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Rochelle Park, NJ / Bergen County, United States
Serving Men, Women, Children and Families in the Communities of the Rochelle Park, Saddle Brook, Maywood, Paramus, Elmwood Park, Fair Lawn, Lodi, Hackensack, Hasbrouck Heights, Wallington, Garfield, River Edge, and surrounding towns with the benefits of Taekwondo, Self Defense, Thai Kickboxing, Submission Grappling, Cage Fitness and Personal Protection.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Youth Sports May Not Offer Enough Exercise

This was published in the Wall Street Journal Yesterday

"The majority of children who participate in 'team sports' don't meet the federal recommendation of one hour a day of moderate-to-vigorous exercise, according to a study released Monday.

The federal-government guidelines recommend children and teens get at least 60 minutes per day. It is estimated that fewer than 10% meet the goal.

Many parents believe if their children participate in team sports, they they must be getting enough exercise. Researches at San Diego State and the University of California, San Diego showed that isn't necessarily the case.

Just 2% of softball players, and fewer than 10% of team sports participants met the 60-minute exercise goal at practice."

Follow this link to read the entire article:

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Have An Attitude of Gratititude

Poor is the person who spends a lot of time thinking about the things that they want, but don't have or how life is unfair.

Wealthy is the person who takes the time to appreciate their life and all the people and things that fill their life with happiness and joy.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Are you a Winner... or a Whiner?

WINNERS are positive, optimistic, pro active and excited about their goals and activities in life....

WHINERS are negative, pessimistic, re active and love to whine about everything and anything....

WINNERS develop self-discipline in order to bring out their absolute best in themselves and in others....

WHINERS lack discipline of their minds and are often critical of themselves and others....

WINNERS condition their minds and bodies for Peak Performance in and out of the dojang....

WHINERS blame others for their problems and always make excuses for Poor Performance on and off the mat....

WINNERS give value to others, they train hard and make a positive contribution to their team....

WHINERS love to moan, groan and complain, and their negative attitude takes away from their team....

WINNERS brighten up a room when they enter....

WHINERS brighten it up as they exit....


Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Safety Tips For A Happy Halloween

Parents, here are some safety tips for you to go over with your children to assure that everyone has a Safe and Happy Halloween.

Children Should
  • Cross only at corners or marked crosswalks.
  • Never cross the road between parked cars.
  • Never go into a stranger's house.
  • If there is no sidewalk, walk facing traffic.
  • Watch for cars backing or turning.
  • Carry a flashlight
Drivers Should
  • Drive in an extra cautious manner.
  • Keep a keen eye open for children who forget safety rules.
Parents Should
  • Instruct their children not to open their candy until they return home.
  • Inspect all candy for tampering before their children eat it.    
  • Make sure an adult accompanies children.
  • Know what route their children will be taking.
  • Have a set time limit for children to return home.
  • Explain the difference between tricks and vandalism.                    
Home Owners Should
  • Have a well lit home both inside  and out.
  • This will prevent vandalism and injuries. 
  • Remove all obstacles from their lawns to avoid injuries.
Costumes Should     
  • Be flame retardant (this includes wigs & bags)
  • Not have high heels or long dangling pieces to trip on.
  • Be made of a bright highly visible material.
  • Include reflective strips in the costume. 
Simple Safety Rules For A Happy Halloween

1. Always use common sense
2. Young children should always go with an adult
3. Plan your entire route and make sure your family knows it
4. Don't eat any candy until a parent checks it
5. Visit only houses with lights on
6. Walk on sidewalks and driveways
7. Carry a flashlight
8. Cross the street only at a corner or crosswalk
9. Don't play around lit pumpkins
10. Always say thank you for your treats
11. Stay away from strangers
12. Never enter a house for treats

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Sizing Up Your Food Portions

Protein fuels our energy and helps build strong muscles. Use the area and thickness of your palm to eyeball how much chicken, fish or tofu you should be eating in a single sitting.

What should accompany your protein? Scoop up two fist-sized portions of fresh veggies for a ton of nutrients and antioxidants.

Use both your hands like serving spoons to lift up a big portion of leafy greens. To give yourself about a tablespoon of dressing, use the length of your thumb as a guideline.

