Scott J. DaDante

Overwhelmed, tired, stressed and depressed; the description of the average Joe in the day in day out routine called life?

There's got to be a light at the end of this tunnel, a reward for all of my hard effort for I can't be doing all of this in vain. I've put my life on hold for my job, family and other adult responsibilities. Once I get ahead, I can once again work on my goals and dreams. I'll start working out again and get in shape, I'll work on fixing up that old Mustang that been sitting in the garage for the past three years, I miss jogging? Yeah, I really used to like jogging. Once the boys are out of football and my daughters done with her gymnastics, I'm going back into the martial arts; that is when I can afford it again. I really need to get back and work for my next belt.

Man, the other guys and Sensei must really think I'm a quitter after all these years. Would they be happy to see me? I wonder if Rich is still there and if he is he had to of past me up by now. I wonder if they even would remember me? Would they even care for my return? I think I should drop twenty pounds and practice in the basement and get back in the groove before showing my face at the dojo! Yeah I'll get really good, so when I go back everyone will be impressed on how well I'm doing! I'll start getting back in shape next month when my schedule clears up. Yeah for sure I'm doing it this time.

A year passes and the same thoughts raise attention again. Time and time again this scenario resurfaces until most come to realize that they just don't have the time, energy or funds to live out their goals and dreams until they come to the a point when their goals and dreams stop surfacing in their thoughts altogether.

Decades pass and in their later years their thoughts of their past goals and dreams resurface again, but at this point new excuses over take their thoughts. I'm too old for that now. I really wish I would have done that when I was younger, boy did I miss out. I had all the time in the world back then. Why didn't I do all those things I wanted to do? Resentment has now set in and the thoughts of "what if?" over comes their sense of well being. They live out the remainder of their years with a certain sense of failure, the lack of self worth and the missed feeling of accomplishment.

The bottom line is that we have the time to make our dreams come true, we only have one life to live and only so much time to live it. Would making and fitting time in for just you make you a selfish person? Do you treat yourself the way you want others to treat you? If getting in shape or staying in shape is important to you, then understand that our body is the product of our thoughts and the nature of our thoughts and emotions determines the physical substance, structure and function of our bodies. It's is also the biggest factor in the healing arts. Concerning yourself with your health and well being is not selfish, so make time for you.

The sense of self worth, the feeling of accomplishment and the idea of being proud in who we are builds up our self confidence, which fuels us to get up each day to take on the world. When one believes in themselves other's follow, feeding off whoever's energy is radiating the strongest. If it is yours, then you know there is nothing that you cannot do and are driven to do it better than anyone before. You make the time to get the job done and to do it with the best of your abilities.

Negative thought truly manifests itself into negative reality. When lost in negative thought what gets accomplished? How do dreams become real? They simply don't, but the opposite of negativity is optimism. By being positive, your thoughts lead to a positive reality resulting in a more fruitful life and the feeling of self worth and accomplishment. You tend to get more things done. Finding time in your day becomes not a burden, but a necessity and in turn you get more out of your day.

You will feel more tired at the end of each the day, but it is the result of your schedule of self accomplishment based off the things you achieved through out your day. This is a different form of being tired as opposed to being tired at the end of your day resulting from being stressed out from servicing everyone else's schedule with no time spent on yourself. The rest received on body is also different because when one is exhausted for a busy day that also included your goals and dreams in it results in your body shutting down to gain a good solid sleep with its sole intentions to rejuvenate itself with the rest it needs to perform tomorrow's next challenge. This is different from the rest your body receives from a day of exclusive service for other's which usually results in your body simply shutting down due to stress which is made up of broken sleep where you wake up feeling more exhausted then before you went to bed the night before. This pattern is unhealthy both physically and mentally.

These ideas for setting trends in your personal schedule can also carry over into your training schedule. We as martial artists sometimes do not have the freedom as say our teachers, for example being a studio owner myself; I have a freedom that my students do not have because I have access to my dojo at anytime of the day, which provides me with all the tools of the trade and the space to practice with. Although I work long hours at my other job plus running the dojo and also spending time with my family, I have to find time for my other responsibilities of reaching deadlines on writing projects, my obligation to recording music with other musicians, my artwork, marketing, accounting, creating and building my ideas for both business and pleasure and still find time to train. I have a lot on my plate, but it's by my choice. How can we I balance it? By setting out a schedule on your goals will allow your dreams to come alive, but remember to keep it simple. One goal at a time.

