1. You Cannot Control What Happens
This first one is an essential principle. If you can wrap your head around this one, the rest is easy (well, easier, anyway). The basic premise is simple: you cannot control what happens to you. The only thing you can ever control is YOUR reaction to it. See my post on Where Do You Locate Your Control for more on this topic.
2. Zero Based Thinking
The essence of Zero Based Thinking is this – Knowing what I now know, would I get into it again? If yes, how do you get out and how fast? Use this in all areas of your life:
Investments of time, money, and emotion cannot be recovered. If you decide that the situation is something that knowing what you now know you would not get into it again, cut your losses and get out of that particular situation, fast.
3. Medicate Daily (Story)
I was talking to a young yoga teacher at the gym a few weeks ago and she asked me about my 14 year old daughter. She was sympathizing with me about how girls at that age have a tendency to be very emotional and she was explaining how she was still very much that way herself at age 28. She then proceeded to offer me some advice – “You know what really works, Jon? Medication.” I looked at her strange, but she continued on… “Yes, your daughter needs to medicate daily; it works for me.” At this point I was getting angry. Who the heck was she to be proscribing medical advice to my kid? And she is a yoga teacher for God-sake! What the hell? Finally, just as I was about to say something very rude to her, she said again, “Yes, if I don’t MEDITATE daily, I can’t keep myself together…” Ooops… she was talking about meditation, not medication all along…
There are several different types of meditation. Over my 30+ year martial arts career, I have experimented with many of them. My favorite is Standing Meditation from Yiquan. See my post on Relaxed Standing.
4. Good Friends and Family
You can’t always go at it alone. Human are social, tribal beings. We need other people. This is where good friends and family come into the picture:
- They listen, but don’t judge
- They tell you how it really is, not how you want to hear it
- They push you to be your best
- They are always there for you no matter what
- They support you, but won’t carry you
- They not only share in your joys and revel in your triumphs, but walk with you holding your hand in your darkest hours
- They love you unequivocally
Sometimes I get by with A Little Help From My Friends
5. Push Your Body to Its Limits
Since this is Warrior Fitness, you should have expected this somewhere in the list! The fastest way to change your state is by changing your physiology. This means posture, movement, and breathing. Uniting all those things together in the process called exercise will transform you. Sometimes you must Create Your Own Adversity.
Hone Your Mind,
Invigorate Your Spirit,
and Make Fierce the Body with Warrior Fitness!
6. Fortress of Solitude
This one is the corollary to #4 above. While we are social beings, sometimes we need to get away. The only time you can really be with yourself and be able to hear that small, still voice inside you is during distraction free alone time. This means no cell phone, no TV, no computer, no tablet, no books, nothing other than you. Take time to get away and just think. More than think, listen. Take a walk in the woods. Go to the beach by yourself. Sit in your room and close the door. Whatever it takes.
7. Help Someone Else
Every volunteer and charity organization on the planet knows this one. Be reminded that there are others more unfortunate than you who need your help. Give of your time.
8. You Are What You Think
If you think you can, you are right. However, you are equally right if you think you can’t. Focus your mind on positive, creative, success oriented ideas. As William James noticed, we become what we think about most of the time!
9. Choose Happiness
This seems very simplistic, but remember from above that you are what you think. Therefore, you always have a choice. You can choose to be upset, frustrated, depressed, angry, or you can choose to be happy.
The way to experience ultimate happiness is to let go of all worries and regrets, and to know that being happy is the most satisfying of life’s feelings. Reflect back on all the progress in your life and allow the positive, creative and joyous thoughts to outshine and overwhelm any sorrow or grief that may linger in the recesses of your mind. Knowing that disease and disaster are natural parts of life is the key to overcoming adversity with a calm and happy spirit. Happiness is waiting there in front of you. Only you can decide whether or not you choose to experience it. Take this to heart.
- Takamatsu Sensei