When you're figuring out how many berries to pile on top of your morning yogurt, fill your hand for just the right portion of fresh fruit.

These are the guys we really have to watch out for (they taste so good it's easy to overdo it!). For butter and oil, use your thumbnail as a measure.

How Do You Define Desire?

A young man wanted to know the meaning, the true meaning of desire. He search his early life for that meaning. He asked many people and the answers left him wanting more at each interval and each stop. It was suggested to him to go in search of an old mysterious old sage. Some believed the old wise man did not even exist.

The young man set out on his journey to find the wise old man. He searched for days when he finally came upon the sage. He asked the wise, old man, "What is the definition of desire?"

The old man said, "follow me!" The two hiked up and down mountains for hours to a crystal clear bluish green lake. It was medium sized, but gorgeous. You could see right through the water a good twenty feet or so before the distortion was just too much. The sage waded slowly out into the clear cool water with no expression on his face. At that point he placed his head in the water as if to see something. He lifted his head. He was nearly thirty feet out when he turned back to the shore.

He motioned for the young man to follow him out to the place where he was standing and said, "Come here young one. Come and see desire."

The young man started out to meet him. The water was very, very cool. It made the youth flinch at its coolness. He looked up at the sage still having no expression on his face. He continued on. The water stung as he waded out to where the old sage was. He looked at the the old man. The old man inclined his head downward motioning for the youth to look in the water. Slowly the youth lowered his body to look into the lake.

Suddenly, he felt two amazingly strong hands holding his head underwater. He could not escape. He fought with every ounce he could to free himself. He was beginning to lose hope, but with one last surge he managed to break free of the grip of the old man. He pulled his head out of the water and took in a huge breath. The precious air filled him with what he needed. Exasperated, the youth yelled, "Why did you do that?"

The old sage calmly stated, "My dear boy, when you find that which you are willing to fight with your entire being to obtain, just like you fought for the air, you will master desire."

The young man had found the meaning of desire and the answer to his question.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Black Belt Study Habits

1. Get your class work done: The more you get done in class, the less you have to take home.

2. Plan your homework time: Start on time and concentrate on your homework 100%.

3. Homework area: Have a nice area with everything you need easily available.

4. Plan your work: Put each subject and assignment in order and complete each task accordingly.

5. Do it all: Always be honest with your parents about how much homework you have.

6. Block distractions: Don't let the TV, phone, or people distract you. These distractions can make it harder to learn and make it take much longer to complete your work.

7. Get help: Put the homework you need help with on the side and continue working on something else until someone is available to help you.

8. Check it: Go through each assignment to make sure it is complete and correct.

9. Organize: Organize your finished homework neatly so it is ready to turn in the next day.

10. Do your best: Homework and studying help you get smarter and achieve great things in life.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Tenets of Taekwondo

Courtesy is giving a bow,
to Black Belts and teachers who show you how.
It’s doing your choices before you are asked,
and being helpful in every class.
It’s simple words like “thank you” and “please”,
and never, ever to hurt or to tease.

Integrity is the simple rule,
of being honest at home and in school.
It’s never cheating when taking a test,
or thinking you’re better than all of the rest.
To lie or steal just wouldn’t be right,
so try to be honest with all your might.

Perseverance is telling you heart,
you’re going to finish the things that you start.
It’s refusing to quit when the going gets tough,
or starting to cry when the sparring get rough.
It’s not giving up on the board you must break,
no matter how many tries it may take.

Self-Control states a simple fact,
you should always think before you act.
It’s standing in class, not a muscle you twitch,
even if you only scratch an itch.
It’s counting to ten when things make you mad,
then walking away because fighting is bad.

Indomitable Spirit is showing no fear,
and not freezing up when trouble is near.
It’s knowing in life there’s some risks you must take,
and along the way some mistakes you may make.
It’s standing up proudly and thinking with glee,
I’m OK! I can do it! I believe in me!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Weaknesses and Strengths

One day, as a Zen master strolled through a field with his student, a pheasant started from a bush in front of them and ran awkwardly into a thicket. The student laughed and said, "Birds are so silly and defenseless." The Zen master swung his walking staff and struck the student across the shins. "Fly," he commanded.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

How To Teach Your Child To Politely Get Your Attention

Here's a sure-fire way for kids to get their parent's attention in a well mannered way. 

