Don't waste your time trying to change other people; focus on making changes in your own life.
You don't control anyone on this earth but yourself, but you do control who you choose to associate with in your life.
Focus on making yourself the best that you can be, not on making everyone else fit into your idea of how they should live their lives.
Focus on making yourself better than you were yesterday. Part of doing this is making careful decisions about who you will and won't allow to be in your life.
The sages taught that you should only associate with those people of high moral character, and I agree. Associating with those of low character usually ends up bringing you down to their level. They rarely help you improve your own life.
Focus on changing yourself, and carefully choosing those that you allow to accompany you on your journey.
This is the path to self-improvement and wisdom.
Life will not hand you what you want, you have to reach out and grab it.
Stop seeing yourself as a victim. Stop blaming your problems on other people or outside circumstances. Just as every plant grows from a specific seed, everything that happens in your life has a cause. If you could trace the cause back to the initial action, the consequence would make perfect sense to you.
You do not plant thistle seeds and harvest peaches; you harvest what you plant. If you want something different than what you have been harvesting, you have to plant, and nourish, different seeds.
Life doesn't cater to your every need, life merely offers you choices and opportunities. Everyone has an abundance of choices in their life. If you don't like the way your life is going, maybe it is time to start making some different choices. It is way too easy to relax and think about what could have been, instead of realizing that THIS IS IT, there is no next time. If you want to experience something in life, you have to act, and act now. You have to reach out and grab it! Time goes by much faster than you realize. You only live this life once - make it count.
The warrior has no time for indecision.
He must know the right course to take, and then act accordingly, without delay. Indecision can bring about defeat. It can cloud the mind and confuse the thought process. Have confidence in your judgment and act decisively.
Deliberate often, but decide once. Once your decision is made, follow through to the end. Going back and forth, and changing your mind time and again, accomplishes little more than to add to your uncertainty concerning what you should do.
It doesn’t matter what you are debating or what the issue at hand happens to be, habitual indecision only makes things worse.
This doesn’t mean that you should rush to make a decision. On the contrary, timing is essential. The right decision at one moment may be the wrong decision just a few minutes later.
Even small matters require your full consideration. A small slip while in the middle of a violent confrontation could cost you dearly.
When you see it is time to strike, you must strike immediately. Things change constantly in battle and delaying your attack may render your attack useless. Once the opportunity is gone, it is gone forever.
Indecision can defeat you both in battle and in life.
To be a warrior is not a simple matter of wishing to be one. It is rather an endless struggle that will go on to the very last moment of our lives. Nobody is born a warrior, in exactly the same way that nobody is born an average man. We make ourselves into one or the other.
There is much more to being a warrior than simply wishing to be one or calling yourself a warrior. Nobody is born a warrior, or anything else for that matter. You have been given the free will to live your life as you see fit. In order to become a warrior, you must work at it; it is a matter of molding yourself into want to become, and it is an endless process that last your whole life.
You develop the warrior spirit deep inside of you. It is a deeply ingrained part of your soul that becomes so integrated in you, that there is something that continues to push you to maintain your skills and your mental awareness. You continue to strive to improve yourself and your preparedness.
What you become in this life is totally up to you. You can become anything that you desire, but becoming a warrior is a struggle.
The warrior lifestyle is not easy. It pushes your limits. It is a way of being and a way of living that requires work and dedication, unlike merely being an average person.
But the rewards are well worth it.
Your background and circumstances may influence who you are, but YOU are responsible for who YOU become.
We all come from different backgrounds, some are good and some are terrible.
While your background, and the circumstances that you grew up with, are a part of your life, they do not determine who you are or who you will become. Only YOU can truly determine who you will be in this life.
The warrior makes up his mind concerning who and what he will be, then he (or she) does what he needs to do to become what he has decided to become. At that point, his background, who his parents are, where he grew up, etc., are nothing more than history.
These things are all in the past. They no longer control his life. He has decided to take control of his life himself.
When you get to this point, none of those things can hold you back. Start where you are at this moment and decide who you will be and what you will become. Then direct all of your energy to becoming what you want to become. If you stay persistent, NOTHING can stop you from becoming the person that you want to become.
