So where’s the passion?

With so many outside influences vying for our attention on a daily basis, it’s no wonder that we jump from one thing to another. We are bombarded with so much variety and choice that we sometimes become confused and somewhat skeptical, we tend to tune out instead of tuning in.  Today passion is in short supply.

We take on a new project or activity with zest and zeal, we seem to be passionate and focused, at least that’s how it looks on the outside. But what’s happening on the inside? What is it that causes that flame to slowly dwindle and die? It all comes down to the lack of genuine passion.

Passion can only be nurtured through commitment and hard work. Those two words alone can conjure up visions of pain and hardship, with the prospect of very little pleasure. I guess that’s why so many of us avoid both like the plague.

For those that develop passion it can be one of the most satisfying and enlightening experiences in their lives. Passion gives us the vision to see outside the box, we grow, we explore, and we give gifts.

It is the driving force behind having an average life or one that’s extraordinary and memorable.

Jumping from one thing to another is easy, but is the prize that you’re jumping for actually worth the effort? Some things actually are. For instance if your passion is smoking and the prize was an anti-smoking patch to help you quit, is that a prize worth jumping for?  Of course, that’s a no brainer! What if you jump from one fad diet to another or one commitment to another?  Is the grass always greener? Sometimes, most times usually not.

The secret to developing genuine passion is to stick to the things that are good, the ones that create value and purpose in your life. Toss the crap, clutter and things that over promise and under deliver to the curb. If it’s too good to be true it usually is.

Here’s the secret formula for passion: Commitment + Hard work = Passion Now the secrets out.

What is your passion?

By: Master Tim Bell

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Life is too short to be Average…

We all share the same amount of time in the day but some of us seem to have less while others seem to have more. What is it that separates those who have average days to those who have extraordinary ones?

In one word PRIORITES.

When we were young time seemed to be stuck on slow motion, the days seemed long and the seasons lasted what felt like a life time, we lived for the present, as we aged the days seemed to speed up. The length of the day hadn’t changed, it still had 86,400 seconds, 1440 minutes & 24 hours. What changed was the way we lived, our lives started to become more about living and worrying about tomorrow.

What seemed trivial in the past now became crucial. Society and the status quo puts us under pressure to make a good living, get ahead and be successful, the downfall is that we spend so much time living and worrying about the future that we entirely miss the present.

As Bruce Lee said to a young apprentice in Enter the Dragon – Don’t think. FEEL. It is like a finger pointing away to the moon. Do not concentrate on the finger or you will miss all that heavenly glory.

Dwelling on the past and worrying about the future is the finger, living in the present is the heavenly glory.

You can’t change the past and worrying won’t change the future, living for today will set a path and create the future you deserve.

Be extraordinary, live for today…Tomorrow can wait.

By: Master Tim Bell

I want to Quit!…

That dreaded word that gives every Martial Arts instructor nightmares, how did it get to that point? Did we as instructors drop the ball or was it just bad karma. To be realistic, if everyone who first committed to Martial Arts in the first place never dropped out every second person on this planet would be a Master Instructor by now, but like I said if.

Here’s my take on it. When a new student joins an activity like Martial Arts it’s an exciting time in their lives, instead of watching Martial Arts heroes on TV or in the movie’s  here’s a chance to actually be one…life is good, then something happens it could be weeks, months or even years the student hits the DIP,and everyone does.

The DIP is the time where motivation and motion are at a low. When we first start Martial Arts we are in constant motion and motivation is at its peak, resistance is low and learning is accelerated, then we hit the DIP, the newness begins to wear off, things seem to be repetitive and the school surroundings become very familiar, the extraordinary becomes the ordinary and practicing that same technique after doing it a thousand times is no longer as exciting as it once was. The lizard brain awakens and the resistance is strong.

Getting through the DIP is the difference between a student who quits to one who becomes the gifted Master Instructor. Conquering the DIP is easy all you have to do is…DON’T QUIT! Average people quit, extraordinary people push through. It’s easy to quit I guess that’s why we have so many excuses to justify being average, “I was bored”, “It’s too hard”, I don’t like it anymore” and the list goes on and on and…

So what turns average into extraordinary? And no it’s not education, genes or anything out of the ordinary; it’s the difference between being in motion or not. Staying in motion while in the DIP creates motivation, motivation quiets the lizard. This is what takes us from average to extraordinary.

As a society we are setting our kids up to be habitually quitters. Many parents are reluctant to bring their children back to class after they lose interest or want to quit, even though the commitment was made and they realize the amazing character building, life skills and other benefits that any good Martial Arts program can provide.

We won’t let our kids quit school when they are bored or stop brushing their teeth if they want, so why do we let them quit activities that we know are good for them, especially ones that build character and create purpose.

When children learn at a young age that quitting is acceptable, commitments later on in life are taken on with less meaning and true passion.