When you are on the phone or talking to another person, and your child wishes to get your attention, have your child come up and put his or her hand on your arm, or shoulder, etc. without speaking, tugging, jumping up and down, etc. Now you are aware that your child needs something, but you can finish your thought and then turn and acknowledge your child -"Yes Johnny, now what can I do for you?"

The Black Belt Success Cycle

  • Know what you want
  • Have a plan
  • Find a success coach
  • Take consistent action
  • Review your progress
  • Renew Your goal

Our students use the Black Belt Success Cycle during their every day life.  First, you must decide, "what you want." Whether your goal is to earn a bachelor's degree, obtain a certain job, or open your own business.  Then you must decide what steps you are going to take to accomplish your goal, that is, to "have a plan."  For example, if your goal is to earn a bachelor’s degree, you make a list of what you must do to attain the degree, register for school, set-aside time for studying, etc.  A "success coach," is someone you choose that will support you during your difficult times and good times as you are attaining your goal.  Your success is dependent on your consistency.  You will only be successful in attaining your goal if you "take consistent action."  That means, do not give up, no matter what.  Another important factor is to "review your progress," re-evaluate how much you have accomplished within a certain period of time.  Take a step back and decide if you have followed the Black Belt Success Cycle.  Finally, "renew your goals." This helps you to keep motivated and focused.

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Ronin and The Tea Master

There is an old story often told in traditional training halls about a confrontation between a master of the Japanese tea ceremony and a ronin, a rogue samurai. It seems the ronin was passing through the village and while in the crowded square, turned abruptly, banging his scabbard against the tea master's hip.

"You banged my sword," the ronin said coldly. "That is a grave insult, and I will kill you for it."

The tea master knew immediately the ronin really meant to kill him, and he was gripped with fear.

"I meant you no insult, Noble Sir. Please excuse my clumsiness and let me live. As you can see, I am not a warrior and I have no sword."

The ronin could smell the mans fear, and it excited him.

"Then get a sword and meet me on the road tomorrow at noon. There I will let you die like a man. But if you don't show up, I will find you wherever you are and cut you down like a dog." He turned his back on the stunned tea master and walked away.

The tea master was beside himself with fear. What can I do, he thought. I am a dead man. Then he remembered hearing that another ronin, a famous master swordsman, was also in the village. Perhaps he will help me, he thought. So he sought out the swordsman and told him his story. He explained that he had money to pay for his services and offered to hire him for protection.

"I don't hire to commoners," the swordsman said coolly. "Use your money to buy a sword and fight your own battles."
"Then will you teach me swordsmanship? I can pay you handsomely."

"I don't teach martial arts to commoners either. Besides, what do you think you can learn in a day?" the swordsman said.

"What have I to lose?" said the tea master.

Indeed, thought the swordsman. Even though the man was a commoner, the samurai realized he was an innocent victim needing help. He finally agreed to teach the tea master what little swordsmanship he could in a day. The tea master bought a sword, and the two men began their practice that afternoon. But alas, the poor man was hopelessly inept. After several hours of watching the tea master struggle through hundreds of awkward practice cuts, he shook his head and sighed.

"Tomorrow you are going to die," the swordsman said with calm conviction.

The tea master was crushed. He was physically and emotionally exhausted. He dropped his sword to his side and stood there staring at the ground, shoulders sagging and sword hanging loosely from his hand. The samurai pondered him for a moment then said, "Lets have tea." The tea master looked up in puzzlement, but he carefully sheathed his sword and began unpacking his tea set.

The two men settled beneath a tree, and the tea master began his familiar routine. The swordsman marvelled as the man gracefully poured water into the bowl containing the bitter, green powder. As he artfully whisked the mixture into a frothy brew, the swordsman saw a remarkable transformation occur. Gone was the tired, broken man who stood before him only moments ago. Now the tea master's back was straight, his shoulders square, and his head erect. Before the swordsman now sat the solemn, dignified master of an ancient ritual.

The tea master poured the tea into a cup and, turning in the ritual manner, offered it to the swordsman. His face was the picture of calmness, and looking into his eyes, the swordsman knew immediately that the man was in mushin (essentially, mind-without-thinking).