It is the intention behind your actions which determine if your actions are honorable or dishonorable, and your intention comes from your thoughts.
An action which seems right to outside observers, but which originates from dishonorable intentions, is not an honorable action, even if there is nothing inherently wrong with the action itself.
This can be a little hard for most people to grasp, but it is very important to true warriors who take their honor seriously.
In order for an action to truly be good or right, the thought behind it must be right. In essence, things have to be right on the inside for them to truly be right on the outside.
You can’t do wrong right, but you can do right wrong.
The intention behind your action makes all the difference in the world.
People may judge you on the outcome, but your honor does not depend on the outcome, it depends on the intention behind your action.
Hold on tightly to what is truly important in life.
Hold on to faith; it is the source of believing that all things are possible. It is the fiver and strength of a confident soul.
Hold on to hope; it banishes doubt and enables attitudes to be positive and cheerful.
Hold on to trust; it is at the core of fruitful relationships that are secure and content.
Hold on to love; it is life greatest gift of all, for it shares, cares, and gives meaning to life.
Hold on to family and friends; they are the most important people in your life, and they make the world a better place. They are your roots and the beginnings that you grew from; they are the vine that has grown through time to nourish you, help you on your way, and always remain close by.
Hold on to all that you are and all that you have learned, for these things are what make you unique. Don't ignore what you feel and what you believe is right and important; your heart has a way of speaking louder than your mind.
Hold on to your dreams; achieve them diligently and honesty. Never take the easy way or surrender to deceit.
Remember others on your way, and take time to care for their needs. Enjoy the beauty around you.
Have the courage to see things differently and clearly.
Make the world a better place one day at a time, and don't let go of the important things that give meaning to your life.
You can buy a black belt online, or from several of the martial arts catalogs, very cheaply. If all you want is a black belt, they come cheap. But, a 2 - 2 1/2 inch wide cotton belt is not going to save you when your back is against the wall.
The true warrior doesn't want the black belt; he wants the skills which make him a black belt.
There is a big difference.
The first one is merely to stroke your ego, while the latter is to improve and prepare yourself to meet life's battles and walk away successfully.
Instead of being concerned about how other people see you, be concerned with improving yourself.
Instead of wanting everyone to think that you are a tough guy, focus on being someone who can handle any situation because you have taken your training seriously and your goal has been much greater than getting a black belt.
Instead of deceiving yourself by strapping on that black belt and thinking that you are better, focus on being better.
You can beat some of the people, some of the time, by bluffing, but sooner or later, someone will call your bluff. At that time, you had better have something more than two inches of cotton covering your butt or you will have a rude awakening.
Do you take your training deadly serious or are you simply jumping through the hoops to get your black belt?
Strong is what happens when you run out of weak.
You truly do not know how strong you are or exactly what you can accomplish, until your back is against the wall and you have no other choice but to be strong.
There are many documented incidents of seemingly frail people who have exhibited inhuman strength in the face of a dire situation.
Heroic acts such as someone lifting a car off of someone to save his life, are well-known and not as rare as you may think.
Don't sell yourself short.
Believe that you are strong and powerful.
Train your mind not to accept weakness or limitations.
And then, train to ensure that you are as prepared as possible to respond to whatever life may send your way.
Ban the word "can't" from your vocabulary.
You must train your mind and spirit, as well as your body.
Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.
Never give up and never give in.
If you are constantly worried about what others think of you, then you have made yourself their mental prisoner. You are not truly free, but torn between who you want to be and who others want you to be. This comes from one of two places:
1) You really want and need to please others, and so much so, that you constantly worry about pleasing everyone around you because it hurts you when people are displeased with you or your actions.
2) You have low self-esteem and a low self-image, therefore when others think badly of you, it affects you to the point that you feel bad. So you constantly try to please others to avoid feeling worse about yourself.
Both of these personal issues place you into a type of mental bondage where you are constantly uneasy, insecure, and worried about what others will think of your thoughts, your words, or your actions. This is not freedom.
What you need to realize is, what others think about you is their business, not your business. If they have a problem with how you live your life, it is THEIR problem, not YOUR problem. You are not on this planet to please everyone that crosses your path, and this includes your friends and family as well. You don't need ANYONE'S approval to live your life, your way, as long as you are not disrupting someone else's life or harming someone else in some way.
