The Case for Kindness….

Imeboysn the Immortal words of Patrick Swayze from the classic film Road House (ok maybe classic is a stretch) “Be Nice…Until it’s time Not to be nice.”
Great advice, but it begs the question. When is it time not to be nice? When exactly is enough…enough? When do you have the Green Light not to be nice?
We see people making the decision to “not be nice” daily. Just think about the last time you were in traffic….especially when there is road construction going on, or a slow driver…..in the left lane. Or maybe in the drive thru when you have to do the dreaded “drive up and wait for your food”, even worse…..when your Netflix is being slow! Did you make the decision not to be nice one of those times?
Of course you did, we all do, and probably….most likely….more often than not…..it didn’t help at all. It probably didn’t make you feel any better, and it defintly didn’t make anyone else feel great either.
So the answer to when is it time “not to be nice” is……never. There is always a chance to smile, always time to breath and take a second to respond the right way, to push aside all those unhelpful things and to just be nice.
It doesn’t mean you can’t be honest, or genuine. Or that you have to be a door mat for people to walk all over.
It means that even when the answer is no, or when you have to relay bad news, or you are on the receiving end of some good old fashioned “ugliness” you can always be nice.
Kindness is the one commodity that increases the more its used. It is that secret ingredient that makes everything taste better. It is the invisible beauty product that gives your face and your personality just a little more glow. It is the medicine that heals in a way that is hard to see, but easy to feel. It is the gift that makes the giver and the receiver feel like they both got something priceless.
Not Convinced? Then I challenge you to take our 50 Day Kindness Challenge it is a simple program, its free, and if it doesn’t work we will triple refund you (did I mention its free). 
bookNeed More Help? Simply Download our free “50 Days” Book to get ideas and step by step instructions and challenges to reach 50 awesome acts of kindness.
 
What you will find is the power of simply being nice….to be nice, and you will feel the clam and peace that comes from letting go of all those “not to be nice” moments, and you might even help some one else do the same……

3 Ways to Handle Criticism….

One thing that never seems to be in short supply is criticism. People always have an opinion of things you can do better, if you don’t believe me….just ask them!
In fact learning how to ask for advice, and what to do with that criticism can be one of the most beneficial, and most difficult things we can do to help us grow, develop, and succeed in Martial Arts and in Life.
Here are three quick strategies to help you figure out what advice to keep, what to sweep, and how to keep it all in perspective.
1) Choose the right voices: When accepting advice, always make sure to consider the source. For example if you want advice on how to be a better martial artist, you should probably ask someone who is good at martial arts. Always seek expert advice, it will save you time, effort, and decrease the amount of time it takes you to improve. One tiny piece of advice from an expert is worth more than a book from a novice.
2) Act on good Advice: When someone who know what they are talking about gives you some good advice the worst thing you can do is……Ignore It! Don’t worry if you have, we all have done it at some point or another, and more often than not it is not on purpose. That is why you will here your teachers say some things over and over again, some ideas an concepts take time to soak in, and our understanding of them will deepen and broaden with time. Do it now, understand it later, revisit it after that, and understand it a little better each time we do.
3) “Chew the Meat and Spit Out the Bones” In other words take what is useful and let the rest go. When you get criticism that is anything but constructive, or you get criticism that is just meant to hurt or bring you down…….simply discard it. More often than not the bad things people say about us, have nothing to do about us. In fact the more a person talks about you, the more we tend to learn about them and their perspective on life.
 cropped-bjjrectangle.jpg
To review: Criticism is a good and necessary part of success, just make sure you find the right voice, you act on it, and you let everything that isn’t useful, or is hurtful or harmful roll right of your back!
-Get up, Get Out, and Get Moving!
Joshua Page, Hickory Academy of Martial Arts

Just Jump…..Why You Should Start Martial Arts Now

“As soon as I get in shape…..When my schedule is not so busy…..when I have a little more money……as soon as I start my diet……when I get a little stronger.”

 

We have all heard these or said these before starting our martial arts training. They are the little things we tell ourselves and others about why we can’t train…..and they are all natural.

 The truth is we know deep down that we really want to train, but the thought of walking into an Academy just plain scares us.

 

The good news is…..you don’t have to be! Training in a good Academy will not be a scary experience, will not require you to be an Olympic athlete, and it not just affordable…..but you can’t afford not to do it!

 “AS SOON AS I GET IN SHAPE”………They only way to get in martial arts shape, is by doing martial arts. No other exercise can duplicate the movement and coordination you develop on the mat. More importantly it is one of the only forms of exercise that lets you develop at your own pace, that focuses on perfect technique, and smooth repetition.

 “When my Schedule is not so Busy”…….The truth is, our schedule is never going to slow down. Life has a way of piling up responsibilities, events, obligations. We have to make time for ourselves, to remember we have the power to create the lives we want to live. The great news is you can stay consistent, make phenomenal growth, and reach your goals by setting aside a few hours each week and sticking to it.

The Average Adult spends 3 Hours a day in screen time……..imagine just investing that much time on yourself over the course of a whole week. We create time for the things we value!