"Stop!" the swordsman said firmly. "Do you want to kill your enemy tomorrow?"

"You said I"m going to die."

"You are, but do you want to die like a warrior? Do you want to kill your enemy?"

"Yes," the tea master said calmly.

"Then do what you are doing right now."

"But I"m doing nothing right now."

"Exactly! Your mind is empty. You neither desire life nor fear death. Tomorrow when you meet your enemy, I want you to empty your mind as you have now and raise your sword above your head. When he attacks, do nothing but cut and die." The tea master, being a master, understood.

The next day the ronin was surprised to find the tea master standing in the road, waiting for him. When he approached and the man raised the sword above his head, the ronin chuckled to himself. But as he got closer, he began to feel uneasy. He expected to see the man shaking with fear, but the tea master's sword was still, and his face was grimly calm. He stopped a few paces away and searched the tea master's eyes. He saw nothing...only death.

The ronin's mouth went dry. After a moment he said, "I cannot defeat you." He turned and walked away.

This story perfectly illustrates power in its most naked form. The ronin began in a position of power. He knew he could kill the tea master, and he knew that he had frightened the man. That gave him power over his victim. But the master swordsman showed the tea master that he was ultimately more powerful than the ronin. You see, the ronin was a competent swordsman, but he was no master. The tea master, on the other hand, was inept at combat, but he was a true master, He discovered the secret of personal power.

Personal power is a quality few but warriors understand. It has little to do with physical strength or technical proficiency. It is quite simply the force that results from freeing yourself from the fear of failure, no matter what the consequences.

We all go through life making decisions by weighing the potential outcomes of our actions. But too often, people decide on a course of action based not on what they can achieve but on what fearful outcome they can avoid. As a result, individuals or circumstances that threaten these people with things they fear have power over them. Achieving personal power means finding the courage to drive ahead no matter what your opponent threatens. Whether the challenge be conflict with an employer, a legal confrontation, or personal combat, when you divorce yourself from fear of consequences, your adversary no longer holds any power over you.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Six Simple Strategies for Keeping Your Kids SAFE Online...

Tweens and Teens are going to connect online using social-networking. Rather than be reactive and try to fix a mistake – use these six strategies to set your tweens and teens up for success with social media.

1- Never under any circumstances should she mention in a status update or post - “My parents are out.” Whether its intentional or UN-intentional posts like this can welcome predators.

2- Make it a rule to be with your child as he sets up his profile. This way, you can double check privacy settings.

3- Keep personal information to a minimum. Is there any reason for a tween or teen to put their full name, age and town in their profile? We don't think so!

4- No posts about grades,crushes or “personal drama.”

5- No sharing of passwords with anyone. Even if they are “your best friend.”

6- Approve all friend requests and make it a rule that your tween and teen only become friends with people they know in the real world.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Slow Down

Life can often feel like it's zipping by in fast forward. We feel obliged to accelerate our own speed along with it, until our productivity turns into frenzied accomplishment. We find ourselves cramming as much activity as possible into the shortest periods of time. We disregard our natural rhythms because it seems we have to just to keep up. In truth, rushing never gets you anywhere but on to the next activity or goal.

Slowing down allows you to not only savor your experiences, but also it allows you to fully focus your attention and energy on the task at hand. Moving at a slower place lets you get things done more efficiently, while rushing diminishes the quality of your work and your relationships. Slowing down also lets you be more mindful, deliberate, and fully present. When we slow down, we are giving ourselves the opportunity to reacquaint ourselves to our natural rhythms. We let go of the "fast forward" stress, and allow our bodies to remain centered and grounded. Slowing down is inherent to fully savoring anything in life. Rushing to take a bath can feel like an uncomfortable dunk in hot water, while taking a slow hot bath can be luxuriant and relaxing. A student cramming for a test will often feel tired and unsure, whereas someone who really absorbs the information will be more confident and relaxed. Cooking, eating, reading, and writing can become pleasurable when done slowly. ! Slowing down lets you become more absorbed in whatever it is you are doing. The food you eat tastes better, and the stories you read become more alive.