This can be a really hard concept to grasp and put into action, especially if those who are constantly on your back to conform to their "approved" way of life are your family and friends. It takes a lot of courage to stand up and let everyone know that this is YOUR life and you will live it YOUR way.
This is even more true if you have grown up dealing with this pressure to conform and to please people your whole life. You will never be truly free until you find the courage to stand up for your own freedom of choice and declare that you will no longer allow others to place you in these mental bonds.
This is a must for the warrior. You must be able to live according to your own principles and code of honor, no matter what anyone else thinks about your decision. You have to have such conviction in your way of life, that you don't care what others think. The only way to get to that place is to know, without a doubt, that you have reflected on how you want to live and who you want to be, and that is how you WILL live and who you WILL be, period, no matter what society, friends, or family thinks about it. Don't allow others to sidetrack you on your path to warrior hood. Have the courage to stand up for the right to live your life as you see fit.
When someone asks you if you are going to do something and you respond with, “I’ll try” that is nothing more than a flimsy way to put the other person off. The warrior is not afraid of commitment. He knows whether or not he is willing to complete a task or not. Don’t say you will try. Either say that you will do it or say that you won’t do it.
As Sensei Yoda stated, there is no try, you either do it or you don’t do it. Don’t be afraid to make firm decisions. If someone asks you to do something, and you know that you are not planning on doing it, don’t say “I’ll try” in an attempt to put them off. Be honest enough to say, “I would like to, but I just don’t have the time now, so I can’t commit to it.” You will find that most people appreciate your honesty.
Saying, “I’ll try to do it,” is just a way to avoid commitment. This should especially be avoided on the path of the warrior. You don’t try to live a life of honor and integrity; you live a life of honor and integrity. You don’t try to make time for your training; you make time for your training. You don’t try to be prepared to defend your family and friends; you do defend your family and friends. You don’t try to live the lifestyle of the warrior; you live the lifestyle of the warrior. Make a decision and then follow through with it. Try not! Do, or do not.
Your martial arts training must be kept sharp.
It is one of the duties of the warrior to keep his skills ready at all times no matter how old is he/she.
Don't neglect your training.
It is easy to fall into the mental illusion that you may never really need to use your martial arts skills in "real life," but as a warrior, you cannot think this way.
As the proverb in the picture states, "Even in the sheath the knife must be sharp." The same goes for your martial arts skills; even if you are not using them, and they are "just in the sheath," they still must be sharp.
You don't wait until you need your knife to clean it up and sharpen it. After you use it, you clean it, sharpen it and store it in good shape for the next time you need to use it.
In the same way, you don't wait until you need your martial arts skills to make sure they are developed, sharp and ready to be used.
You keep them sharp and ready to be used when you need them.
Procrastination can be a deadly habit. The warrior's weapons are kept sheathed the majority of the time, but they still have to be kept sharp.
You don't want to find that you need to use your "knife" and when you take it out the sheath, it is dull, rusted, and couldn't cut hot butter.
Think about this.
Nobody is born with the wisdom of a sage or the character traits of a true warrior. These are things which have to develop over time.
Not only does it take time to develop the character traits that are an essential part of the warrior lifestyle, but it also takes a lot of work and perseverance.
You just don't decide one day that you are going to live the lifestyle of a warrior, and all of the sudden, these traits magically become a part of you.
It takes a lot of discipline to perfect your character and your martial arts skills, to make the traits of the warrior your own.
The warrior lifestyle is a journey not a destination.
Just as you struggle when learning a new endeavor, you will have your challenges on your path to warrior hood.
No one said that the lifestyle of the warrior is easy. It is a struggle, at least at first, until these qualities are internalized in your spirit.
The trick to perfecting your character or your martial arts skills, is staying on the path.
Don't give up because you fall short or because you have something that is threatening to block your path.
Just as your muscles will not grow without the challenge of increased resistance, your character will not improve without using it in the real world.
Anyone can sail a ship when the weather is calm, the test comes when the winds pick up and the storm clouds roll in around you.
