There are No Problems, Only Solutions
People do not often get excited about problems but seem to have a different mindset when we give them a challenge. Anthony Robbins will often speak of problems in his writings and how he uses them to identify, inspire and solve challenges in his life.
The first step in any problem or challenge is identifying what it is. Perhaps you are struggling with a course assignment or work-related issue. In karate class, it could be as simple as a student struggling with a certain section of their form and not being able to get through it. When they hit this roadblock, it is important to take that necessary first step and really understand what the challenge is. Being negative and generalizing your situation will not help, so it is important to shift your mindset and start with a positive approach.
Labelling yourself, that you cannot learn something, or you are not smart enough will not help you as you look for ways to tackle the issue. You must really peel back your first steps like an onion and totally understand what the root of the problem is. Perhaps it is your sense of direction, perhaps it is a certain movement that is causing an issue, perhaps it is your balance but whatever it is, try to identify exactly the root cause before you label yourself with a broader stroke.
The next step is to look for some easy action steps that will help you get there sooner. In the example where a student could be struggling with the form, if the issue happens to be balance then maybe it is time to look at improving that area of your training. With the Internet and Google, it is so easy to get information as there are plenty of resources for online drills to assist in any skill that you may need help with. Identifying the issue was an important first step but now gathering some information for action steps is a step in the right direction.
Implementation. How many times have you researched something and did nothing with the research? I am sure we can all rhyme off 20 or 30 things that we need to do to improve our area of fitness; even though we have that information in hand why is it that we find it so difficult to implement? Implementation is more than just knowing and gathering the information but committing to steps that push you in the right direction. Whether it be a weekly journal, a weekly calendar or verbalizing your goal in a public forum you need to do something that moves you forward. Sometimes at First Choice Martial Arts I will intentionally make an announcement on something that I know I need to do so that it is out in the public. This forces me to be accountable for what I have said publicly and now I must find a way to figure it out. I am sure verbalizing your goal publicly will make you more accountable to the challenge and get you there a little sooner.
Evaluate and change course if needed. If what you are doing is not working, then why are you doing it? In fitness the body needs to be stimulated differently all the time in order for it to react. If you want to build muscle and you do the same exercise every time it is just not going to work, you need to mix it up! When faced with the challenge or problem the same is true, what works for one challenge may not work for the next challenge. Do not be afraid to change direction if it is necessary because as humans we sometimes become so focused and set in our ways that we limit our potential. I remember the first time we went into lockdown and the first time we came out of lockdown; all the things that we had to do and how I would ponder over those decisions. Now it seems every week we just react, there is no point in waiting as change is inevitable and it only makes us better. If this works at the dojo and you like those results, then use this method next time you are faced with a challenge.
There is no magic answer or solution and all you can do is what you can do. Look for examples in life and use them to motivate you through that next challenge knowing it is not easy, but nor is the alternative. Hoping for a result and not doing anything about it is probably going to be more painful then putting in the time. When you succeed, you will feel better than ever, and it is going to build your confidence up to that unstoppable level. With your newfound success you will be better equipped for that next challenge when it comes your way.
Some do, some don’t, some will, some won’t. What is your next step?