Monday, April 26, 2010

Pardon me. Do you have the time?

We often tend to view time as shaped like a giant hourglass with the sands of time trickling through a tiny time hole between future and past. These grand imaginative vistas of what has gone and what lies ahead overwhelm our view of what really is.

Actually, what we have is a horizon-smashing moment that is HUGE! Think about it, you can do anything you want to right now.

“What? No way, I have a job to do and loads of other responsibilities that I have to consider before me.”

I am not saying to shirk what needs to happen here at all. What I would really love is for everyone to be more fully here and now. Too many of us drift off with some longing of elsewhere and other things to do. Have you asked yourself, “Is it five o’clock yet?”

When we focus on what is right in front of us, we are able to commit to whatever we are doing wholeheartedly. Amazingly, the time flies by.

Now is the time to rethink how you view the moment. What are some ways you can be more here and now?

Monday, April 19, 2010


In July of 2002, while at a martial art seminar in Oklahoma City, I popped my anterior cruciate ligament (ACL). No, it did not feel pleasant.

In November of that year, I had it repaired and I started physical therapy and the relearning of things. Over the months after popping it, I adjusted how I moved. My body had adjusted to compensate somewhat. I had to get as close to normal as possible.

It took longer than I wanted, but I got back close to pre-popping mobility after about a year. I had specific milestones laid out with the goal of particular movements I wanted to be able to do again. By the end of that year, I could. In many ways the ligament is stronger, but I also have some limitations. I adjusted.

The thing is, it didn’t stop me. Sure, my body was altered but I adapted and am stronger in many ways, especially mentally. We all have these pop quizzes from time to time to test us, shake us up and keep us moving!

Anything ever knock you back forcing you to learn again?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Overcoming Perfection

I have never been a fan of perfection as the ultimate ideal or as a goal. This is not to say that doing one’s best can’t get you close to the perception. I recall telling people, “practice doesn’t make you perfect, just better.”

Does the idea of perfection prevent you from the attempt? The adage, “If you can’t do something well (or right), why do it at all?” comes to mind. I find this to be off the mark somehow. So what if we redefine the word?

Perfection has imperfectness. It is all part of the balance. Imagine everything being perfect in every detail. Can you?

When I was learning some new techniques in a martial art style from a peer whom I didn’t see that often, I mentioned my concern about doing something wrong. His response was, “Just do it. We can fix the little things later, but at least you are doing something.” To me, that’s the key; regardless of my skill level, as long as I am doing it, I am getting better at it. Will I be perfect every time? No. Will there be moments when I nail it? Yes.

The experience helps us grow and define who we are, helps us learn and understand along with broadening the view.

What is something you are willing to try regardless of outcome?

Monday, April 5, 2010

Break Through

When I started training in the martial arts, I was overweight and so out of shape I was consistently teased that the smelling salts were on hand.

I can honestly say that there were a few occasions when, while kneeling in a corner trying to catch my breath, I thought about throwing in the towel, but I kept getting up for more.

One aspect of the training that I could not wrap my brain around was a stick drill that involved weaving them as well as mirroring the movement on both sides of the body. For some reason, I had a huge block in my head on this drill.

One day after struggling with it for literally a couple months, a fellow student took me under his wing to help me get it. He broke down the movements step-by-step on one side until I got those. Then we did it on the opposite side until I was flowing through the movements. By the end of the class I had it.

After that, whenever I have a challenging moment, I break it down “by the numbers,” as we used to say. Now when I hit that barrier, I step back and approach the problem or task methodically until I have it completed.

As for that stick drill, I literally do it in my sleep.

What is something you once found difficult but now consider second nature?