Tuesday, April 24, 2018

“Sometimes people don’t know when to shut up.”



Now I am sure the title caught your attention, but in defense, I am not trying to be rude. I wanted to share with you my thoughts on the spoken word. As we know, a written word in a literal sense is most of the time understood based on the sentence structure. However even using punctuation for enfaces we still can take things out of context. For example “have a nice day.” Or “Have a NICE DAY!’ One can be perceived as a nice gesture while the other a dismissal. 

While texting and reading emails and posting on social media, many time things can be taken way out of context. That is why I would rather speak to someone face to face to show them how I feel with body language and facial expressions. However we are not always able to do that, so we have now added in filler words to show the intention. Such as you are so funny…. Lol……….. or I just read this and I am LMBO – laughing my butt off. These little fillers help to show the emotion of what the writer is feeling, without taking the chance on any miscommunication. 

With the lives we live in our modern 21st century society, communication is becoming harder and harder even though we have so many avenues to communicate. My suggestion is to live by the old golden rule, if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all. It is better to hold your tongue, than try to share your opinion if there is a chance that someone may take your words incorrectly. I don’t suggest staying quite all the time, especially if you feel the topic is in need of an objective opinion but be selective in what you say and remember people are very protective over their opinions. Be careful you don’t attempt to say something light heartedly and without knowing offend the other person. 

There are some areas too that you need to always be extremely careful with and that is stepping over the line. Even at times when you joke, the joke may not be made appropriately. For example: When speaking to your school teachers, martial art teachers, parents, spouses etc. Always remember spoken words, are easy to speak, but hard to retract or take back. The goal of course is always think before you speak, and think twice before you write something or post something. My recommendation is wait a day or two before you respond on hot topics. You may find after a few days, the thing that bothered you will diminish in priority and may not even be of importance any longer. 

I am finding more so then ever, that people are too free to speak their mind, insult others and call them names. I remember when I was young, if you said something offensive, you might end up getting punched in the nose. So we were more careful not to offend because it may have ended up in bodily harm or at least a bump or two. It may have resulted in a fist fight or a serious argument. Nowadays, the average person will think nothing of insulting another, cursing at them and calling them names, this sometimes over the most minor of issues or disagreements. I am always shocked and in awe at how easily two civil individuals can end up in a cursing match, insulting each other over a simply disagreement.

Remember, this thought – what will it all mean in a few days, or a week or a month. Will you still be annoyed at that person or angry enough to curse them out? I would guess “No.” So I highly recommending following this rule. 


1) Take a breath and if you are upset – wait a day to response or post something. 

2) If you are not happy with the results ask yourself “do I need to fight with this person over something so trivial or their opinion. Remember everyone has an opinion. Just like we all like different flavors of ice cream. 

3) Don’t be so quick to judge until you have walked some steps in their shoes. You don’t know how they formulated their opinion. Seek to first understand. 

4) Do not judge others until you know what they too are going through. Do not be angry if your opinions clash, or are different. They may have a totally valid point of view from their perspective. Maybe it is different from yours but it still may be valid. 

5) Do your best to have an open mind. If you want to debate, do it nicely without any name calling or person feelings attached. If we approached things from more of an open mind point of view, then we most certainly will be more open to their thoughts too. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2018

Maybe we are just using the wrong words.



“Imagine if a simple shift in words could make a huge difference in the outcome? “

Just recently I had a chat with my leadership team and instructors in training at my martial art school.  Our topic was on the word “responsibility.”  I asked many of the students what they thought the word meant  and a current theme came up.  They mentioned “Chores.”  I found this interesting and I ran with it. 
Looking at the very meaning of the word according to the dictionary may say a lot for how people look at it.  The word Chore as defined means – noun – 1 - a small or odd job; routine task. 2. The     Chores, the everyday work around a house or farm.  3. a hard or unpleasant task: Solving the problem was quite a chore.

If you notice most words associated with the word chore mean something unpleasant or negative.  So why is it that we are not getting our children to love doing their chores?  It is quite simple – it appears to be punishment. Even if we bribe them with reward, it is something boring, hard, or annoying and unpleasant.

After speaking to my students I asked what the word responsibility meant. You know what was really interesting, it was a word shift. Most of my leadership kids and teens do chores. I said "the word of the day, is responsibility." Then I asked "who does chores." Many of them raised their hands. Then I asked "tell me some of your chores." They responded with amazing things. Feed my puppy and make sure he has water, clean and feed my hamster, clean my room, clear the table after dinner, go to bed on time, do my homework. Etc. I asked are those chores or a responsibilities?