 “I Can’t Afford to Train.” The cost of training might seem expensive at first glance, but training at most Academies only costs between 3 to 5 Dollars a day. Less than the Starbucks you picked up this morning, or the First Run Movie Ticket you bought this weekend, less than a night out on the town…..and that is just the short term.  Consider the long term cost…..your insurance copay is probably more expensive than 3 to 6 Months of Training. Medication to treat preventable illness and injury, the cost of injuries that could be avoided by training, just the feeling and benefit of having a healthy body outweighs the cost of class. You literally cannot Afford to Train!

 Training at a Good Academy is like becoming a part of a Positive, Caring, Team. Where each person is dedicated not just to self improvement, but to helping you improve too! The atmosphere is positive, the classes are challenging and fun….and it is kind of place that you look forward to coming back to.

 Don’t wait………Jump. Jump into training, into a new life, a new year, and a journey that will last a Lifetime!

Ready to Jump, Find a Great Academy Here: http://www.carolinabjj.com

The Power of Small Victories

halliead-001.jpgIn martial arts….and in life in general, we have a tendency to look at the big picture, the destination, our big goals and can’t help but be overwhelmed sometimes. 

All of our doubts and fears begin creeping in and it is easy to become discouraged, lose focus, or just plain lose the drive to continue.

When the destination seems to far away, the goal to big, or the mountain is just to tall to climb, that is when we need to focus on the power of small victories.

After all, what is any huge accomplishment, but a collection of many, many small victories.

The Black Belt that just walked into class…..they didn’t earn that black belt from one grueling black belt test. They earned it from 10,000 regular classes, from 10,000 small victories. From those days they didn’t feel like coming to class, but did anyway. From that time they had a bump, or bruise, or small injury…..but they came anyway.

They reached their destination by taking each mile, each hill, each obstacle step by step.

Each small victory has a way of accumulating as you go. Of helping you gain traction, gain momentum, building speed as you go. Like the old steam powered trains that started painfully slow, and gradually build up steam and momentum until they are rocketing down the tracks unstoppable towards their destination.

The question is not will you reach your goal today, are you equipped for your dreams right now? The question is what step, no matter how small, can you take today? What small victory can you accomplish this very day to keep you on those tracks, moving just the tiniest bit forward, or maybe just from keeping you from rolling back? It might seem insignificant now…..but 10,000 days from now it may be the moment that made all the difference in your entire life.  

So get up, get out, and get moving….and win SMALL today!

Joshua Page, Hickory Academy of Martial Arts

http://www.hickorykarate.com

On Slipping….

IMG_1500

“Daddy I slip a lot less when I hold your hand.” 

 

My Son was talking about the rocks we were walking across, but he reminded me the importance of being connected to the things that keep us from slipping, and keep us moving along the right path.

Life is too complex, too difficult, and just plain too tough to get through without having to hold onto someones hand from time to time. Without having to lean on someone, or something to get you down the trail. Without having to be part of a group for direction, comfort, and safety during our trip.

IMG_1503The question is, whose hand are you holding, what are you leaning against, what group do you travel with. 

Life brings us the opportunity to strive for perfection, to seek out the best in ourselves through the help of others, to allow us to be guided and lifted by those who see the destination ahead, and not the side trails that look promising but lead to nowhere.

 

Chose the hand you hold carefully, choose the things you use to prop yourself up, surround yourself with people concerned with the destination, and the ones who walk the right path, even when it is not the easiest path.

Most of all even when no one is around to help you, when Daddy has already reached the end of his trip, you still have a Father who is always there to guide you, to hold you, to put you on the right path, to hold your hand and let you know everything is going to be just fine.

Safe travels, God bless, and Thank you to the people who hold my hand when I need it.

IMG_1508

 

Joshua Page, Hickory Academy of Martial Arts

3/30/2016

 

 

 

keeping time….

Some days you might feel unimportant, like a small piece in a big watch. However, even the smallest piece is needed to keep time, and that directly or indirectly it influences all the other pieces in that watch. It is the same with our acts of kindness, and moments of giving. No matter how small, or seemingly unimportant, they are all compounded, and multiplied, passed from person to person, from generation to generation. They will live on long after we are gone, written on the hearts and minds of those we will never know. Be bold, be kind, change the world.

Bees, Flowers……and Destiny

I had a “Hallmark Moment” the other day. Sitting in a beautiful country inn, surrounded by happy people, a beautiful day beaming in through the windows, illuminating a breathtaking flower garden with children running and playing.

As I was soaking it in, I noticed bees buzzing from flower to flower….something I have seen thousands of times before…..something I never really stopped to consider for how amazing it is.

A plant that somehow over the course of time developed itself to produce a nectar the bees would be drawn to, a nectar whose purpose is to get the bees to land just so the plants pollen will collect onto the bee, and have the chance to be transferred to another plant, for the possibility of pollination. For the chance of making a new plant, to help continue the cycle of life for future plants….and for future bees.

