Weekly TKD Lesson

Peaks – Valleys – Plateaus!

For most people involved in the Martial Arts, it becomes an active
and healthy lifestyle, and a powerful personal self development
program.

Many of us like to train hard year round, and push ourselves to
higher levels of skill, conditioning and achievement, in and out of
the dojo.

It’s part of being a successful achiever.

We will all have times that we are at a peak …mentally, physically
and emotionally.

Especially after we achieve a big goal, like a rank promotion. Or,
when we are just feeling really great and making strong gains in
our progress. Everyone would like to be able to be
at this peak level all the time.

However, for most people, there will be some occasional bumps in
the road.

Challenges and obstacles that knock us off track.

There may even be times that it even feels like you are sliding
backwards.

These are known as the Peaks, Valleys & Plateaus of training
cycles.

Injuries, distractions or other setbacks may occur that will create
temporary stalls in your
in progress. The sooner you understand this process, the faster you
will get back into a positive, progressive direction. Mentally,
physically and emotionally.

Plateaus can also be used as a short term, temporary resting spot.

It may be a maintenance training period or even a planned and well
deserved recharge.

Peaks – Valleys – Plateaus….

These are natural processes that everyone experiences.

The goal is to create as many peak cycle periods as possible and
plan out your rest and maintenance periods.  Good habits, a
positive mindset and proper planning will allow you to minimize the
setbacks that can cause the valleys of despair and discouragement.

Maximize the Peaks – Minimize the Valleys!

Weekly TKD Lesson

“When schemes are laid in advance and seen in one’s minds eye, it
is surprising how often the circumstances will appear that fit in
with them.”
                                 –Sir William Osler
Highly motivated achievers find the strength of their motivation in
the power of their imagination.

One of the wonderful aspects about human imagination is that it can
see things not as they are now, but as they can be; it can foretell
the future, based upon our beliefs and expectations, in an almost
uncanny way; it can draw the colorful mental images that we hope
someday to turn into reality.

Imagination is the beginning of creation.

Dr. David McClelland of Harvard University demonstrated this
through a series of “projective tests.” In these tests, McClelland
used photographs or drawings depicting basic scenes.

For instance, in one photograph, a man was lying in bed with his
eyes closed. His hand was raised and extended over an alarm clock
on the table next to the bed. A window in the background was bright
with the rays of early morning sunlight. McClelland asked his
subjects to either describe the scene or tell a story about the
person in the picture.

To be sure that the responses were solely a function of
motivational levels, the subjects for each test were people of the
same sex, age, social background, and level of education.

This was McClelland’s hypothesis: Since all motivation comes from
internal images, the subjects in the study who demonstrated the
highest and most active levels of imaginative power would become
the most successful in achieving their personal goals.

He called these people “highly motivated achievers.”

His experiments confirmed his hypothesis. He found that highly
motivated achievers told action-filled, goal-oriented stories about
the scenes.

People with a lower motivational level generally gave bland,
passive descriptions of the images.

For example, after viewing the photo of the man in bed holding out
his hand toward the clock, a highly motivated achiever might
describe a man who has to wake up early and get back to work on an
important project that kept him up late the night before. They
would even describe details of the project.

On the other hand, McClelland’s less motivated subjects tended
toward a passive interpretation of the scene. Many described a
sleeping man who is reaching to turn off the alarm because it’s
Saturday and he doesn’t have to go to work.

McClelland was not content to accept the results of the first study
at face value. He continued to ask himself the following question:
What if individuals don’t start off with a vivid imagination, but
their professional position demands a vivid imagination?

If, in fact, highly motivated achievers developed their imaginative
abilities in response to their jobs, it would mean that their
imaginative powers might not have played a role in motivating them
to their level of extraordinary success.

In other words, how could McClelland be certain that the vivid
imagination of these individuals was a cause of success and not a
result of it?

He solved the problem by devising a second study that took 14 years
to complete.

For four years, he gave his projective test to college students.
After giving the last projective test, he compiled the results and
divided the students into two groups. The first group comprised
those who showed the same traits as the highly motivated achievers
of his earlier study, and the second group included those who were
of average motivation.

