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.”


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.


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.

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