What is even more intriguing are all of the millions of other wonderful connections that can be traced back to this one phenomena, of all of the connections that this one particular “every day” occurrence lead to.

It leads me to believe.

There is no every day, no ordinary, no run of the mill. That this world and everything in it are here for a purpose, that we are all designed with a purpose, with a connection to the world around us, as a much needed piece in an ever-growing puzzle.

That just by being yourself, being true to who you are, can and will send ripples through the entire planet. The we are all designed with a purpose, and a reason for being.

Find yours today, and start living the life you were born for.

Joshua Page,
http://www.hickorymartialarts.com

Dedication….from Moment to Moment

Just in case you were thinking about slacking, laying low, skipping out on your goals this week.

Remember this, “winning” and succeeding is not a one time thing, it is not a big event, not one pivotal moment. It is an every day thing, it is a habit, it is in the decisions and actions we make from moment to moment.

Champions are “winning” one second at a time, through continued effort, continuous discipline, through continuing to strive past our own limitations, or own negative self talk, past our doubt, and fears, and the judgments of others.

DEDICATION is not a personality trait, it IS A VERB….something that is breathed into life by being put into ACTION……

-Joshua Page,

http://www.hickorymartialarts.com

Success in the Martial Arts

92675704802097857_o1ATBOen_cI get asked from time to time for advice, tips for becoming successful, from students, people I train with, and even from “competitors”. It made me sit down and think about what I think is important and what might be helpful. Here are the keys that I feel are of importance to becoming a good blackbelt, and a pretty good person.

Three Keys to success in martial arts

1) Success in anything, especially martial arts,  is simply about consistency. We are what we consistently do. Not what we do intently for six weeks, or a month. You have heard that “Success is 80% showing up on time” and if that is the case then the other 20% is simply staying there.

The people who make it from white belt to blackbelt, or to a championship level are a diverse group. Some athletic, some young, some rich, some poor, some who started with two left feet, some who started after 30, but what they all have in common is consistency. They show up when it is convenient, and when it is not, they make the extra drive to a quality school, they come to class through the highs and lows, through the heat, and cold, through bumps and bruises, through praise and correction. Before they are an expert in martial arts, they are an expert in showing up.

2) Passion is great to get you started, but you need commitment to keep you going. We are never short on passion…..just look at the marriage rate in America, however commitment is a harder commodity to come be……just look at the divorce rate in America!

Everyone loves coming into the dojo when their uniform is new, all the classmates are new, when you haven’t used all the equipment yet, when the techniques are fresh, and when “that was a cool drill, I like that one!” Passion will sweep you through those first few months no problem.

Passion fails to take you past those first few months, past those bumps in the road…..and their will always be bumps in the road, past those minor injuries, those aches and pains, through that time when the drills aren’t so new “not this again”, past repetition “if I have to sidekick again, I am going to scream”, past seeing the same faces “I have to spar them again!”. Passion ignigtes the flame, but commitment is needed to fan it.

Commitment is continuing to train because it is going to take you somewhere you want to go, make you into someone you want to be. It is the “paddle for your sail boat, when the winds die down for a little bit”

3) Pride, showing up is the first step, passion and commitment come next but pride is the difference maker.

Pride is doing that last rep, like the first because you will not accept any less. Pride is giving it all when there is no chance of you winning because you refuse to accept defeat. Pride is “putting your name on your work”. Pride is what separates who wants it enough to go through the motions, and who wants it enough to become their very best. Pride is found clearly seen at the end of the round, after you have been knocked down, when your nose is bleeding, and just beyond where others have quit. Pride is not a function of athletic ability, genetic gifts, or muscle mass, pride is a function of your heart, your desire to be better, you commitment not to fail, and more importantly not to give up.

Of course the three keys are useless without one important factor…..knowledge. Find a martial artist who you want to be like, who exhibits the three keys above, and who will demonstrate all three in passing their skills, knowledge, and example on to you.

Find these keys in yourself and the people around you, and it is not a question of if, but simply when it will be your time to shine.

Joshua Page,

Hickory Academy of Martial Arts, Hickory NC

http://www.hickorymartialarts.com

On Storms……

The day is sunny and bright, the night is filled with laughs and cool breezes…then the storm blows through with no warning or excuse.

The world is flipped upside down, all the boundaries we thought were there disappear.

Then, just as quickly, the storm is over. The world rights itself and keeps spinning. Those boundaries return, with that sense of calm and peace.

Storms are always brewing, are always just on or beyond the horizon. Those waters, those clouds are always eminent, and lurking. There is no way to stop them, nowhere to run, and no way to avoid them.

The storms, however bad, however devastating, however long will always blow themselves out. Can never last forever.

In fact they are designed to be brief, not even a chapter in our lives, but merely a few pages in a long chapter full of life, love, and happiness.

We are designed to weather the storm, designed to ride out the dark pages of our lives.

So embrace the storm, let the rain wash away what it was sent to cleanse. Let the winds blow away all the unnecessary, the thunder scare off all the people not committed to stand by you in the worst of times…..so that you will have the best of company during the best of times that are just waiting to blow back in.