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The Five Keys to Long-Term Success, Part 1

mentor Apr 02, 2020

by Dave Kovar


As we all know, nothing in life, including the success of your school, is guaranteed. However, with the right mindset and the right habits, you can stack the odds in favor of your long-term success.

In my experience, there are five habits that are essential for long-term success. Although I have seen some people fail despite adhering to a few of these behaviors, I have never known anyone to succeed without them. They are: They are: Keep Your Center, Value Your Relationships Above All, Know Where You Are Going, Know How You Are Going to Get There and Keep Getting Up/Moving Forward. Let’s take a look at each one of these in more detail:


1    Keep Your Center

It has been said that the mightiest person is the one who has control over their emotions. That is essentially what it means to keep your center. I named my school Satori Academy of Martial Arts. Our definition of satori is “in the moment, at your best.” This refers to a present-minded state of consciousness when you have mental clarity, physical energy and emotional tranquility. In western sports, this would be referred to as “being in the zone.” Imagine how much you could accomplish if you could live the majority of your life in this state! How enjoyable would life be?

It may not be realistic to think that you can spend your whole life at your best, but you can increase the amount of time you spend there. A good start is to focus on the six pillars of health each day. The first pillar is exercise. Try to do something physical every day, preferably involving strength, flexibility and endurance. The second pillar is rest. Do your best to get adequate sleep. Sleep deprivation can have an extremely negative effect on health. The third pillar is nutrition. Take the time to learn what particular foods that your body thrives on. The fourth pillar is stress management. Everyone has stress, but the ability to manage it effectively is key to good health. The fifth pillar is risk avoidance. This refers to things like wearing your seatbelt, washing your hands and minimizing your exposure to dangerous activities. The final pillar is recharging. Recharging refers to the importance of scheduling enjoyable downtime in your life which helps you keep balance in perspective.

Once our health is in order, maintaining emotional composure becomes much easier. The next step is being mindful of your emotions. Becoming aware of the fact that you are experiencing a negative emotion, rather than just reacting to it, means you are getting better at maintaining your center.


2    Value Your Relationships Above All

It is always preferable to have friends rather than enemies. Having friends and friendly acquaintances not only makes life more enjoyable, it opens more doors for you wherever you go. A key ingredient to expanding your circle of friends is to go out of your way to bring value to all of your relationships. Instead of asking yourself what a relationship can do for you, ask what you can do for that relationship.

Another crucial ingredient in strengthening your relationships is to make other people feel important when you’re with them. People appreciate being appreciated and value being valued.


3    Know Where You Are Going

It’s hard to know if you’re doing well if you don’t know where you want to go. That is why creating a clear vision for yourself and for your future is extremely important. Make sure your vision has a purpose, because when that purpose is clear, it is much easier to maintain motivation. Don’t concern yourself too much with the details at this point: Just dream big. Create a vision and visit it often.


In the next article, we will address the final two keys to long term success.


To contact Dave Kovar, send an email to [email protected]

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