They replied with the answer “it is a chore.” I explained further. If you didn't feed, your puppy or hamster or clean its cage what would happen. They responded "they would get sick or die." If mom or dad or both parents didn’t pay their bills and buy food and feed you, what would happen? They laughed.   I asked is it a chore for mom or dad, to do all of those things.  They all looked at me as if I was crazy.  You know why because it is just a responsibility.  Quite frankly doing all of those things for my daughter never felt like a chore. Although it was tough at times, I was still happy to have worked as hard as I did.  I asked “by having you do what you are supposed to do, is it a chore or a responsibility?”  When I explained it in that manner – they seemed to have looked at it differently and responded it is a "responsibility."

I used the word responded and responsibility in the same sentence to prove a point. How we teach or shift a person’s perspective is all about word association and how smart decisions are formed. I highly suggest that we stop associating work with the word chore and replace it with the word responsibility.  Making our children do chores is like asking them to do something terrible, but keep giving them responsibilities and it will make them feel accomplished and unstoppable just like adults. 

Each time they do things on their own without having to be reminded give them praise.  Make sure that they understand, they are expected to act responsible, and if they do not there are consequences.  Not punishments!  But if they don’t feed their hamster or puppy there are major consequences.  Responsibility is essential in our modern day society, yet so many people act without it.  How many people respond to difficult and unpleasant situations shows a lack of integrity, clarity? But a responsible person is expected to act professionally and accordingly and by acting with this level of responsibility it establishes who they are and who they will be in the future.   Just my two sense on this. I know it is cents, but I did it again. Sense vs cents during chores.

What do you think about this? 

Sunday, March 4, 2018

The 5 Gateways to Happiness!

Are you aware that my book is still available. 

Thank you to all of those people who picked up a copy of my book.  It was shipped and read all over the world.  I am honored and so excited that people have read it, and commented positively.  I still have it available and I am still giving it away at my cost of shipping and handling at $8.95.

My goal is to help people, by shifting perspective and understanding the power of the mind.  I am hoping that people will read the book and if they use one strategy, then it will have been worth writing. 

I would be honored if you have the book and read it, to do a review on Amazon, or other media outlets. It will help spread the word.  Also, if you read the book and found it to be positive and you think it can help someone, pick up a copy and send it to them.  Let's pay this forward and really make a change on our planet.

You can simply click here to order your copy today!

Thank you in advance, and thank you for being on the quest to help the world.


Monday, February 26, 2018

The art of Exceptional-ism!


I know, I know at times I make up words or improperly string words together to make a point.   However, in my opinion this would be a great word.  How does one go from mediocre to exceptional?  How does one take on the journey of becoming amazing?  How does one celebrate the quest to be exceptional or live the life of their dreams on a daily basis?  Exceptional-ism is a choice and a life-style!

In the 21st Century we have become used to the thought that if this doesn’t work, I will just do the other thing instead.  We are inundated with choices and options for our children and ourselves so if one thing doesn’t work out, we move on to the next.  This goes against all I was taught as a child.  Remember the old saying, “If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again.”  Well, that saying has been replaced with “if at first you don’t succeed try again, and if that doesn’t work or it is too hard, or inconvenient, we will find something else and quit the thing that is giving you a difficult time.” 

In the 21st century most parents and adults are searching for that one thing that hits every point on their check list.  It excites, motivates and you are good at it.  Well, 99.9% of the time, this is not really going to happen.  If you are lucky, maybe you find the activity on the first try and stick with it.  However, the reality is, we continually search for our children or ourselves to shine in the activity that is best for them.
 
The age old saying is, you can polish a dull, ugly stone and with enough polishing it because a beautiful work of art possibly even a diamond in the rough or a gem.  The theory of practice makes perfect, is true.  We have a saying in the martial arts -  fall down 9 times get up ten. Basically it implies don’t quit, don’t give up, don’t  give in.  The real thought behind the sayings is simple, if you want something or as parents you want things for your child, then DO NOT let them quit.  You may want to refer to my other blog post “I quit!” or “Mom, I want to quit, will you quit with me?” 

I have also heard hundreds if not thousands of times parents tell me, “we don’t want to force our child.”  I know for a fact this is simply not true, because you force your children to do things all the time.  What if your child didn’t want to go to bed on time or brush their teeth, would you allow it? The answer is, NO!   So the real question is why do you say you don’t want to force them to do something.  The real true answer is you aren’t sure if this is worth pushing or forcing or arguing  with them over.   That leads to the old defeatist statement – We chose our battles wisely.  I know this is true for some, but the reality is, you know what is right for your child and what their future will hold if you do force, encourage and stay consistent with an activity you will see and achieve results unimaginable.  If I had a dollar for every person that heard my speech and didn’t listen I would be a millionaire. However, I also have heard those that did take my words of advice, stood tall and held their ground.  They have come back to me with praise and accolades on why it was the best choice they ever made.   


