I love to set big goals and work hard to achieve them! It drives me to succeed and forces me to work hard to earn the things I want. Being driven and motivated is awesome and can take you very far in life. But, sometimes when you are going so fast and are so focused on a goal or set of goals, you can miss the small subtleties of life. One of these is stopping for a moment to “count your blessings.” Being happy with what you have and being grateful for the positive things in your life is a great way to measure success. All to often we take things for granted and don’t remember how hard or how difficult it was to obtain the things we used to desire and put value on.
I encourage you to stop and take a moment to consider all the good things in your life. Relieve the milestone moments in your mind, and replay the good memories of your life. Tell the people you love that you love them, and thank all the people who have helped you and encouraged you and supported you throughout your life.
Specifically for marital arts, be thankful for the fact that you get to practice this incredible art. Be thankful for your instructors who truly care about you and want you to succeed and help you on your path to black belt. Be thankful for your training partners who work with you week in and week out and often are on the wrong end of a sidekick. Be thankful for your family support, which enables and encourages you to pursue this fantastic goal. Take a moment and forget worrying about your next fight, or how you will perform the kata, or if you will get to test for your next belt, and just be happy that you are where you are.
How will this help? Your instructor will appreciate that you understand the value of the instruction you are receiving. Your training partners will be happy that you understand how sometimes they take a shot from you and it isn’t intentional, and most likely will be more willing to do it again in the future in the name of helping you improve. Your loved ones will know that their support is appreciated and will help them to continue to encourage you to participate in a sport you love. But, most importantly, you will benefit because by taking the opportunity to be thankful, you will have a better perspective on what is important in your life, and most likely get more enjoyment out of your martial arts.
I recently had the opportunity to hold a future black belt in my arms (who was only 2 days in the making!) Holding him reminded me of just how precious time is, and we should be thankful for all the great moments in our lives, because they are fleeting and go by so quickly. Take a few moments to be thankful and I promise you will be happy that you did.