Always Remember, Your Focus Determines Your Reality
Picture this as a student, you are standing in the middle of the dojo on the big blue mat when you are asked by your Sensei to close your eyes. As a good student you comply, and the Sensei then asks you to name something that is blue in the room. Inevitably the first thing that comes to your mind is the mat you are standing on. The Sensei then asks you to keep your eyes closed and continue to name off things that are blue. Different things pop in your head, the blue writing on the wall, a piece of blue tape on the floor and the blue First Choice letters on the wall.
At this point the Sensei then asks you to open your eyes and try to find four or five more things that are blue. Perhaps there was something on the wall that you missed, something in the lobby, something on the floor, a piece of equipment so you scramble with your eyes to name off as many as you can.
Now the Sensei asks you to close your eyes once again. Eagerly you close your eyes knowing the question they will ask, and you are readying your answers. You have already picked a few from when your eyes were open, and you are ready to shout out first and beat all of the other students in the class.
At this point things take a sudden turn as the Sensei asks you to name something in the room that is yellow. You draw a blank completely as you were expecting to name something that was blue. You are caught off guard and cannot comprehend why you cannot name anything yellow. At this point the Sensei seeing your frustration asks you to open your eyes.
I recently did this exercise with a group of students and this is exactly how the scenario played out. They were so focussed on the colour blue that they forgot and ignored everything else around them. This caused them to pause when I asked them name something that was yellow.
In life we are often faced with different circumstances and this was a great metaphor for life because it taught the students that whatever you focus on most you will experience most. If you have a lot of blue in your life and you focus on that the most then that will be inevitably be what you experience most often. On the other hand, if you have a lot of bright vibrant colours in your life filled with positivity then your outlook and experience will look a whole lot different.
With social media, the newspaper, TV, and the internet we are constantly bombarded with negative images that can impact us in a negative way. After we discussed this in class, we reminded our students that we and only us we have control of our mental focus. Whatever we focus on most is what we are going to experience in our daily life.
The students that come to First Choice Martial Arts are extremely fortunate because they have an extraordinarily strong foundation. Great family, great parents, and great teachers give these kids a winning attitude. They get to participate in a great extracurricular activity that improves their mind and body and we remind them that it is important that they continue to give off these positive vibes and affect the people around them in a positive way.
We are humbled as instructors every day when we see kids showing up with such a strong positive attitude, given the climate and environment, we are in. These kids are programmed to focus on being kids and live their lives the way children should. Even last night when Elise and David came into class Sensei Russell asked them how are you guys feeling and immediately they replied “Great Sir!” When I listened to them it was not a programmed response it was a sincere “Great Sir” because they were having a great day and were happy to be at the dojo. Although this was just a quick interaction with Sensei Russell, Elise and David, were focussed on doing their best last night. They showed up and made the lesson a little better because of their presence and positive outlook.