By Dave Kovar
I do not know if other martial arts instructors have experienced this, but in my world, there seems to be an assumption that because I teach martial arts for a living, I must have all the time in the world to train. It has been my experience the reverse is often true. We are so busy working to grow our businesses that we hardly have time for ourselves, let alone the extra time we might need to keep ourselves as healthy and fit as we would like. With that said, if we’re not careful, we can use this as an excuse to let ourselves go.
I’m often amazed at the disconnect many smart and talented school owners have with regard to how their personal health affects their level of success. It might be possible to achieve or maintain a high level of success temporarily without taking care of yourself. However, in the long run, that abuse will catch up to you. There is an ancient proverb that says, “Those who have their health have 1,000 goals. Those who don’t have but one.”
Please don’t get me wrong: I know that you can do everything right and still be stricken with an unexpected illness or injury. But we owe it to ourselves, our businesses and our students to stack the odds for health in our favor. This begins with a specific mindset: “I take great care of myself because the world needs me at my best.”
What I like about this mindset is that it reminds us that if we want to be the best for our families, our students and our communities, we need to be fit and healthy enough to face challenges. It gives us permission to take the necessary time to eat right, exercise, rest, recharge and do all the other things we know we should do to be at our best.
It is important to remember that the quality of our health has a direct relationship to the quality of healthy habits that we have in place. I challenge you all to review your average day, looking for the good habits that you currently have in place. Once you have identified them, guard them so they don’t slip away.
The next thing I would challenge you to do is identify the bad habits you currently have in place and then figure out how you can replace them with better ones. Don’t try to replace too many bad habits at once. Research shows that making incremental changes brings the best chance for long-term success.
Assuming that you have identified a few bad habits and believe there is room for improvement, where should you begin? The most valuable thing you can do is establish a strong and specific morning ritual. When you start the day this way, you are starting “on purpose,” and when you do that, great things happen.
For me, starting “on purpose” consists of an early morning wake-up, followed by an intense workout, inspirational reading, some quiet contemplation and then a healthy breakfast. I resist the temptation to look at my phone until after breakfast.
Once your morning routine is in place, you can add or replace other habits throughout the day. I still have a lot of bad habits that need replacing, but I will tell you that I’m better now than I was five years ago. Hopefully, I will be better in five years than I am now.
I challenge you to adopt the mindset: “I take great care of myself because the world needs me at my best.” Only good things can happen if you do. Don’t you think?
You can contact Master Dave Kovar at [email protected]
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