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Archived Articles

December 2009 Articles

Stop 'Shattering' Your Brain
Adopt the "Black Belt Attitude!"

Focus On One Thing

Everyone comes to a point where there is so much to do that they don't know where to begin. Some people jump from one thing to another and get nothing accomplished except become more frustrated.

A black belt will make a "To Do" list, prioritise and keep to that list. He or she will focus on the #1 item until it is finished. Then, and only then, do they move to the second item unless, for some reason something comes up that necessitates moving a lower item on the list to #1. In that case, they will make the move, focus, get it done and return to the original #1 without flinching.

Black belts have learned through their training how to focus and not shatter their brains into fragments trying to do too many things at one time where nothing gets accomplished.

Learn to Delegate

To keep their brains from being 'shattered', all great leaders have learned the art of delegation.

Black belts (particularly black belt instructors) are excellent leaders because they are able to recognise abilities in others and are not afraid to delegate.

When in a leadership position, they quickly find the best people for each task and give them free reign to do the job. They do not try to do the job for the delegate because he or she has faith in the ability of the delegate to do the job right.

They know there is nothing more frustrating than to be given a job but not being allowed to do the job. A black belt delegates and goes on to something else and only helps the delegate when asked to do so.

Stop Double Work

When handling mail, messages and small chores, etc., get in the habit of handling them the first time you have them in your hand. Don't put them in a pile thinking you will go back over them later. You only create clutter and seldom do you get back to it. On the first go round, take care of it.

If it is a letter or memo, answer it as soon as you read it. If it is a phone message, return the call as soon as you read the message. If it is a school assignment, do it and get it behind you. If it is something you don't have to act on, either file it away or throw it in the trash.

Many times the things you put in a pile become out of date quickly and you end up neglecting someone or something. Black belts have learned to get things done as soon as possible so they have no backlog; therefore, no frustrations and no 'shattered' brains.

Throw Out Negative Thoughts

First of all, stop volunteering for things you feel you really do not have the time to do. Learn to "sit on your hands." Being overly burdened can cause negative thoughts to enter your mind.

Negative thoughts are time robbers. Negative thoughts keep you from doing the things you have to do for fear of failure. Negative thoughts shatter your brain and can cripple you. A black belt sees a crisis as a challenge and a time to learn.

The more taxing a problem, the better to exercise the brain. Get in the habit of total focus with the positive attitude of "I can do it! I know I can!" When you can cope and accomplish without allowing negative thoughts to shatter your brain, regardless of crisis, you have achieved the Black Belt Attitude!

Why do we bow?

Probably the single greatest cultural shock you will experience as a Martial Arts student is the bowing that is required. Bowing has made more new students more uncomfortable that probably any other single aspect of Martial Arts training, largely because the act of bowing is viewed as submissive, or a weakness.

As part of your training, bowing actually represents strength. Part of the mental training of the Martial Arts is the mastering of the ego. The ego, while it is an integral part of the human psyche and helps create feelings of self worth, has traditionally caused more problems than benefits.

The only reason why a person would not want to bow to another person is that their ego gets in the way: "Who is this person that I should bow to them?" You never hear of some one who has a big ego being spoken of in a positive light.

By not bowing, you have allowed your ego to win, which means that your true self is weaker than your ego. By bowing – by beating down your ego – your true self actually becomes stronger. Bowing is not a sign of weakness, rather it is an example of the strength of your true nature over your ego.

The act of bowing is an Oriental gesture of courtesy and respect, and should be performed from a stationary position, feet together, hands open at your sides and bending at the waist at a 45 degree angle. You must bow:
•Upon entering and leaving the school.

•At the beginning and end of each class.

•If you leave or enter the class whilst in session.

•Before and after sparring.