It's Monday, and good night I hate hearing about "the Mondays" like they're some kind curse. You know what Monday is? Monday is your opportunity to start an entire week off doing something awesome.
Get fit. Lose weight. Learn more. Save money. What do you want to do that you're not doing? More importantly...why haven't you started yet?
Are you waiting for the perfect time? Guess what...this is it. Waiting for a written invitation? This is it. Don't waste your Monday. What are you going to do today that will setup success for the week?
Stop waiting. Go.
On Wednesday, my Aunt Rhonda passed away after a heroic fight against cancer. This was my mom's little sister; and the youngest daughter of my Mawmaw; the same grandmother who had to bury her husband five months ago.
Honest to goodness, Aunt Rhonda was one of the nicest human beings you would have ever come across. Always smiling, always cheerful. Sacrificial. Loving mother. It's incredibly sad how much we take people like that for granted...assuming they will always be around...that we can send a photo or a text tomorrow. We aren't guaranteed a thing, especially more time.
I do not believe that death was part of the initial game plan for us. I do not believe that it was intended a natural part of this cycle we now find ourselves in. I believe that death crept in, like a bandit and is now the ultimate enemy.
You believe that too, even if for different reasons. You eat healthy and take your vitamins. You exercise and try to live a relatively safe life. You do that to prolong this life for as long as possible...to hold the enemy at bay; but, in the end, death will come for all of us.
One of my favorite lyrics, to one of my favorite Pearl Jam songs goes like this:
"Yeah I'm a lucky man
To count on both hands
The ones I love
Some folks just have one
Yeah others they got none"
If you're lucky like I am, make sure those people know.
From Tsukahara Bokuden's The Hundred Rules of War:
"You should know that Samurai who prefer thick handles and thicker scabbards for their swords are, frankly, not very adept."
Basically, if you want "the big one" just because you think it will make you better...you're a moron.
Aside from swords, I see this warning every day with vocabulary. Don't you love it when someone uses big, fancy words...and it's clear they're not using them properly? Now, I'm all for taking risks, but there needs to be wisdom and humility there too.
In my career as a teacher, I've often got young children commenting on my size. They want to be as big as me one day. Sure, being huge has some real, practical benefits but it also has it's drawbacks. Being a physical "big guy" I:
- often scare small children
- appear to be angry, unless I'm smiling
- continue on my 38 year journey to find a pair of pants that fit properly
- same with shoes
- and long-sleeved dress shirts
- cannot hide in a crowd
- stand no chance at hide-and-seek with my kids
- have hit my head on numerous doors, ceiling fans, lights, etc.
- HATE visiting Colonial Williamsburg...I don't fit in those old buildings
- have found that my actions are more likely than not, interpreted as being more aggressive because of my size
Wanting the newest "thing" because it's supposedly the biggest or best is silly. All things have drawbacks. Be wise and careful what you wish for. Instead of wishing to be big, wish rather, to be the best you-sized-you possible.
It's simple. Get to the dojo and train.
Want to have a strong week? Get to the dojo.
Want to have a fulfilling week? Get to the dojo.
Want to improve balance and posture? Get to the dojo.
Want to get fit, or at least start? Get to the dojo.
Want to work on focus? Get to the dojo.
Want a work off some steam? Get to the dojo.
Want to learn how to throw a punch? Get to the dojo.
Want to learn how to take a punch? Get to the dojo.
Want to feel proud of yourself? Get to the dojo.
It's seriously that simple...getting to the dojo will help you create a pretty amazing week!
It will quite literally change your quality of life!
I played a lot of baseball growing up. Admittedly, I wasn't nearly as good as my brothers, and none of us could hold a candle to our dad.
In Tsukahara Bokuden's The Hundred Rules of War we read that "Identifying a bad sword by the sound and vibration it gives off when cutting is something that a Samurai must learn to do."
In the fight game, you know when you've landed a good technique. It feels different; sweet even. There's a different sound to landing a solid punch compared to one that's just a little "off".
And oh the sounds of the fight game! The wheezing of your opponent when you knock the wind out of them. The deep thud from a solid leg kick. Music to a sensei's ears!
Learning the difference between the sound and feel of solid technique comes after many repetitions. It takes a lot of practice and effort. In today's culture of wanting immediate success, learning the sensations of great technique requires the one thing we least desire to offer: time. It's a sacrifice, but oh so worthwhile!
Ever watch a baseball game and noticed how a batter seems to know when they've hit a homerun the moment the bat meets the ball? That comes from practice folks. Get to the dojo, and train.
I've almost made it to Spring Break of my 17th year as a teacher. Every year I'm reminded of those awesome teachers that invested in me when I was a younger knucklehead. Odds are, you've had at least one awesome teacher that you can still hear with one of their "isms".
This week, I want you to write a letter to that one awesome teacher who made an impact on your life in a real way. WRITE a LETTER. Don't type an email. Don't send a text. Get paper and pen and get that thing in the mail!
Expressing gratitude is a tremendous blessing for both the giver and receiver. Be a blessing this week. Receive a blessing this week. Take 10 minutes to get this done, and I can almost guarantee that your week will be an awesome one!
Had trouble falling asleep last night. The winds were crazy and I kept having thoughts of various debris flying around the neighborhood. About 2am I realized something...I was friggin hungry.
I hadn't eaten since dinner on Wednesday and there was definitely a rumbly in my tumbly. This scene, from one of my favorite movies, came to mind in that moment:
If you read my post on Monday, this week has been about “going without”. What’s it like for someone to go to bed hungry? A kid? How does a kid, who regularly goes to bed hungry function in school? Are they afraid of their stomach making noises in class? Are they embarrassed? I can only imagine. I can choose to go hungry for a while.
Trying to explain it to some people is like talking to a brick wall. Some think I’m crazy or full of crap. I’ll ignore them.
Why am I taking some time to go hungry? I want to know and feel and experience what people around me experience on a daily basis. Me being hungry isn’t about me. It’s about connecting with people around me who live the situation.
So what have you gone without this week? Your car? A coat? Electricity? (Oooh that might be my next one). Whatever you’re doing, make it meaningful. Pursue going without as a means to build your character but also, more importantly, to build relationships with those around you.
Have an awesome weekend!!!