McClelland then waited 10 years before he could complete his study,
giving the students time to establish careers. He knew that if
those with the most vivid imaginations were the same ones who had
advanced furthest up the corporate ladder, he would have proof that
vivid imaginations played a key role in helping people advance the
furthest in life. He would have proof that a vivid, action-oriented
imagination was a cause, a prerequisite in maintaining a highly
motivated state, not just a result of success.

Ultimately, McClelland’s findings confirmed his expectations.

The highly motivated achievers, those students who told the most
vivid, action-oriented stories in the projective tests, had most
often chosen entrepreneurial careers involving a large amount of
personal responsibility, initiative, and personal risk.

The other students gravitated to non-entrepreneurial fields that
required much less personal initiative. From the 14-year study,
McClelland concluded that highly motivated achievers find the
strength of their motivation in the power of their imagination.

McClelland’s research may seem complex, but there’s one principle
woven throughout all his studies: The more vivid and real the image
that motivates you, the stronger the motivation.

How about you?

Are your goals clear and detailed in your imagination or are they
just some fuzzy black and white picture that you have never really
given much thought to?

As we hold a picture in the hands of our imagination, the enormous
power of our minds is set on achieving it. Soon, depending upon the
difficulty and complexity of the image, it is ours… it is a
reality, whereas before, it was only a picture in our imagination.

Starting today, use your imagination to make a clear picture of
what you want in life: your family, students, your school, home,
car, everything that you desire in your life and then get started
on achieving it.

Weekly TKD Lesson

“The longer I live, the more I am certain that the great difference
between the great and insignificant is energy – invincible
determination – a purpose once fixed and then death or victory.”

                                         — Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton

“It’s your little red wagon. You can push it, pull it, or just
stand and look at it!”

What the “little red wagon” represents to me and the many students
I’ve had the privilege and honor to teach, is a special, shiny,
vibrant vehicle that transports our hopes, dreams, promise, and
passion. And in order to embark on a fulfilling journey, stay on
course, and ultimately reach our goals and dreams, each of us must
take and maintain control of our little red wagon.

That’s actually the good news.

The fate of your little red wagon — your life as you would wish it
to be — is in your hands! To transform the symbol into reality,
however, requires not only acceptance of the responsibilities of
being in charge of your own happiness and well-being, but also a
commitment to acquire the help, information, and tools that can
lead to individually-defined success.

According to a Swedish proverb, “God gives every bird a worm, but
He doesn’t throw it in the nest.”

If your little red wagon is not going where you want it to go,
here’s the good News: Philosophy has taken a right turn! It’s now
in the business of identifying and teaching the skills that foster
well-being, in addition to its longtime goal of understanding and
treating philosophical problems.

At last, the field is paying very special attention to the
strengths that help us design and achieve a life filled with joy
and purpose, a life characterized by the ability to weather storms
valiantly, and in so doing, restore hope, energy, and
self-confidence for the ongoing adventure. The movement is called
Positive Philosophy, and it’s about the good life.

Six core strengths — Optimism, Courage, Enthusiasm, Persistence,
Living in the Present, and Resilience — are the critical elements
that can help each of us discover our path to the “good life.” And
I believe that tapping into and fortifying these strengths is not a
difficult undertaking, as long as you’re equipped with the right
information and a mound of motivation, both of which I hope to
provide for you here!

This is all about attitude, beliefs, expectations, thinking, and
behavior. It’s about having a choice regarding all these factors.
And it’s about developing the necessary tools that will help you
take control of your life and discover your own personal path.

As Carlos Castaneda tells us, “We either make ourselves happy or
miserable. The amount of work is the same.”

COURAGE

Face Your Fears, Take Risks

Courage is a towering strength, one that has earned the revered
status of a virtue over the ages. To many it may represent
something quite daunting, but in reality, it’s not nearly as
elusive as many people might believe. Courage propels a person from
powerless to robust and increases exponentially the ability to
transform an impossible dream into a mission accomplished.

Walt Disney, the great dream-maker, believed that “All our dreams
can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.”

I love watching the 150-watt light bulb go on during their journey
forward, the epiphany that facing your fears and refusing to be
helpless makes you a mighty force for enacting your vision and
ensuring the quest to become the best you can be.

The process of learning to take risks and act boldly is truly an
awesome experience, the gift that keeps on giving. This is the gift
you give to yourself and the one you offer to others by your example.