Exceptional-ism is forged on consistency and practice, going through trials, tribulations, failure and success is all part of the journey.  A student only becomes exceptional if you they put the time in or you push the envelope for them.  Remember, they are no aware and do not have the knowledge you have to make decisions. That is why it is called coaching or parenting.  I have taught martial arts for over 35 years.  I have taught 10’s of thousands of students in my martial art school.  I have taught all over the world and have even coached thousands of martial art school owners and teachers.  My goal is to encourage you to stop searching and simply stick with your activity and become amazing becp,e EXCEPTIONAL.   

Friday, January 5, 2018

Push through the Pain of the things you don’t like.


How we can push through what we do not like to do it over and over and learn it and get used to it then you can be liberated from it.

When I was a very young child my parents enrolled me in a martial art school. My memories of that
school consisted of a huge amount of fun but I don’t recall it being the fun that we look at these days. In other words, within my schools we disguise repetition through fun drills and exercises that capture the child’s imagination and creative learning. We even do this with teens and youth as well. It is more of a science than anything else and as teachers we have to understand the way the mind works.

I do admit, we live in a totally different time then when I was a child and we have to adapt to the times. What I remember as fun, really was hard work, exercise and repetition. I remember even at 3 and 4 years old, my goal was to be amazing. I don’t know if it was my mindset, but I was very competitive and I always wanted to strive to be the best at all I could do and even be the best in the class. I also remember classes being extremely difficult and the tone would change. My teachers would put me through the class and it seemed they were mad at me. I never let them see me demotivated but I always wondered why Sensei was mad at me. I would later find out, my mom has spoken to him about me talking back to her, or not doing my chores or being disrespectful. In fact, they never mentioned it to me in class, however they showed me. I would ask my mom why Sensei was mean today and she would say because I spoke to him about being disrespectful. I am not sure now, if the lesson would be as well received with our generation of parents and children. However for me, it taught me many valuable lessons:

1) Life is not fair.

2) Life has its ebbs and flows. Sometimes things don’t go my way.

3) Life inevitably will beat you up at times.

4) Life is not always about getting what you want, sometimes you have to suck it up and deal with it.

5) Life is not a big fluffy place. Sometimes the world could be cruel.

I realized at a very young age, that life is not about getting everything my way. In fact a great lesson that I learned was even though I am not getting my way, I have to find a way to make it suit me. In others words, I need to find the good in every situation as difficult as it may be and ask myself “how does this situation suit me?” Since I was a 3 years old, I was brought up in the martial arts. I learned to deal with life through an esoteric philosophy and Eastern mindset. I was taught that failure was a good thing. In fact, without it, I could never succeed. If I did succeed without failing then it was far too easy to learn and do.

I learned early on, that if I expected of felt the world, people, instructors, bosses or teachers owed me something I was in for a rude awakening. However, in public school, I did an awful lot of blaming others for my lack of success. Until I realized all the whining in the world wasn’t going to save me and I needed to take my success in my own hands, I basically struggled. I was continually looking for others to change my outcome. I know now, there are many people that may assist on my journey however not as many people will be there taking me through it. I am responsible for it.

The other day I had a few very interesting conversations with parents of students in my school. Interestingly enough, they both had the same theme. The theme was, I was urging the parents to push the children past their comfort zone or stumbling blocks. Their response was “I know my child and that is not the way things work with them.” What this leads me to believe is they have accepted their behavior as who they are, not looking at their potential. Everyone has a god given potential. Some use it while others don’t even recognize it. Sadly, some of the most talented people don’t recognize their potential. I can say from experience that some of my best students were not those that had recognized their god given potential and a natural ability. It was those that recognized their potential and pushed hard to become the best they could be.

The reason why I wrote this article was from a comment that my Yoga instructor said during one of our sessions and it is very similar to what I say as a martial art teacher. We have to push through the pain, expand our comfort zone, so that the things we do not like, become easy and we can do them without any stress or ill feelings. Even though they still may not be our favorite activities, they are still activities that we do not try to avoid. We have to push through the pain, through the boredom, through the repetitiveness. We have to inspire ourselves to do it because it is good for us, not because we love it and enjoy it so much. We do it because it is what we need, no matter who difficult it is.