People are starting new activities everyday. There are many activities that just take up time, and there are others that can make a difference in your future. Some enjoyable activities that people do might be: playing cards, watching television, playing sports, fishing, hiking, shopping, reading a novel, going to the movies, etc. There is nothing wrong with any of these activities. Again, I say that they are enjoyable. However, are they productive? Do they help you get where you want to be in life’? If you are truly happy and satisfied with your life and you don’t mind just getting by and getting older, then good for you. However, if you believe there is more to life, if you’re consistently complaining about your job, your boss, your spouse, your neighbors, your teachers, your parents, lack of time, etc., or you’re out buying lottery tickets hoping to strike it rich, then obviously you do want more.
Do you have a vision for your life? What is it? Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten years? Twenty? Haven’t thought much about it? Maybe it’s time to start! People with a vision live the most productive, fulfilling and successful lives, period. What is that vision? That’s for you to decide. What will make you happy and truly satisfied? Have you put unnecessary limits on what you are capable of? Has someone else? There really are no good or bad answers here, only your answers. What is success for one is not necessarily success for another.
When you have a vision for your life it gives you direction, motivation, and inspiration. This vision fuels every day and consumes your every thought and every action. You may not realize that you have a vision already. The question is, ”Is it what you really want?” As you go through your day do you watch the clock wishing it would go faster so that you can get home to your television, video game, or personal Internet connection? You see, if your goal for the day is to get home, sit in your favorite chair and watch, Seinfeld reruns then I can practically guarantee you will achieve your goal. It’s easy, and it doesn’t get you anywhere.
Every moment in our lives is precious. Time goes by so fast and it never comes back. A moment wasted is a moment lost forever. I’ve heard of overly ambitious people who sleep four hours per night and say, ”I don’t need sleep, I can sleep when I’m dead!” Not the healthiest attitude, but it does make a good point. I realize there are ”morning people” and there are ”night people” (at least that is what we all seem to classify ourselves as). Do you realize that surveys of the happiest most successful people show that they are “up at the crack of dawn?” They can’t wait to get started with a new day. When was the last time you saw the sunrise and actually took the time to enjoy it?
What have you accomplished? What is next? Is it a degree? A better job? A new house? Will you start a business? Improve your health? Get in shape and lose some weight? Will you reach the level of Black Sash and beyond?
What do you want? Write it down. Then write down what it will take to get it. If a Black Sash is your goal then see yourself as one. What will it feel like? What will you be like? Put no limitations on yourself and your abilities. Set the goal and the plan of action. Then, you must take action!
Here is a plan: warm-up exercises and Dou Zhang (the basic palm exercise) should be done daily preferably to start your day, followed by breathing exercises, Basic Qi Exercise or Fan Zhang. That’s 45 min. to 1 hr. total and can be broken up any way that works for you and your schedule. Those who know circle walking should continue into that. Want to get good at stepping? Commit to 20-30 minutes 2-3 times per week to practice only stepping. Find 10 to 30 minutes a few times per week to practice the current forms you are learning. That’s it! Resolve to take action and all the promise of the benefits that you were hoping to enjoy when you began your martial arts training will begin to take shape. Your life will change. You will have the energy, focus, patience and personal belief you need for higher achievement. It is that powerful. But talking about it and dreaming about it does nothing without taking action!
Develop your body and your mind by following this plan of action for your goals. You will then be armed with the confidence and self-esteem to go after what you want in your life. Action leads to fulfillment. Success breeds success. So many activities and responsibilities, so little time. We each have twenty-four hours everyday. What are you doing with yours? Doesn’t it make sense to choose the activities that are going to make the most difference in your life? Never say, “I should have.” Better to say, “Good thing I did.” Spend your time wisely and one day you will be looking back with a smile on your face and a special story to tell.
“Do not hope to reach a destination
without first leaving the shore.”
Originally published April, 2000 Under the title “So…What Do You Really Want?”