When you choose to commit to a karate program and begin the progression from white to black belt, you will find yourself on a path that is started by many and completed only by a minority. I can share stories with our students of what my journey was like and how I dealt with challenges, yet I have come to realise that often we’ll learn a great deal more through the ‘actions’ of others as opposed to their ‘words’.
In my experience so far, actions seem to hold a wealth of power when it comes to influencing and inspiring others to bring forward their best versions of themselves. And so I question myself daily as to what I am ‘doing’ as a black belt to help our beginner and intermediate students move towards black belt and beyond at Sunshine Coast Karate. More importantly, how do I encourage our students to take the skills they learn and apply them to all areas of their lives.
“Actions speak louder than words. Remember, ‘well done’ is much better than ‘well said’.” ~ Benjamin Franklin
The Perfect Challenge For Me: ‘Actions are Louder than Words’
Choosing to commit to a challenge on water terrified me so I knew it was the right challenge for me on a personal level. I have had no prior experience so I would be able to embrace being a beginner just like any student starting out as a white belt at Sunshine Coast Karate.
As the idea settled in my mind I knew that this challenge was the perfect vehicle to help me form a bridge for our students at Sunshine Coast Karate. A bridge:
1. built on the ‘actions of a beginner’ determined to reach their destination no matter what challenges appeared.
2. that could highlight some of the most important lessons and provide detailed insight into the mind of a beginner.
Well, twelve months into my journey a bridge is forming and my first major destination for my paddling journey is only a week away. In my paddling update below I wanted to share a little insight into the importance of keeping a balanced perspective. Or if you have the imagination, choose to dig deeper and find the good in everything. Often the greatest gifts come wrapped and you need to take the wrapping off to realise the beauty of the gift.
The final two weeks leading into my big 2015 adventure, an overnight 111km paddle down the Hawkesbury River… and it is time to step it up a notch. What better way to put myself to the test than with a full dress rehearsal, including paddling in the dark whilst many people are enjoying a good night sleep.
Paddling in the Dark: Favourite Moments
– I got to wear my ninja beanie
– I was accompanied by my training partner Bob
– Watching the sunrise over the Maroochy River. Truly magnificent
– Once the sun came out to play I was able to relax a little and enjoy my ‘karate on the water’ (many of the basics are similar)
– Not many fish jumping this time of year. Over Easter, I Iost count of how many times I almost went for a swim because of the fish dancing
I guess the fish were about this size….. just kidding they were way smaller (about the size of my index finger). But same result, scared the life out of me.
Paddling in the Dark: Bloopers
– Ninja beanie was great until I wanted to have a drink. Nothing that a pair of scissors wouldn’t fix
– The GPS that is to keep me on track didn’t want to attach to my ski. By Friday we had it all worked out but I had it positioned too close to my feet so I was kicking it with every stroke. Luckily I never went for a swim as I didn’t have it tied to the ski. OOPS!!
– Experimenting with my dual drinking system. I won’t go into details but let’s say it was time to pull out my sewing kit again to make some further modifications to my PFD.
– The coban tape meant to be protecting my fingers seemed to get rolled up into my gloves when I put my gloves on. Martin has an idea to get this one sorted
Above, I have shared a few ‘favourite moments’ and a few ‘bloopers’ from this week. I could have chosen to focus only on the bloopers, turned into an emotional mess, and in effect would have created a real problem in my mind with the potential to bring me to wanting to pull the plug on this amazing journey only a week out. Kind of like turning that index finger sized fish into that big shark in the picture above. Our minds are so powerful and whatever you entertain upstairs will grow bigger.
Caution: If you are facing challenges right now which have you in an emotional tangle, delay making important life changing decisions. Give yourself time to lift your energy and when you are in a more positive state of mind than get back to making those important decisions.
Alternatively, I could have focused only on my favourite moments but then I would be ignoring the potential gifts found deep within those bloopers. All those blooper moments proved to be more valuable than my favourite moments. They were more uncomfortable to endure, but they provided me with some great feedback as to how to move forward with my final preparations before my event.
We all see life very differently and there is no one size fits all but when it comes to perspective I’m finding great value in balancing the positive and negatives and having gratitude for both. At the end of the day, it is all simply feedback. It’s a result. What is most important is what we choose to do with that result.
In closing today I just wanted to thank the following people for sponsoring this adventure. Rod Jones (Kindergarten). Rosemarie Caston (Imagine Real Estate), Emily Aspland, Klaudia Caston, Nathan Eley, Sam Hunt, Helen O’Grady, Bailey Keefe, Mary Moulineux. All funds raised go towards medical research. The major beneficiary is The Arrow Bone Marrow Transplant Foundation. This charity provides research for leukaemia research, and other blood diseases. They also offer a number of patient support for people undergoing leukaemia treatment.
A quote for today: “The smallest change in perspective can transform a life. What tiny attitude adjustment might turn your world around.” ~ Oprah