Quitting has been the status quo for too long, it’s time to be a heretic and push through the DIP, and it’s time to become extraordinary.

By: Master Tim Bell

It’s all about the Winning…

Everyone loves a winner, a winner is someone who rose to the top persevered and overcame adversity, became a champion, we as a society worship winners, but is it only about the winning.

With so much national emphasis and resources placed on developing champions we seem to have lost sight of the real journey and the spirit of the game. Competition can’t be just about the laurels and the fame, it has to go much deeper and more broader to be worthwhile.

In society today we put so much pressure on ourselves and our children to succeed in sport and in life, we seem to have forgotten about the real reason why we started anything in the first place…TO HAVE FUN…when the fun of the game is gone so is it’s spirit. And once that happens we lose the gift of humanity and purpose. Our life becomes shallow and self serving.

Some of the more popular metaphors that we have all heard over the years to help us understand this spirit have been “It’s not if you win or lose but how you play the game” or ‘Winning isn’t everything” over time these famous quotes have lost their true message and meaning. The message that we seem to be sending today sounds more like “It’s only if you win and don’t lose not how you play the game” or “Winning is everything” It seems that losing is no longer an accepted option.

With these types of messages when losing happens (everyone loses sooner or later), we are devastated, shocked and dismayed and feel worthless or less than, in some cases we quit and give up on our dreams, never to achieve greatness. Would this happen if we were more concerned about the fun instead of the win?

Watching the winter Olympics I couldn’t believe how dejected some athletes were on winning a silver medal, do you think they stopped and reflected on how much fun they had getting to that point or how unbelievable it was being at the Olympic games and on the podium with a silver medal, obviously not. It’s sad because they missed a golden opportunity to celebrate how awesome it is to be a part of humanity and life.

Anyone who has ever done anything of value in this world has embraced failure and learned to accept it, take for instance Thomas Edison, he failed at inventing the light bulb 999 times it wasn’t until his 1000 try that he enjoyed success. He knew that winning was inevitable as long as he didn’t quit. He accepted failure as a learning tool and moved on.

When we lose we are quick to blame everything and everyone around us except for ourselves, from the playing conditions to the poor officials and even our own coaches and trainers. Winners are the ones that win or lose accept full responsibility for their actions and move on..

Losing is inevitable just like night and day but so is winning, we just need to accept both for what they are and take the time to enjoy this journey we call life.

By: Master Tim Bell

But I Am Committed!

But are you really? Chances are that you made a New Year’s resolution this year; it could have been to get fit, lose weight, give up a bad vice or maybe even mend a broken relationship. Whatever it was, odds are you committed to something in 2010.

There’s a pretty good chance that what you committed to on January 1st isn’t necessarily the same commitment or direction that you are headed today. I’m pretty sure that 100% of us were on track one minute after midnight, so what happened between then and now? In one word COMMITMENT.

Over time, usually the next day some of the excitement wears off and reality sets in, the resistance starts to awake and self doubts surface. What seemed possible 24 hours ago now seems like pain and hardship. Commitment seems less a priority and more of a thing to avoid; we procrastinate, make up excuses and spend more time and energy avoiding. Failure is imminent and we except it, we tell ourselves that the timing wasn’t right, it’s a bad time or whatever excuse we can use to justify our short coming.

Those of us who stick to our resolutions and goals do so because we are able to visualize what it looks, feels and tastes like when we reach it. The physical work counts for 20% while the visualization counts for 80% of its success or failure.

Visualization is what keeps the resistance and self doubts at bay, and gives us the courage to persevere and conquer. Athletes and coaches have known this for years, it’s the difference between gold and last place.

It’s not so much about the commitment but more about visualizing the journey and the destination.

By: Master Tim Bell

The Art of Paying it Forward…

What could be more valuable than gold, diamonds and money?

Create more purpose in life and do more good than any charity could dream of?

It’s the lost art of paying it forward, the human interaction of giving and receiving, not just in the physical act of giving presents on special occasions such as Christmas, Valentines and Birthday’s, but in the deeper sense that creates a sense of purpose and gives real value to both the giver and the receiver.

The true art of paying it forward needs to be without thought a spontaneous act that feels right. “When the time is right, the time will find you.”

The gift can be anything from good advice to a million dollars, the gift can come in many forms and guises, it could even be in the form of ad inspirational blog post, but again it has to be sincere and a win-win.

Gift giving doesn’t have to be reciprocal or something expected in return from the giver, the true art of paying it forward is passing on something to those who are willing and ready and deserve to receive. It’s up to the reviver to pass it on or not. The old saying goes “What comes around, goes around.”

Like any art, martial or otherwise, paying it forward can only be perfected through repetition and quality practice, it’s only then that true mastery can be achieved.

Self-defense is…Paying it forward.

By; Master Tim Bell

R-word.org – Change the conversation…

R-word.org – Change the conversation….