We all experience pain, discomfort, disappointment, and frustrations.
That difficulty is an opportunity to get stronger, to develop character, to gain a new perspective. Anybody can fall apart; anybody can get bitter—that’s easy. But what that’s doing is wasting your pain.
That pain is not there to stop you; it’s there to develop you, to prepare you, to increase you.
In 1982, researchers aboard the space shuttle Columbia did an experiment with honeybees. They took them up into space to study the effects of weightlessness on them.
According to a NASA memo, the bees “were unable to fly normally and tumbled into weightlessness.” Then it was reported that “the bees have all gotten stationary.”
The bees did not have to use their wings, did not have to exert any effort, did not have any resistance. They just floated around.
Later they all died. They may have loved having it easy, having no adversity, but they weren’t created for that. You might say that they enjoyed the ride, but they died.
We need life’s challenges, struggles, and hardships. They make us better.
Don’t just go through the challenge. Grow through it. Learn the lesson, develop the new mindset, improve your skills, and you will come out stronger on the other side!
Hard work, practice, and extra effort are the keys to success in everything you do. When you do just enough to get by, problems are inevitable and you never feel good about yourself.
Black Belt Champions set goals and never give up. They give 100% of their effort and energy to accomplishing the task. That doesn’t mean that you don’t have bad days or feel a little off. That happens to everyone.
The key is to show up the next day ready to do your best and stay determined to move one step closer to achieving your goal.
I have never seen anyone fail to achieve a Black Belt, but I have seen people give up too soon!
Check out this story about actor Jim Carrey’s non quitting spirit...
When Carrey was 14 years old, his father lost his job, and his family hit rough times. They moved into a VW van on a relative’s lawn, and the young aspiring comedian—who was so dedicated to his craft that he mailed his resume toThe Carroll Burnett Show just a few years earlier, at age 10—took an eight-hours-per-day factory job after school to help make ends meet.
At age 15, Carrey performed his comedy routine onstage for the first time—in a suit his mom made him—and totally bombed, but he was undeterred. The next year, at 16, he quit school to focus on comedy full time. He moved to LA shortly after, where he would park on Mulholland Drive every night and visualize his success. One of these nights he wrote himself a check for $10,000,000 for “Acting Services Rendered,” which he dated for Thanksgiving 1995. Just before that date, he hit his payday with Dumb and Dumber. He put the deteriorated check, which he’d kept in his wallet the whole time, in his father’s casket.
Be sure to check out our martial arts gift package special for kids and adults on our Facebook page and website!
This is a terrific message to share during National Bullying Prevention Awareness Month. Sometimes we don’t realize that the bully bullies others because they are hurting. We could make significant progress in reducing the number of kids being bullied if we could get more of the kids who are doing the bullying involved in our martial arts program. Take a minute and watch this video and see if you agree. https://youtu.be/8mmIu5IZmvE
Note: These girls are ACTORS. They are young poets from the amazing LA organization GetLit.org. They are reciting a POEM that was written by poet Gina Loring.
If you would like to learn more about how we develop confident kids with respect for self and others please visit us at www.freedommartialarts.net.
October is National Bully Prevention Month. Here are a few simple strategies that you can do to help reduce the chances of your child being bullied. We like to use the acronym; H.E.L.P.
The “H” means to “Have a plan”. Unfortunately, bullying is rampart in our society. Statistics tell us that 1 in 4 kids are bullied. There are 160,000 kids that miss school every day because of bullying. And 86% of the kids that are bullied say that it interferes with their school work. Bullying is NOT okay.
Here's a short story about a father and son who were doing some chores around the house when the father got called into work. He asked the son to finish stacking some wood and he would return ASAP.
When the father returned after a couple of hours, he found the son trying to put the last pieces of wood on top of the pile. But the logs were so heavy, the boy couldn’t get the wood on top. The boy tried and tried, but the wood was too heavy.
Finally, the dad said; “son, you’re not using all your strength.” In an exhausted state, the boy said; “Dad, I’m trying as much as I can.” The Dad replied; “that’s not what I said. I said you’re not using all your strength…. because I would help you if you asked me to.”.
Bullying is a serious thing and it hurts people’s feelings and makes them feel badly about themselves. I want you to always remember, if you get bullied, I want you to always reach out and ask for help. You’re not in this alone. You have strength outside yourself.
You can learn more about how martial arts lessons can help your child to become bully proof by visiting us at www.freedommartialarts.net.
Once upon a time a daughter complained to her father that her life was miserable and that she didn’t know how she was going to make it. She was tired of fighting and struggling all the time. It seemed just as one problem was solved, another one soon followed.
Her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen. He filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire.
Once the three pots began to boil, he placed potatoes in one pot, eggs in the second pot, and ground coffee beans in the third pot.
He then let them sit and boil, without saying a word to his daughter. The daughter, moaned and impatiently
waited, wondering what he was doing.
After twenty minutes he turned off the burners. He took the potatoes out of the pot and placed them in a bowl.
He pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. He then ladled the coffee out and placed it in a cup. Turning to her he asked. “Daughter, what do you see?”
“Potatoes, eggs, and coffee,” she hastily replied.
“Look closer,” he said, “and touch the potatoes.” She did and noted that they were soft. He then asked her
to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. Its rich aroma brought a smile to her face.
“Father, what does this mean?” she asked.
He then explained that the potatoes, the eggs and coffee beans had each faced the same adversity– the boiling
However, each one reacted differently.
The potato went in strong, hard, and unrelenting, but in boiling water, it became soft and weak.
The egg was fragile, with the thin outer shell protecting its liquid interior until it was put in the boiling water. Then the inside of the egg became hard.
However, the ground coffee beans were unique. After they were exposed to the boiling water, they changed the water and created something new.