If you try and get it all done at one time something will have to suffer. You tend to procrastinate and your goals are prolonged and usually do not come out as successful as they would of if you would have focused your time and energy into just that one thing or two things. There will always be time for the other things you wish to accomplish because you will make the time to get them done. Remember you have now written a schedule of your goals and they are listed in order according to importance and you even have a timeline of when these goals should be completed by.

This schedule is similar to the timeline for achieving your Black Belt. Your overall goal is reaching that point, but to get there are small goals, like moving through the ranks. To do this you even have smaller goals like achieving your rank and again to do this you have to discipline yourself into mastering the material set forth in that rank to prepare you to advance to your next rank, yet another goal. To master that material takes dedication to overcome the hardships of the material at hand and to do this takes time. To make time is factor that some people find important while others fall short on. Making time at times is again a goal.

Each and every one of us takes on some sense of pride in their work. Some take it more seriously than others while even others only do what is necessary to get by. The people who only do what is necessary usually do not take the incentive to finish what they start and seem to quit before completion while using some minor excuse; if however they do continue on they are usually sadly labeled as the untalented, unmotivated person on the team. The person who takes things more serious seems to always finish the job, but it may take them extra time because 'hold backs' always seem to find a way to so call 'Ruin their plans'. They are good people and are talented with sincere hearts, but their talent is cut short from the lack of dedication set into their goals. Last is the person who accepts nothing but their full attention while on the job. Getting the most of their time spent on the task at hand. Their hard work and dedication always stands out as their ability and knowledge rise above the rest. They will become leaders and will be sought after for advice and direction. They will go further than the next guy and will be remembered for their drive.

All three types of people all invested the same amount of time each day at their job, whatever that job may be. Their outcomes for the amount of time spent were however greatly different. Is 'Time Management' the key to success here? Well sure it is in a way, but self motivation in getting the most out of your time is the real key. The more you do and the better you do at it always seem to motivate a person into wanting to do more. To go above and beyond and to give themselves that little push toward excellence. Their reward ends up in becoming successful in their field and most importantly loving their job. How could they not love it? They are praised every time they step foot on the job because they enjoy it that much and it shows. Their energy glows for their love of what they do. When they arise in the morning their thoughts are immediately focused on the positive image of what they're going to achieve today and what they will need to do into taking that extra step toward achieving their overall goal. This excites them and they cannot wait to get started.

Some people on the job will look down on these people and talk about them behind their back, simply out of jealousy because deep down inside they wish they had the drive that the successful ones have. They do however possess it, but do not realize it or know how to achieve it. We are born with the tools to make it in this world and some people just have a natural ability to take these tools and run with them out of sheer instinct, while others have to be taught how to use these tools. In reality, neither one is no better than the other, but for the people who usually have to be taught how to use these tools, some of them take the incentive to learn these tools while others do not and it is usually are these people who are jealous of anyone who is successful.

These comparisons can completely relate to the atmosphere of any dojo, which is made up of different personalities and personal practices. It is important for the serious martial artist to stay focused on their goals and to not be affected by other student's negativity or any other outside or personal sources of negativity for that matter. We all know to go with the flow and roll with the punches in sparring, well the same applies here with personal interaction with others or events that effect our lives. We cannot and will not allow that negativity to affect our goals, dreams and ambitions.

These events affect our emotional state and can highly affect our motivation in managing time so it is important that we have the mental resources available to keep us on track, these resources can be a simply prayer, it could be picture or a symbol of constant reminder of where your hard work will lead or it could be just support from a friend, family or spouse. These tools, resources and practices are invaluable when it comes to your success and will help you to get the most out of the one thing we all try to manage in our overwhelming day is Time! Use this information and seek out more to better yourself in your personal success and to insure 'Perfect Practice'. Remember, you're worth every second of it.

Respect and Honor.