Decreasing Stress, Encouragement, Karate, Learn to Appreciate, Motivational, Philosophy, Reader

Break the Mold

I received a message not long ago from someone who was responding to a post I had written. He made the comment that “many people make life too difficult,” and that they are “not capable of personal or professional commitment.” He added, “they are always looking for problems and make them so large that they can’t be surmounted…”

He referred to one of my favorite quotes,  “Keep on pushing through,” that I use whenever I am faced with a difficult obstacle or burden. He said, there is “very little pushing through, and a lot of poor decision-making even when the prize is so much greater than the problem.”

The question arises. Why? Is it fear of success? Is it just fear? Is it laziness and the desire to get something for nothing?

These are deep thoughts, but I can see his point. It is so easy to throw your hands up and give up, instead of following through on your plans. People limit their success as quickly as they can blow out a lit match, because they do not want the difficult task of working for it. Our world, and our desires, want an instantaneous response. The realization of the work involved can hush a person’s goal forever .

When a good goal is not accomplished, however, because of fear or laziness, every benefit to that good goal is forfeited. Even worse, you begin to believe that giving up is okay, when in fact it begins a vicious cycle of never following through on anything in your life. We have to think responsibly for both ourselves and the world around us.

What is the message you want to send when it comes to pursuing goals that are meaningful and purposeful? Being the example works better than just encouraging others.

Martial arts are a great example of persevering for a personal gain, or a goal. For some, like me, it is the first time that they ever commit. Even though I was 26 years old when I began my martial art journey, it was the first time I proclaimed, “I am going to do this!” Once I verbalized my goal, it was much easier to accomplish. I decided to “push through”  because there was something very valuable to be gained. It was not about the black belt to wrap around my waist, but more about the black belt spirit that was developing within.

Through martial arts, you can begin to realize your potential and your self-worth. Your journey never ends, and there are amazing opportunities for achievements and advancements. Within each of those moments, you learn how empowered and powerful you are. You can change and mold your mindset and your body, and strengthen that spirit that so often remains dormant within.

One moral of this story is to not make life too complicated for no reason. Don’t place unnecessary burdens in your own way. Part of your self-created obstacles are because of a negative mindset that needs to be re-charged to a positive one.

A negative mindset builds like an endless staircase. You keep climbing and climbing, but never reach the top.

Do you create negative impacts where there should be positive outcomes? Do you base your reactions or self-discipline on fear or laziness? Do you give up too easily? Do you allow your mindset to sway you to the negative instead of the positive? Do you create situations that are so entangled that you cannot figure them out?

Simplicity is often key to keeping yourself in control. You do not need to make life complicated or convoluted by choosing negative reactions or emotions. Why take the difficult path? Why choose the problem instead of the prize? We must understand how to lead ourselves well, and be the example, before we can expect the same from others.

I agree with the some of the comments of the man whom I quoted above, especially,  “Many people make life too difficult.” This happens when they choose to see the negative side of a situation, instead of the positive. The negative will always roll like tumbleweed and collect more negativity as it goes along. Positivity has a clarity and a conclusion. When you choose positivity, there is an excitement about life. You recognize opportunity. You make a difference. You achieve your goals.

I cannot make you or anyone else more positive. What I can do is give you a fresh perspective about how to make your life what you want it to be. Define your goals, set a path, and move forward. Leave fear, laziness, or any other excuse behind. Thankfully, you have a new chance today to set your personal and professional commitments and stop believing that your problems are so large that they cannot be overcome. Pick up a motivational book any day of the week and you can read about people who have overcome the most difficult and extraordinary of situations simply because of their positive mindset.

Go ahead. Break the mold. Be the kind of person who does not give up, but commits and pushes through, when necessary. The world needs more people like you. On a personal note, I need more people like you, too.




My new book, The Martial Arts Woman, is now available. Purchase through my e-commerce store: or on Amazon:

This book 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!
Andrea F. Harkins is a writer, motivator, life coach, martial artist, and public speaker. Her book, The Martial Arts Woman, is now available at



6 thoughts on “Break the Mold

  1. Hey Andrea, excellent post!!! Personally I think it is far too easy to get bogged down in routines, work or family related commitment or just plain old personal habit all of which can and do create a familiar environment or ‘safe haven’ that is often far more detrimental and constrictive/restrictive to a more constructive, productive and overall happier way of life! I speak (as you personally know) as someone who has recently quit a steady (but very boring and tying job) and am now going to chill for a while and pretty much do what I like 🙂 Yes I have had to work hard and save for many years before I could even dream of doing this but today was my last day on this job and now I am (for a time at least lol) free to do my own thing and decide my next move! 🙂

  2. thanks for sharing any words of wisdom and inspiration are truly needed,Not to just uplift but to assist us on our journey.And life is just that

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