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Personal Best Karate

Grapes are more valuable after they are crushed!

Posted: March 04, 2020

Ever wish for a problem-free existence?... me too! The idea of simply not having to deal with the challenges that are a part of every day can be very appealing. What about having someone to deal with all of them for you, so you do not have to give any attention to them at all? No family challenges, no time challenges, no financial challenges, etc.

Well, I think we all know that while we are always able to make our life better, the challenges we face and our ability to adapt is what gives us value in the marketplace of life. Think back to a time when you were younger - to something that upset you that now is trivial in nature. It is able to be less important today because you have endured hardship, adapted, grown and gotten better. This happens to those who are continually striving for their full potential in big and small ways every day.

Your perspective from these experiences can’t be given, it has to be earned, and the earning is what enables you to be a more valuable person to the people around you. Think about it this way; how much is a pound of grapes? Maybe $4.99? When is the last time you found a bottle of wine for $4.99. crushing the grapes and aging the juice is what brings its value up so high.

Three Final Considerations When Choosing Who Will be Your Role Model

Posted: February 24, 2020

When choosing a role model you are going to face an immediate dichotomy, and it is this: you want to find a role model to help you become better in an area than you are now, but your human tendency will want to be to choose someone just like you.  While there is a balance, I think you need to keep an open mind.  Should their morals and values be a match, - absolutely. But do keep in mind that the more they are like you, the more comfortable in your current habits and thoughts you will be. Remember - sustainable growth requires the willingness to continue to adapt to change and challenge.   


Another consideration is to keep your expectations of them in line.  No matter how much admiration you have for the person, they are, in the end, perfectly imperfect. A big part of their success may in fact, be due to how many times they were willing to feel the pain of failure; but keep in mind that with every wrong step they are closer to getting it right.  Yes, you have the chance to start on the shoulders of their learning, but you will still need to be willing to endure to get the result you want.

The Careful Art of Choosing A Role Model

Posted: February 18, 2020

In 1993, I had the chance to meet one of my personal development heroes, the legendary motivational speaker Mr. Zig Ziglar. 

As I listened to him answer questions in a very small group, I was able to ask him a question I had wondered.  “With everyone out giving advice on how to live, how do YOU choose who to listen to?” 

His answer was, as expected, brilliant.  He said,” Humans are physical, mental and spiritual.  Before I take someone’s advice to heart I look at them to see how their advice contributes to their happiness and the quality of their life.” After all, success at work is no replacement for a family starved of your attention.  Being purely spiritual but sitting and mediating all day is not going to do good for your physical body, while being physically fit but having a head filled with stress and anxiety is not good either. 

Getting The Most From Your Role Model Relationship

Posted: February 18, 2020

Fitness has been a part of my entire life.  Working out in martial arts schools and fitness centers is a daily occurrence for me.  How often I am surprised to see personal trainers who are deservedly being paid a private session, simply having a casual conversation for what amounts to half to three quarters of the time.  Make no mistake, social connection is key to a happy life, but is that the reason why this person hired a personal trainer?

When you take someone’s time, either with pay or by creating a mentoring relationship, respect that neither of you can ever get back that time invested. First, decide in advance the outcome of each visit or session and communicate it at the beginning so you are both less likely to become distracted.  Second, be open to their opinions.  Where you are is the result of your current habits and beliefs.  Where they are is a result of their habits and beliefs. If you want their results, but at the same time want to hold onto your own habits and beliefs, you may not be ready.  Change requires challenge; there is no way around it.  It may be the way you spend your time, your money, what you put into your body, how you view a topic or the physical or mental struggle,  you have to be willing to go through to get what you want. Finally, go into it knowing that since this is uncharted territory for you but very familiar for them, you will have lots of questions, so develop a comfort with asking questions.  The more you know the more potential you have to grow.

Where To Find A Role Model

Posted: February 03, 2020

One of my favorite sayings that is a fit for this topic is, “Fish Discover Water Last.”  Now before you think I have lost my mind, allow me to explain.  If you were to ask a fish “What is water?”, if they could talk, they may not be able to articulate the answer to you any better than someone asking a child, “What is air?”  The reason is because it is all around.  How do you recognize something that is a part of everything you do and everywhere you go?  You have to shut down your awareness so you can focus on the place you are, or the tasks at hand.    Like water for a fish or air for humans, role models to learn from are everywhere.  The challenge is that since they’re so much a part of what our world is, we have to NOT disregard them just because they are everywhere, and we have to guard our perception from tainted and our focus stolen by the very small percentage of negativity. 

So today, try doing two things. First, instead of walking through your world the way we all tend to, try looking everywhere you go for an example worth copying.  Appreciate the person who lets you go before them in line, the person who smiles, the team member at work who does the extra “just because”, the family member or friend who says something kind, etc.  Second, when you see a behavior that you like - copy it.  Be open to continually adding to what comes from you by borrowing great examples of what you see.  By adopting this, the world becomes a living laboratory of improvement for you. 

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