Holly is about to test for her 1st Degree Black Belt. This has not come easy for her, but giving up is not in her nature! Her son has also been on the same journey and her example is doing great things for him. Below is the essay, on “Purpose” she just submitted for consideration as part of her test to black belt. I thought it was wonderful and thought you might appreciate it as well.
PURPOSE -by Holly
Why is this important
“Knowing your life purpose is the first step toward living a truly conscious life. A life purpose provides us with a clear goal, a set finish line that you truly want to reach” author Simon Foster. Knowing the “why” of what you are doing gives you a reason to get out of bed and or stay up late to get ahead. Purpose. What is Purpose? Why is it important and how does it relate to our daily lives?
“We want it to help us achieve…”
To me, Purpose is the “Why” of my actions. Actions that lead towards basic level of needs for survival such as, food shelter, clothes, and more. If you do not fully understand why you are doing something, then why are you even doing it? Example, If I don’t go to work, I will not have money. If I do not have money, I can’t afford to eat.
Same Principals can be applied to any area of life and especially our practice in martial arts. If I practice, I will get better and build confidence in knowing my forms. If I know my forms well enough, I will get invited to test to the next rank. “We don’t want confidence just for the sake of it; we want it for a purpose. We want it to help us achieve our goals, follow our dreams, or perform better in some domain of life, such as sports, business, music, the arts, public speaking, parenting, or socializing.” Russ Harris, The Confidence Gap.
“I will get hit in the face….(wait, what?)
In class we discuss what are you really doing in the forms, kicks and blocks. What are you really defending yourself from and PURPOSE of the movements. Why are you kicking with this part of your foot for a round house kick , or why do you block with the hand positioned as such. To understand and know the purpose of the movement helps to develop the skills needed to become more successful at that form, kick, or block. By understanding the purpose, why am I doing this, you can build the skills needed and then become better at whatever it is you are trying to achieve.
If you do not understand the purpose of why you are doing something you will put little effort into your actions. An example is, if I don’t block correctly, I will get hit in the face. If I get hit in the face, I might break my nose and need surgery. The Purpose of blocking correctly is to protect your face from the opponent and prevent injury. If the block is done incorrectly, that is the potential outcome. There is always a reason, and or Purpose, behind your actions and reactions on the mat and in your daily life. “Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you respond to it.” Charles Swindoll. How do we apply purpose to our daily lives?
“What are you trying to achieve and WHY are you trying to achieve it?”
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step.” Lao Tzu. I ask you to randomly stop and think, “Why am I doing this? What is the purpose of this” Are your actions harming you or helping you? Are they creating more work or are you working ahead? By taking a time out and stepping outside of your daily routine stop and look at what you are REALLY doing. Do your actions reflect a positive purpose in your daily life and goals? What are you trying to achieve and WHY are you trying to achieve it? You can write this down and make short term and long-term goals.
Take time out twice a month to stop and reflect on what you have done towards your goals and your Purpose. By providing this structure, you can start to realize the time you are wasting and the actions that are providing you with negative outcomes. This is similar to our incorrect blocking example. You block incorrectly because you didn’t understand the purpose of the block, you get hit in the face. You fail to understand the purpose of something at work and blow it off, you miss out on a bonus or promotion. You fail to do the extra credit for school, you miss getting that higher grade by one point that you could have had.
Your purpose, is your purpose. Learn it, know it and work for it.
Albert Einstein once said, “Strive not to be success, but rather to be of value.” By having a Purpose and or value in something, you choose to make better choices. Your actions are the “Why” of the choice you made. Your Purpose has value. Value to you. Choose to be positive and kind and understand the ripple effect of your actions if you do not fully understand the Purpose and the choice you made. “The greatest glory in living lies not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” Nelson Mandela. Choose to move with a Purpose. Remember your goals. Understand your actions and think it through. If life throws you a punch and you fail to block it, get back up, refocus, remember your Purpose. DON’T EVER QUIT.