Do you want to make your life better? Most people have a dream, goal, or aspiration. They don’t always pursue it, for whatever reason, but it is always there waiting for the right moment. You can make your life better, and achieve some of those hopes and dreams, if that is what you really want. You have to make an effort and the necessary changes, but most importantly, you must believe in yourself. Here are a few insightful tips to get you started so you can make your life the very best that it can be.
1: Pick Positivity
Changing a negative world begins with changing a negative you. For every thought and action, there is a negative and a positive. Ask yourself in what direction your thoughts and actions are focused. Is it possible for you to create a more positive approach to your actions and reactions? One way to pursue positivity is to set goals and work toward them. Accomplishment sets positivity in motion.
Accept what you like about yourself, and work to improve what you don’t like. Take the actions that allow you to build your strengths and minimize your weaknesses. Actions speak louder than words. They are the best way to ignite positivity in your life. Instead of just talking, start doing.
Plant positive thoughts in your mind, but manifest them in your life. It is not enough to just think positively. You must implement. If you want to earn your next belt in martial arts, you must learn and practice. If you want to advance in your career, you may need to take classes, training, or learn from someone who has done the same job. Every goal requires an action.
In martial arts, a good instructor prompts a student to take positive personal action by encouraging, engaging, and pushing the student to become the best martial artist he or she can be. Every person faces limits, fears, and negativity. Through positive thoughts and implementation, you can break through self-imposed limits, eliminate unnecessary fears, and embrace your true potential.
2: Interact Intelligently
What do you watch television, listen to on the radio, or read? Personally, I think it is very difficult to find positive communications anymore. From talk shows, reality shows, and world news, to every other type of media, I yearn to find something to watch or listen to that is focused on what is right and good. A program that is uplifting and offers interesting or creative positive advice would be refreshing!
The key to finding positivity through media sources is to look beyond what you read and hear. What you take in, is what you give back out. How you fill your mind will make an impact on how you live your life. If you feel that negativity surrounds you, try to limit certain interactions or influences and instead focus on your own personal positive approach to the world around you.
Use focus, commitment, dedication, and empowerment to replace negativity. Media sources and other communications that are not thought-provoking, or that constantly focus on negative topics, will never inspire you to rise to your potential. Use intelligent interactions to improve your life.
A martial art is an excellent intelligent interaction. There was a time when I didn’t have an opinion about anything, one way or the other. It was more a fear of being “wrong” than actually not having an opinion. In time, martial art training gave me the confidence I needed to believe in myself and to recognize that my opinions and my actions mattered and made a difference.
Martial arts require brain power to study, learn, and practice. Through this learning I am able to focus on intelligent life options inside the martial art school and in my life, to grow as a person and a martial artist, without succumbing to negative influences.
3: Amazing Activities
Get out there and take positive actions in your life by participating in some amazing activities. Walk, write, pray, find a hobby, make friends, try something new, or be creative. I often say that there is no success without action. I wish life could just hand us everything that we want, but I know that it takes effort and diligence to reach real goals. The journey toward the goals becomes a very important part of who you are, almost as important as reaching the goals themselves.
When I decided I wanted to write a book, I began a journey I had never experienced before. To take action, I sat down at my laptop and start working on it. I began by pulling a few blog posts from my website that I thought could be anchor stories in the book. Then, with the help of my publisher, I identified women martial artists who could add interesting and factual accounts of how martial arts affected their lives.
Then, I had to organize stories, edit, and add more of my own. Every day presented new challenges and new tasks that needed to be accomplished in order to get the book published. After a year and a half, I had a manuscript and eventually, a published copy. The decision to begin the process was important, but not as important as the actions I actually took to write it.
The activities that fill up your life are completely up to you and have a direct bearing on your success and happiness.
4: Real Respect
One of the most beautiful aspects of martial arts that I admire is respect. Many practitioners bow as they enter the martial art school. Two students sparring together bow respectfully before and after the match. Bowing is a great reminder not only that each practitioner is expected to be respectful, but that each deserves respect.
