A New Year is upon us and the Year of the Rat will soon be, too. Now is a time to set goals for the year ahead and, if you are like many people, learning a martial art may be unfulfilled goal on your list. How about making it year of the martial artist?
If you’ve always wanted to learn a martial art, then now is the perfect time to start. There is an old Samurai saying “he who hesitates is lost”. Hesitation is where many people’s ambition dies. They hesitate; they think about it so long that today becomes tomorrow, and tomorrow becomes next week, then next month, and soon your dream has been put on the backburner to life’s responsibilities of work, study and family.
This is a mistake. It’s an understandable mistake, but it’s a mistake all the same. The mistake is thinking that at some point in the future you will have the space and time in your life to learn a martial – next week, next month, next year….
But the truth is you are NEVER going to have the time. Your boss not going to give you less work to do, your exams are not going to get easier and your children are still going to need parenting.
You need to MAKE THE TIME to train. As management guru Steven Covey put it so perfectly: “They key is not to prioritize your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.” Read that as many times as necessary for it to sink in.
Setting goals can be helpful with this as long as you set the right kinds of goals. Do not set a goal of achieving a black belt or of going up in rank every three months. Rather, set goals such as joining a dojo and trying to do one or two lessons a week. Or set a goal of doing some training every day (even a few minutes) so that the goal will be something that leads to results rather than the goal being the results.
There is always a reason not to train: time, money, health, stress, tiredness, other commitments but training is always a choice. Find reasons to train rather than reasons not to train.
Prioritize, then schedule your priorities. Make the time to begin your martial arts journey, and you will find it so empowering that it will help you achieve goals in other parts of your life too.
There is a Chinese proverb that “life unfolds on a great sheet called time and once finished, it is gone forever.”
Do not get lost in hesitation. Now is the only time you have.