Friday, October 1, 2010

The Student's Creed - "Your Personal Time-Machine"

Each of us has our own personal time-machine, and with it you can change your future.

Whenever you look at someone who's an expert at a skill and you wish you could emulate their talent, it can be disheartening to learn that it's taken them years of training and practice to get to where they are. We'd all like to be able to be great right away. There are no short-cuts, but using your personal time-machine, there's a guaranteed way to get there. Start now. Start right now - today. Decide what goals you want to set in your life and begin. Because time is going to continue to flow whether you start to tackle that challenge or not. As soon as you begin, you're on your way to success.

Whether your goal is to master a new martial arts technique, to grow your business in a new way, or to learn anything you didn't know before, starting - taking that important first step - is the key to your time-machine. Once you've turned that key, you've attached that goal to the forward flow of time. In one month, you'll be exactly one month closer to meeting your objective. In a year, you'll be a year closer. But only once you turn that key. Time's going to go on its own way with or without you - you can choose to pursue your dreams or not, it doesn't care.

If you're here, there's a good chance you've already figured this out. But your students may need your help to find the path you took to get to where your are today. Do they feel daunted by the years and years of work it takes to really begin to excel in the martial arts? To build the knowledge, strength and muscle control needed to take control of their bodies and focus their minds? They each have access to that same personal time-machine, and you can help them find it. Perhaps they've just begun their journey or maybe they're part of your black-belt team, it doesn't matter. It's easy for them to lose sight of where they are, where they're going and where they've come from . That's where you can really help.

You've made the trip already. You know exactly how difficult it is to achieve excellence. Let your students know that. Remind them to look back on where they've come from and the progress they've already made. It's so easy to lose sight of where you've come from - and how hard you worked to get where you are - when you're so focused on where you want to be. Let them know that you once struggled, too. Share the plateaus you reached, the struggles you had to endure when you just couldn't seem to master a particular technique, and the feeling you got when you finally did. That sort of encouragement will smooth out the bumps in their own road, and help make the ride in their own time-machine feel like it's going even faster. As a student, this kind of encouragement has always been hugely inspirational to me, and I think you'll find it will be for your students as well.

And then challenge them again. What else are they putting off, or despairing over? What other things in their lives would they like to change, but they're daunted by the distance between them and their goal? Remind them - that same time-machine that's speeding them along in the martial arts can work for them in managing their health, their finances, their work, and their leisure.

If there's one thing about tomorrow that you want to be different - better - than today, there's only one way to make it happen. Time's going to keep flowing - the choice of whether to sail along with purpose or to swirl around aimlessly is up to each of us. All possible futures are rushing toward us - those of us who embrace change and resolve to make a difference in our lives will get to choose our own futures. That's the power of our personal time-machines. Are you and your students putting them to work for you? How do you inspire yourself and your students? Share your thoughts below!

The Student's Creed is a series of blog articles I'm posting at the ChampionsWay martial arts community. Since most of my Virtual Vellum readers probably don't visit that site, I'm posting them here as well.

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