Wouldn’t it be awesome if we could all be this respectful outside the martial art school? It would be wonderful if every time we encountered another person, we did so with some symbol of respect first. How many times do we rush past others, consumed in our own world and our own agendas? Life is hectic and we have a lot to do, but when we compromise respect, we compromise a better world, too. Don’t let anger or emotions get in your way. Treat others as you wish to be treated.
Respect is not a one-time action, but requires practice. Even on your worst day, or in your angriest moment, there is room for respect. Respect is, and will always be, a relevant and necessary part of a positive world.
5: Honorable Humility
Humility is not easily found in our world today. Mostly, everyone is out for himself or herself. Success is pursued at the cost of others. Promoting yourself for a new job or interview, or to sell your book, is acceptable, but must always be weighed with humility on the back-end.
Employers want to see a confident person who is genuine and caring, not someone who is egotistical. Readers want to know a little bit about who you are before they purchase your book. As long as the intent is established, and selfishness is not the priority, an honorable sense of humility exists.
Being humble does not preclude you from being an aggressive go-getter, or pursuing your dreams and passions. It means that you do not need to pursue them at the expense of others. It also means that you don’t need to brag or one-up others. There is an understanding that we are all equally important, even through our different opinions and experiences.
These are the “tips” of the iceberg! Here are a few more insightful tidbits to keep you moving in a positive direction:
- Wise Words– Don’t talk just to hear yourself speak! Instead, use positive words to encourage others!
- Simple Solutions– Life is often difficult, but not every solution has to be complicated. Whittle your problems and battles into bite-sized pieces and deal with them on a smaller level. Then move on to the next issue that needs to be resolved.
- Better Behaviors– We can all act a little better in a lot of different ways! Kindness is one. Thoughtfulness is another. Appreciation, gratitude, and love all bring out the best in us and in each other.
- Exceptional Effort– Those who find success generally pushed a little harder, or gave a greater success than the rest. If you want something, go after it with all the effort that you can.
- Great Goals– Stop making goals that are so huge they feel impossible. Losing weight is everyone’s goal these days. What about modifying the goal so it is accomplished in steps? Replace the losing weight goal with smaller goals such as cutting out sweets, limiting starches, or exercising more. Those are three smaller goals that you can achieve more readily than the illusive “lose weight” goal.
- Fascinating Friendships– Let’s face it. It is nice to have a good friend who knows when we are down, and who can raise our spirits, listen, or encourage. Think about some of your best friends and why they mean so much to you. Your life is better because of them!
The next time you wonder if there is any way that you can improve your life, turn to these insightful tips and try one, or come up with your own. There is always room for improvement in your life. Don’t let time slip away waiting for something better to just happen. Take some positive actions now that will make your life even better!
The Martial Arts Woman shares the stories and insights of more than twenty-five women in the martial arts, and how they apply martial arts to their lives. Unlike most other martial art books, the reader will catch a glimpse into the brave and empowered woman who dares to be all that she can be. Many of these women had to overcome great societal or personal challenges to break into the men’s world of martial arts. This book will motivate and inspire you to go after your goals in life and to fight through every challenge and defeat every obstacle. The Martial Arts Woman will open your eyes to the power of the human spirit and the martial art mindset that dwells in each of us!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Andrea F. Harkins is a writer, motivator, life coach, martial artist, and public speaker. Her book, The Martial Arts Woman, is now available at themartialartswoman.storenvy.com.
Andrea is Internationally known for her positivity through martial arts efforts and outreach, and her writing. She is currently a contributor for Think Positive Magazine, as well as a columnist for Martial Arts Illustrated UK, The Martial Arts Guardian (UK), the World Martial Arts Magazine, MASUCCESS, Conflict Manager, Martial Arts Business (Australia), The Parrish Village News, and her blog, The Martial Arts Woman. Contact her for information on public speaking, autographs, and life coaching.