are all grown up and control everything because of the rise of technology & the internet and their mastery of both. The former jocks are left out in the cold so these washed up athletes plot their revenge.
Let’s leave aside clique warfare for a second and turn our eyes to the martial arts technique in question: choking or strangling another person until he passes out. Learning to close off the airways and/or blood flow to the brain of another child is serious business. There are 2 factors to consider here: one is the child learning the technique at all/whether or not a child can display correct judgment in its application and, two, is the judgment of the adult teaching this technique to a child.
Consider teaching children how to wrestle. Of course they do so naturally and boys often enjoy wrestling with each other. The goal in wrestling is to pin your opponent’s shoulders to the mat. Of course there are takedowns and throws but there are no chokes or manipulations of an opponent’s neck. After all wrestling is a sport and no one wants to be injured while playing. Sport is on the other end of the spectrum from self-defense. Martial arts are exactly that, for war and combat, hence the “martial.” The martial arts contains thousands of techniques and ways to injure an attacker including choking, not all of which should be taught to children.
There are many things the children cannot do because they lack maturity and responsibility. We do not allow our children to drink alcohol, they must be a certain age to be able to drive a car, they cannot enter into binding contracts, they cannot be prosecuted as adults for crimes, etc. Society and our legal system make distinctions between the privileges of adults versus the restrictions placed on minors.
The question is, it ethical and necessary to teach children how to literally choke the life out of each other? What purpose does it serve? Is there some pressing need for children to have the knowledge take the life of a child? Or is this something that should be, like handguns, reserved for use only by adults? Are there other alternative martial art techniques that children could learn to keep themselves equally safe? Would they be equally served by learning every technique just shy of the killing techniques?
When I was a child learning martial arts myself I learned a technique that contain a full-power strike to the opponent’s throat. My teacher told me to be very careful because the strike had the ability to kill the person if enough damage was done to his larynx. Now, when I teach this technique to children I change the target to make it non-lethal; that is my responsibility as their teacher.
I remember thinking to myself that I now had the power to take someone’s life with one strike. Far from being exhilarating, it was scary. Perhaps I had the insight to realize the power I was given and the responsibility not to use it unless absolutely necessary, however, that realization stuck with me for a long time, holding the power of life and death in my hands, literally. Even so, I was a teenager at the time and older than most children who are learning how to choke others out, honor student or not.
Years ago, I heard a story from Small Circle Ju-Jitsu Grandmaster Wally Jay about a martial arts instructor who was teaching a class how to choke each other out. To make sure they were performing the technique correctly he had them all choke him out. Due to being choked over and over by the students in a short time-span he eventually blacked out. A tragic thing occurred next. No one knew how to help him because he failed to teach any students how to revive someone who had been choked out. The result? He died.
Professor Jay said that if you learn how to hurt someone you must also know how to heal him or her. I cannot begin to count the number of adults I’ve come across who have learned how to choke someone out and do not know how to revive him or her. They all sing the same refrain, “it just never occurred to me (that I needed to know that).”
Jiu-Jitsu, like most martial arts, contains enough techniques to keep children busy and learning self-defense until they grow up to the point when they are emotionally and mentally ready to learn choking or lethal techniques.
When I teach my students ground-fighting I teach them the underlying structure and framework of fighting on the ground. Later they can build their choking techniques upon that framework and add it to their existing skills when they are older and more mature.
There is absolutely no need for a child to learn how to choke another child into unconsciousness. I’ve heard the arguments for teaching kids chokes and not one has convinced me otherwise. And bringing out exceptions to the rule (the son of a martial arts teacher usually), children learning chokes and just never being put into a position to hurt someone, or children just being lucky enough not to inflict permanent injury on someone are not valid arguments that we should teach kids how to choke others to unconsciousness or death.
A martial arts instructor who teaches minors how to potentially kill another person retains personal responsibility and culpability for that child’s actions. Teaching martial arts is like giving a child a loaded gun, only this deadly knowledge cannot be taken away as easily as a gun can be. A child who learns how to shoot can be disarmed by denying him access to guns, but a child cannot “unlearn” how to choke another child out if he abuses his skill.
We have laws to prosecute bartenders who over-serve overtly drunk people who then drink-and-drive and injure other people. The same is true of adults teaching children how to choke each other out. If your student chokes another child to death, the authorities will be knocking on your door.
Your judgment of an adult who would teach a child how to choke another child to death must be suspect. If you heard an adult say to you, “I’m going to teach your child how to potentially kill another child and, by the way, here’s a bumper sticker to slap on your car to brag about his ability,” how would you react? I doubt the word “trust” would ever come to mind.
I guess it’s time to teach all my honor students how to escape being choked out by some Jiu-Jitsu bully…
Recently one of our Karate Moms asked me this insightful question. To tell the truth, I just always assumed that of course our students are intelligent and do well in school—that’s what we do. I’d never gave it much more thought than that. Upon further reflection I came up with…
3 Big Reasons Why SMAA is Full of Intelligent Children
#1: High-Achieving Families Realize That We Teach The Very Skills They Need To Excel in Academic School But That They Aren’t Learning Elsewhere
Our families know that IQ is nothing without Focus, Discipline, Perseverance, Resilience and the many other LifeSkills we excel at instilling in our children. Everyone knows these skills are critical success factors but few people really know how to cultivate these abilities like we do. Worse, people tend to teach children the exact opposite lessons, virtually guaranteeing that children do not learn proper LifeSkills.