“Which are you,” he asked his daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a potato, an egg, or a coffee bean? “
Moral:In life, things happen around us, things happen to us, but the only thing that truly matters is what happens within us.
Which one are you?
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When you Google Indomitable Spirit, here is what comes up….
“People described as having an indomitable spirit don't need pep talks or protein shakes; their strength comes from within. The adjective indomitable starts with the Latin prefix in, which means "not." The second part of the word is also from the Latin word domitare, meaning ‘to tame’.”
Russell Redenbaugh was building a model rocket in his garage when he was 16 years old. The rocket went off accidentally leaving him totally blind and with permanent damage to both hands (he lost 6 fingers).
He was determined to not live the life as a typical handicap person. He shifted his focus to action. He focused on what he could do, and not what he couldn’t. Despite being rejected by Stanford and Harvard, he went on to earn an MBA from the Wharton School in the University of Pennsylvania.
At the age of fifty, Redenbaugh started training in the martial arts. As a blind person missing fingers, he won several competitions in 2003, 2004 and 2005. In 2010, Redenbaugh earned the rank of black belt.
Today he is an ultra-successful economist, investor, and inspirational speaker.
Russell wrote a book entitled, “Shift the Narrative: A Blind Man’s Vision for Rewriting the Stories that Limit Us”
Check out his TED Talk here: https://youtu.be/AOOc3VO_Gyg
At the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona, British sprinter Derek Redmond had his dreams of an Olympic medal crushed by a debilitating hamstring injury in the middle of a semi-final race.
But whereas most athletes would just submit to defeat, bend over, and cry, Redmond was determined to finish what he started. So, he picks himself up off the ground and begins hobbling around the track toward the finish line.
Then, just when it seems he might not be able to go on any longer, Redmond’s dad breaks through security to get on the track and puts his arm around his son, who cries on his shoulder as the two finish the race together.
Derek's dream of winning was over, yet he still knew how important it was to finish the race he started. What a great lesson for us all! It's easy to be a great starter. Champions in life are great finishers!
Here’s a clip of this touching moment set to inspirational music by Coldplay.
You can learn more about us at www.freedommartialarts.net.
John McEnroe is known as one of the best tennis players in history. He won 77 singles titles, 78 doubles titles, and 7 major titles (4 US Open and 3 Wimbledon).
He was not only known as an incredible tennis player. He was infamous for his temper tantrums on the court that often landed him in trouble with umpires and tennis authorities.
In 1984 McEnroe was playing a match in Stockholm, Sweden he argued with an umpire over a call then got so angry with the umpire’s call, he grabbed a tennis ball and hit it into the crowd. Still angry with the umpire, he walked off the court and smashed a chair and table with his tennis racquet.
While McEnroe was one of the best players in history, his temper cost him many matches, titles, and money over the years. Not to mention, he made himself look ridiculous on many occasions.
We all get angry from time to time. We can’t control what happens in the world. We can’t control what other people say or do, however we can control how we respond to it.
Surely, in the moment it is hard. Sometimes the best answer is to walk away, take a few deep breaths and regain your composure.
Black Belt Champions are not perfect however the true mark of true martial arts practitioner is one that can apply the lessons learned on the mat and remember to put them to use off the mat!
We have all said things in a moment of anger that we later regretted. The problem is even after an apology, you can’t take those words back. They are out there and most people won’t forget what was said.
Here’s an idea. Learn to turn frustration into fascination. Instead of being angry and frustrated at what someone says or does, learn to become fascinated at their actions and thought process. Become fascinated by their point of view.
Does it work every time? No! Nothing works all the time; however, it does work a lot of the time and this little trick can save you from saying and doing things you may later regret.
To learn more about us please visit us at www.freedommartialarts.net.
One of the things that I have always enjoyed about martial arts training is the opportunity to step onto the mats and eliminate the clutter that has managed to take root in my head. During that training time all of the cares of the world fade away and a zen like state is achieved as the mind becomes calm and focused on the training at hand.
How can we apply the principle of Kanso to the rest our lives? Take a good hard look at pruning people, places, processes and things that are cluttering up your path; that are not adding value to your life or helping you to grow.
To help you get started take a moment to think of just one thing that makes you anxious or unhappy. Eliminate it from your life immediately. Just the thought of getting rid of it makes you feel better already right?! Tomorrow you can choose another and repeat the process.
Enjoy your day!
To learn more about us please visit our website at www.freedommartialarts.net. We would love to hear from you.
On one sunny afternoon a man was walking along the beach and saw another man fishing in the surf with a bait bucket beside him. As he drew closer, he saw that the bait bucket had no lid and had live crabs inside.
“Why don't you cover your bait bucket so the crabs won't escape?” he asked. "You don't understand.” the man replied, "If there is one crab in the bucket it would surely crawl out very quickly. However, when there are many crabs in the bucket, if one tries to crawl up the side, the others will grab hold of it and pull it back down so that it will share the same fate as the rest of them."
Can you relate to this story of the crabs in the bucket?
This is very typical human behavior. If someone tries to improve him or herself, dream big or try something new even our close friends and family can become the crabs that want to pull us back down. It’s not always intentional of course but people like to stay in their own little bubble or comfort zone and want to keep you right there with them!
What’s the lesson here?
Ignore the crabs and don’t be a crab! Fire ahead and do what is right for you. If God has blessed you with a great gift or talent, go ahead and with a leap of faith, give birth to your dreams. It may not be easy and you may not succeed 100% of the time, but you will NEVER share the same fate as those who never try.
Though our martial arts program our students learn to go for it! They also learn that in order to grow personally it is imperative that they encourage and build up those around them. Strength truly is in unity.
You can learn more about us at www.freedommartialarts.net.