Fearing change is normal; everyone has to deal with it at some point. People fear…
The key to personal success
A few days ago, with a smile on my face, I remembered what we used to hear a lot from our Taekwondo Master.
Four simple but easy sentences that applied to all students – which gave us all orientation. These wisdoms have stuck with us, have accompanied us and actually gained in depth over the years, because, basically, they can be easily transferred from the dojo context to everyday life.
“I believe what I see”. Actions and not just words. Results are what count.
💪We live in a world that can often be very superficial. If you are not visible in the media, you hardly exist. The eternal story – what is reality, what is perception. Everything can be marketed, but in the end what count are the results, what we achieve at the end of the day. Projects, plans and promises are valuable if they are kept.
We often fail to implement our plans as soon as they become more difficult, more strenuous or lengthy and our ego no longer feels so flattered.
With the words “I believe what I see”, we were encouraged over and over again to follow through our plans and stick to our decisions.
Perhaps our master had already seen too many students who initially talked a lot about becoming black belts and wanted to train regularly, but then eventually threw in the towel. So he would just nod, saying “I believe what I see” and meaning, I’m glad you’re here, I hear what you say and promise, keep going and we’ll talk about it again, if you show with your actions that you are doing what you say.
🎯It is important in life that we first commit to ourselves.
➡️ Start by setting your own goals and then get specific; because without a clear intention, you will quickly slip back into old habits and excuses. Goals are good milestone that help keep on track and reveal when we're off course.
A goal channels and bundles our power. Especially when we get swamped in multitasking and there is too much chaos in our heads. In such situations, a clear goal helps channeling our strength again and ensuring that our creative energy continues to flow.
Clear and concrete goals are success factor and also lead the way to fulfillment. Goals help us change, grow, and move out of our comfort zone. Through our goals we expand our horizons – mentally, emotionally and socially.
As we move forward step by step, we can determine our progress – one belt level after the other, or one achievement after the other in life. A good goal always gives us something: a result, better health, money, career… – whatever we wish for.
Lesson No. 2
“Don’t speak, do it!” – listen, learn and act, with an open mind.
Learning and growing depends on the right attitude, foremost listening and implement what has been learned. Having an opinion and sharing it, is important, but not before having reached a proper understanding; effort and commitment rather than excuses will boost the learning process: being able to listen, ask pertinent questions, practice “not knowing” and the will to perceive beyond the surface, opens the mind to new perspectives instead.
This type of mind set also applies to interpersonal communication in general; We can learn every day from everyone. Above all, it depends on this basic attitude: intellectual openness paired with modesty and the willingness to listen and only than to discern or judge.
How often does it happen to you during the day that when others are talking, your thoughts are already on what you want to say yourself?
We don’t listen carefully
❌because we are busy with our own point of view
❌ because we are already convinced of our opinion and want to convince everyone else of the same
❌because we underestimate the person we are talking to and do not trust them as much
❌because we are under time pressure and are constantly involved in multitasking.
As a result, misunderstandings and conflicts often arise:
👉We miss opportunities because we miss important details
👉 We disappoint people who miss our attention and appreciation
👉 We weaken our performance or that of our comrades-in-arms, who also feel ignored
Active listening takes practice, try it like this:
➡️ Suppress the urge to interrupt, dominate the conversation, put yourself first, or offer advice to others on how to solve their problems. Instead, you simply focus on the message of your conversation partner without budding in.
“Close your eyes and follow through” – decide and then act without hesitation
Hesitation is deadly. It doesn’t matter if we are wrong or right with our decisions. Acting is the only way. Martial artists make decisions within seconds: dodge or attack, block first or counter? Where are the enemy’s weak points, which technique is the most effective to attack or defend?
Sometimes, however, we are overwhelmed by simple decisions in everyday life. Why?
How much time do we spend (or waste…) in front of the closet or when choosing our food in the restaurant or when shopping?
Because making a decision means that we have to part with potentially interesting alternatives at the same time, and we have a hard time with that.
➡️So try to make simple decisions within 7 breaths and rely on your intuition.
“Think hard and decide within 7 breaths“. This proverb comes from the Hagakure (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hagakure), the code of honor of the samurai, and teaches that thinking for too long dulls the sharp edge of a decision.
Not all decisions can be made in just 7 breaths. Clear. Depending on the decision, sometimes a rational basis is more important – facts, figures, pros and cons – but not always. If we lose ourselves in our pros and cons lists, make no decision at all and miss opportunities because we have too many equally attractive options, then 7 breaths should be enough.
In many situations we have forgotten how to listen to our intuition. Most of the time we don’t really perceive it, our head need to take control. However, when we are familiar with a subject and have experience, our intuition, the well-known gut feeling, can be a good guide. Our intuition retrieves stored experiences and insights in a matter of seconds and can act instinctively in decision-making or dangerous situations. For example, a fighter reacts without thinking: if the opponent draws a punch, he knows how to dodge or counter instinctively. The more experience we have in an area of life, the more reliable the gut feeling becomes.
Teaching No. 4
“Sit down and think”.
In martial arts, but also professionally and in life, to grow personally and progress, self-reflection is essential.
When we look at ourselves, we observe our mistakes and the choices we have made from a distance; we learn about our weaknesses and strengths and how best to deal with them. Self-reflection means looking back to create a better future:
💡What went well and what didn’t?
💡What can we do better/differently?
That’s how we learn
🥋 to act more consciously
💡 to decide more clearly
❌ to learn from mistakes and avoid the same mistakes if possible
💪 to be more aware of our strengths and to use them in a targeted manner
👉to acknowledge our weaknesses and work on them
Self-reflection is the only way we can positively influence our actions and continuously improve our results – a self-critical review is helpful for ourselves, but also within our social network.
➡️Adopt this habit: take a couple of minutes to review your day after work and think: What can I do better next time? What knowledge should I deepen, what information was I missing? What went well? What do I want to keep doing, what should I stop doing, what can I improve?
It is worth learning new things with humbleness and open mind, but also implementing them: knowledge without action is otherwise of little use.
Acting means, among other things, deciding – which goals do I want to pursue, what do I do / what do I no longer do and what can I do better.
Self-reflection helps us in the process: to take a closer look at ourselves and situations so that we can learn, become better and continue to develop. Because, as we often hear on the Budo way of life, «A black belt is a white belt that never gave up».