Our children receive a Systematic Education on how to develop these critical Life Skills. Our staff, and the SMAA parents, all agree that leading by example is the best way to teach our children.
Shared Values and Parenting Philosophy
In addition, our families share common values and Parenting Philosophy. High-Achieving Families know that the Core Martial Arts Values, including Respect, Commitment and Social Intelligence, directly influence how successful their children will be in school and in life.
Our families always act in the best Long-Term Interests of Their Child versus feeling good in the short-term. This philosophy allows them to overcome almost any obstacle in the way of high-achievement and happiness.
#2: High-Achieving Families Tend to Know Each Other
This is the simple answer. Once the first few families with gifted, high-achieving children began their study with us, they naturally spread the word to their friends. Over time we have built a reputation as “THE place to go to for academically-minded families.”
The most intelligent parents realize that the real benefits of a quality martial arts school do not just come from putting a child in a uniform and a belt and then jumping into a huge class of screaming kids.
#3: High-Achieving Families Are Drawn To SMAA Because of
the Unique Knowledge And Experience of Our Heads of School
Of course when new families first meet Master Brad and Dr. Karla Scornavacco they immediately know that SMAA is “far beyond the ordinary martial arts school.” Their educational backgrounds, including Harvard, Northwestern and CU create an environment of higher learning and academic achievement unmatched in Colorado.
Our “Education-Centered” Martial Arts Academy naturally attracts intelligent and well-educated families, both inside and outside academia.
So there you have it. SMAA successfully marries the best Martial Arts Character Development Strategies with a solid background in the Best Educational Practices. Our families take the long-view with their children’s mental and emotional education, sharing the oft-forgotten traditional values that create intelligent citizens with strong character. Finally, these families invite other, like-minded families to join them.
Yesterday two unrelated, strange events happened. The first was that a friend and associate received a great opportunity. This time-consuming opportunity means that I won’t be seeing him for quite some time. Neither of us saw this coming. The second was that I received a phone call with an opportunity for a Sunday night out with Dr. Karla that I hadn’t been expecting nor even on the lookout for.
I’ve been writing in the Master Club Newsletter lately about time and how to take control of it, including scheduling. While scheduling is necessary, so is being ready and able to adapt to change as it comes. My friend Doug, seeing a chance he couldn’t pass up, radically changed his life. For Dr. Karla and me taking advantage of a unique opportunity just meant some creative thinking to find a babysitter so we could go see Sheryl Crow perform at the Boulder Theater.
For Doug his chance is potentially life-changing while ours was a frivolous night out. The commonality between these two strange events is that neither chance took us away from our goals, instead enchanting our lifestyles. Doug’s business will most certainly thrive now and our impromptu Date Night did nothing to take away from our family time or our work time.
All plans are subject to change. Call it flexible rigidity or rigid flexibility. Make plans and only change them when the change either advances your life-goals or does nothing to detract from them. Finally, be open to the change and chance events that life throws your way.
Two more just did! With several more within striking distance.
Something just got me thinking once again about our recent Junior Black Belts, Tristan Smith and Bryce Roberts, who joined the growing number of Black Belts at SMAA. Each time I look out on the training floor and see Black Belts training hard and being great role models, it takes a nothing day and makes it all worthwhile.
Ah, I remember now. I got up and went for a swim this morning, an activity I’ve grown to really enjoy. But, you know, I was dragging this morning having not gotten a good night’s sleep. I was too tired to exercise, or at least that is what part of my mind was whining about. I didn’t want to go, and this was something I really like to do. (read that line again, or a few times) Luckily for me, I also have an adult inside my head, one who created a simple system to help me when I get this way. I call it “Connect the D.O.T.S.”
D.O.T.S. stands for the DO ONE THING SYSTEM. I had to ultimately get in the water and swim but that goal brought all the things I’d have to do to get there. It seemed overwhelming.
So tracing back all the things I needed to do to get my rear in the pool was one simple thing–get in the car. Once I did one thing, all I had to do was change. Then, all I had to think about was stepping off the side of the pool. Then, all I thought about was leaving the side of the pool, etc.
Always focused on the next DOT, doing one thing, while I knew my ultimate goal. Before I knew it I swam my laps and here I am working away, awake and feeling ready to rock.
This little episode, which I repeat almost daily, reminded me of the Junior Black Belts because adults often forget that we go through the same challenges and must overcome the same obstacles our kids must. This is life, and it is not bound by age. Kids not only learn persistence and overcoming frustration–they must.
Early on in life I adopted a philosophy that the sooner I figured out “the rules of the game of life” and aligned with them the more time I would have to enjoy life, come what may.
The Junior Black Belts have a huge head-start.