“The only real difference between anxiety and excitement was my willingness to let go of fear.”
- Barbara Brown Taylor
As a martial arts master instructor, I have had many opportunities in my career to assist my students in moving through their fears.
Whether it was stepping onto the mat for their first class, testing for a new belt, breaking a board with an unfamiliar technique, or stepping into the sparring ring versus an opponent, the fear and anxiety felt can be palpable and cause one to freeze or give up before they ever try.
However, one thing I have noticed throughout the years, is those who chose to move...
“What you focus on grows, what you think about expands, and what you dwell upon determines your destiny.”
- Robin Sharma
Champions, whether it be in sports, business or in life, understand one very simple concept - what we focus on expands.
Think about a vision you have for your life and/or your business. When you focus on the things that empower you on your journey to achieving your dream, the things that excite you and feed your soul on your quest, you usually experience people or circumstances that support you on your path.
Conversely, when you just focus on the challenges...
“Surrender to what is. Let go of what was. Have faith in what will be.”
- Sonia Ricotti
When we get honest with ourselves, most of the upset we experience in our lives is due not to what happens to us or what others have done to us, but to our perceptions, judgements, and stories we attach to these occurrences.
While there are instances in life that can seem devastating at the time they occur, it is my experience that once we move through, accept, and process these experiences, they are often the catalyst for our most valuable life lessons of growth and expansion.
The two most devasting events of my life were losing my 11-year-old brother to a drowning accident the summer before my senior year of high school and going through divorce after a 26-year relationship with my wife.
In both instances, I did not know if I had the strength to carry on.
I was hurt, frustrated, scared and angry. While in this state, I placed blame on others, on...
“I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You're doing things you've never done before, and more importantly; you're doing something.”
- Neil Gaiman
Every four months, I receive a new group of Black Belt Candidates from our martial arts organization to train in preparation for their upcoming Black Belt Testing with me.
Since most of these candidates are my student’s students, this is the first time many of them have trained with me. As you might...
“Dedicating your time to being AGAINST something is the same as dedicating your life to something you hate; you feed it with your energy. Knowing what you are against, helps you decide what you are FOR. From there, the best thing to do is to pour all of your focus and time and energy into what you are FOR instead.”
- Teal Swan
In our society, we are so conditioned to focus on what we are against.
Today, entire platforms, movements, philosophies and political agendas can be based on this “against-ness”.
Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world.”
- Joel A. Barker
I believe we are all born with a vision for what we want in our lives inside of us.
Just think back to when you were child and the numerous visions you had for what you wanted to be in when you “grew up”. Your imagination was boundless. I personally wanted to be a cartoonist, a doctor, an astronaut and a super-hero (Actually, when I was 5-years old, I WAS Batman).
I believe these visions are set inside of us so that we have a path of...
“It is during our darkest moments that we must focus to see the light.”
- Aristole Onasis
Each year, I am blessed to share my message of Black Belt Leadership and its Mind of a Champion principles with several groups across the country.
During many of these sessions, I discuss how the negative stories we create in our minds about our lives can dis-empower us and keep us from experiencing the happiness and success we desire.
In contrast, I also share how Forward Focused thinking, can be used to overcome our perceived obstacles, and also re-frame our challenges as blessings in our lives when we really look at them with...
“There is nothing either good or bad but thinking makes it so.”
It is easy for all of us to label experiences in our lives as "good" or "bad" based on how they compare to our expectations. It can be easy to reflect on our experiences as “bad” when things don’t go the way we planned.
However, if the recent pandemic has taught us anything, it is that we need to be flexible in how we view situations and nimble in our approach to dealing with challenges that arrive us safely and triumphantly on the other side
It is often not until much time has passed that the situations we have judged as the most negative can be seen as...
“Success isn’t always about greatness. It’s about consistency. Consistent hard work leads to success. Greatness will come.”
- Dwyane Johnson
As I was hesitating to begin my daily mini-exercise routine this morning because I felt tired and sorry for myself, I was reminded of a story I heard many years ago.
An elderly man who seemed to defy aging walked into a gym.
In his early nineties, he still possessed a strong and lean frame with a powerful chest and biceps and triceps a teenager would be jealous of.
His legs and his back were as solid as tree trucks,...
“There’s a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you do it only when circumstance permit. When you are committed to something, you accept no excuses, only results.”
- Art Turock
Several years ago, I was in a conference and heard a speaker make a cute little statement regarding the concept of commitment. It went like this...
“I had bacon and eggs this morning for the breakfast, the chicken was involved, but the pig was COMMITTED."
That statement, as trite as it might be, has always stuck with me. How committed am I...
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