BE DILIGENT IN YOUR QUEST TO BECOME A TRUE WARRIOR.
You can get hit hard and you can get knocked down, but you are never defeated until you give up.
Just keep coming back. Never give up, never give in. If you just continue to try, sooner or later, one way or another, you will end up victorious.
If you lose one day, learn a lesson from the experience and come back the next day. As long as there is still breath in your body, and you refuse to give up, you aren't beaten. Defeat is a state of mind; it is never permanent until you give up.
Life is like a game. It will test your persistence, your will power, and your tenacity. As long as the game continues, you have a chance to win. Each new day brings a new opportunity to be victorious. How could you possibly be beaten if the game is not over, unless of course you simply quit and give up? The answer is: YOU CAN'T. Your destiny is in your hands. Will you continue to fight until you win or will you take the easy way out and throw in the towel?
FEEL YOUR CONFIDENCE AND SEE YOURSELF WINNING. ALWAYS SEE YOURSELF WINNING.
Visualization is an important form of training for the warrior, and very effective if it is done right. Actually, visualization works whether it is done right or wrong. It will produce results either way. The difference is the kind of results which is produce by your visualization practice. If you visualize yourself screwing up, allowing fear to get the best of you, or visualize yourself losing a fight, those exercises will produce results in your life, although they probably won’t be the results you want.
You should always visualize yourself winning. You want to see yourself responding to the various situations with confidence and strength. See yourself as the confident, wise, and rational hero which has command of every situation that he/she finds him/herself in, no matter what.
Visualization practice is meant to be a form of training. Practice does not make perfect, perfect practice makes perfect. Visualize yourself winning with your actions and words.
Just as you would not want to practice your physical techniques in the gym incorrectly over and over, you don’t want to perform your mental exercises incorrectly over and over.
Practicing your techniques incorrectly reinforces bad habits which will eventually become natural for you.
The same principle applies to your visualization. If you see yourself in your mind’s eye choking during a fight or becoming nervous and making a mistake, what do you think that reinforces?
ALWAYS SEE YOURSELF AS STRONG, WISE AND A WINNER IN EVERY SITUATION.
Never imagine that you are safe after you deal a blow to your opponent.
The warrior knows that fighting is a serious business and should never been entered into lightly.
You should always do everything in your power to avoid a physical encounter.
It is much better to avoid danger or to defeat your enemy without actually having to result to violence if at all possible.
Never use your martial arts expertise unless you have no other recourse.
This said, when you do have to resort to violence to defend yourself or someone else, don’t play around.
Don’t assume that if you punch a threatening street thug in the nose, he has learn his lesson and will then straighten up, shake hands, and change his attitude.
In the movie The karate kid, Daniel San has an encounter on the beach at the beginning of the movie with another kid.
This kid punch Daniel in the stomach, then Daniel punch him in the face and said, “Okay, now we are even,” as he offered to shake his hand. The other kid proceeded to thoroughly thrash Daniel.
The point here is that if the situation is important enough to resort to using your martial arts skills, it is serious enough to do some major damage before you consider the matter is settled.
If it is not serious enough to dish out a hard core pounding, then you are in the wrong if you decide to use your martial arts training in this instance.
Insight and discernment have to be your guide.
Everyone has the desire to win, but only the wise have the discipline to prepare.
Everyone likes to win, and wants to win, but not everyone is willing to do what it takes to be a winner. It takes discipline to prepare yourself to be victorious. It takes hard work. It takes perseverance. You can't just work at it for a couple of days and then walk away; it takes dedication.
While everyone has the desire to win, not everyone has the discipline to manifest their desire. If you are going to do something, do it right. If you want to win, then discipline yourself to do what you have to do to prepare to be a winner, and do it with honor and integrity.
Focus + Desire = Success
How bad do you want to achieve your goals? Do you have the burning desire and the laser-like focus to keep you motivated until your goal is manifested in your life?
To accomplish great things in life, you have to be willing to put in the time and effort necessary to see them come to fruition. If you want success in life, no matter what you goal may be, you have to be willing to work for it. Maintain your focus on your goal and your desire will continually be renewed. Don't give up until your goal is achieved!
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