Children reap enormous benefits when parents and other adults
express the belief that courage is profoundly important and then
act in accordance with that belief again and again.

TYPES OF COURAGE

Courage manifests in a number of ways.

Physical courage is the type that generally comes to mind first:
Putting oneself in harm’s way to save another or to fight for a
beloved cause. The man who does not know how to swim yet jumps in
the river to save a child is a model of physical courage.

Then there is moral courage, which involves standing up for beliefs
when doing so may well lead to aversive personal consequences such
as decreased security, comfort, or popularity. Whistle-blowers in
corporations and government exemplify moral courage.

Psychological courage, is about being hale and hardy in your
internal world, making choices for yourself and converting them
into behavioral expression.

It’s exemplified by dealing proactively with situations such as
facing psychological, emotional, and medical problems; making
difficult and bold choices; ending unhealthy interpersonal
situations, making important habit changes; welcoming and using
change as an ally instead of an adversary; and becoming the person
you want to be by pursuing your goals and dreams.

Weekly TKD Lesson

“UNLESS YOU CHANGE HOW YOU ARE, YOU’LL ALWAYS HAVE WHAT YOU’VE GOT”

                  –Jim Rohn
One of the first and foremost things to do to change your life is
to change your attitude. Attitude is fundamental to the success or
failure that we experience in our life.

Are you less successful than you would like to be? Do you have the
money you want? Do you have the family you want? Do you have the
job that you want?

If you answered “no” to any of the questions above, then you may
want to take a look at your attitude, because so much depends on it!

“Life is 10 percent what you make it and 90 percent how you take
it,” says Irving Berlin. It is true. Now don’t get me wrong, that
10 percent is M-A-J-O-R, but even bigger than that is what your
attitude is. So, do everything that you can – action wise – to make
your life an absolute success. But when you are done acting, you
will only have what you have.

It may be big and it may be little. But it is what you have to live
with. Now the biggest key will be what your attitude is toward what
your actions have brought to you. One person will work and be happy
with it.

Another will work, achieve the same thing and have a terrible
attitude about it. Who will achieve the most successful life? My
bet is on the one with the best attitude.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said that “To different minds, the same world
is a hell, and a heaven.” It is all in what value you give to it!
You see, you may look at one thing and say “That’s terrible,” while
another person may say, “That’s great!” A simple example would be a
half a ham sandwich.

Now, if you are used to filet mignon, you are going to think, “A
measly old ham sandwich? Is that it?” But a starving person would
have a very different viewpoint! They would think, “I won the lunch
lottery!”

Another reason to keep in mind that our attitude is so very
important is because often times the attitude we demonstrate is
exactly what we will get back to us. The great Earl Nightingale
said, “Our attitude toward life determines life’s attitude towards
us.”

Think about it.

You walk into a store and say to the clerk, “Hey lady, do you think
you could get off your duff and tell me where I can find the milk?”
What kind of attitude do you think you will get back?

Instead, we should go in and say, “Excuse me, but would you be so
kind as to tell me where I could find the milk?” You will get a
good attitude back from that! The same is true in every area of our
lives. Do you find that others have a bad attitude toward you? Then
maybe you have a bad attitude toward them. The old saying is true
that you reap what you sow.

If you are reaping bad attitudes, you are probably sowing bad
attitudes. Take a closer look, and you may find the key to turning
your life around.

“There is little difference in people, but that little difference
makes a big difference. That little difference is attitude. The big
difference is whether it is positive or negative.” W. Clement Stone

Let’s face it; there is little difference in people physically or
intellectually. But what does make the difference is the attitude.
You can take two people of similar background, education, skill and
intelligence and find that one is the kind of person you are
looking for because of a positive attitude while the other is a
complete dud – the eternal pessimist! Your attitude is the big
difference.

What is your attitude? Is it positive or negative? Are you an
optimist or a pessimist? I guarantee you, no matter what your
attitude is, it is affecting you – and your success.

Take this test: Purposefully upgrade your attitude for 90 days and
see if life doesn’t begin to change for you! Pick a few areas where
you can make a change. For example, begin to trust people and
believe the best in them and see if your relationships begin to
change!

If you’re stuck or if you just want to go to the next level of
success, it’s time to “Get a New Attitude!”