Slowing down allows you to disconnect from the frenzied pace buzzing around you so you can begin moving at your own pace. The moments we choose to live in fast forward motion then become a conscious choice rather than an involuntary action. Learning to slow down in our fast-moving world can take practice, but if you slow down long enough to try it, you may surprise yourself with how natural and organic living at this pace can be.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

One of my favorite scenes from the original Karate Kid

Daniel: Hey - you ever get into fights when you were a kid?
Miyagi: Huh - plenty.
Daniel: Yeah, but it wasn't like the problem I have, right?
Miyagi: Why? Fighting fighting. Same same.
Daniel: Yeah, but you knew karate.
Miyagi: Someone always know more.
Daniel: You mean there were times when you were scared to fight?
Miyagi: Always scare. Miyagi hate fighting.
Daniel: Yeah, but you like karate.
Miyagi: So?
Daniel: So, karate's fighting. You train to fight.
Miyagi: That what you think?
Daniel: [pondering] No.
Miyagi: Then why train?
Daniel: [thinks] So I won't have to fight.
Miyagi: [laughs] Miyagi have hope for you.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


A parable tells about a martial artist who kneels before a master sensei in a ceremony to receive the hard-earned Black Belt. After years of relentless training, the student has finally reached a pinnacle of achievement in the discipline.

"Before granting the belt, you must pass one more test," the sensei solemnly tells the young man.

"I'm ready," responds the student, expecting perhaps one more round of sparring.

"You must answer the essential question: What is the true meaning of the Black Belt?"

"Why, the end of my journey," says the student. "A well-deserved reward for my hard work."

The master waits for more. Clearly, he is not satisfied. The sensei finally speaks: "You are not ready for the Black Belt. Return in one year."

As the student kneels before his master a year later, he is again asked the question, "What is the true meaning of the Black Belt?"

"It is a symbol of distinction and the highest achievement in our art," the young man responds.

Again the master waits for more. Still unsatisfied, he says once more:
"You are not ready for the Black Belt. Return in one year."

A year later the student kneels before his sensei and hears the question, "What is the true meaning of the Black Belt?"

This time he answers, "The Black Belt represents not the end, but the beginning, the start of a never-ending journey of discipline, work and the pursuit of an ever higher standard."

"Yes," says the master. "You are now ready to receive the Black Belt and begin your work."

You may not be hoping for a Black Belt, but you might be at a crucial point. Maybe you're facing a life change, perhaps even a painful one.
Or maybe you are awaiting something you have worked hard to attain - graduation, a new job, a promotion, or even retirement.

All wise people see that changes can be new beginnings. Change need not be feared. And neither should we be looking for a permanent resting place, for a full and happy life is never stagnant.

Does the change you face represent, not just an ending, but a new beginning in your life's journey? If so, you may be ready to move forward.

Monday, June 14, 2010


There are two days in every week we should not worry about, two days that should be kept free from fear and apprehension.

One is yesterday, with its mistakes and cares, its faults and blunders, its aches and pains.

Yesterday has passed, forever beyond our control. All the money in the world cannot bring back yesterday. We cannot undo a single act we performed. Nor can we erase a single word that we've said - yesterday is gone.

The other day we shouldn't worry about is tomorrow, with its impossible. Tomorrow is beyond our control.

Tomorrow's sun will either rise in splendor or behind a mask of clouds but it will rise. And until it does, we have no stake in tomorrow, for it is yet unborn.

This leaves only one day - today. Any person can fight the battles of just one day. It is only when we add the burdens of yesterday and tomorrow that we break down.

It is not the experience of today that drives people mad - it is the remorse of bitterness for something that happened yesterday, and the dread of what tomorrow may bring.

Let us, therefore, live one day at a time! From time to time we will be sending out similar messages of an inspirational or motivational theme. Please feel free to forward these as you wish with headers and footers intact. "When we long for life without difficulties, remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure." Each season, grasses, flowers, shrubs, and trees let a part of themselves go in the form of seeds. Every one of those seeds is a point of life, containing the full potential of the parent. In the quest to find a rooting spot, they are buffeted by winds, parched by sun, and soaked by rain. And, as likely as not, they find cement or stone rather than fertile soil. Yet each season, the seeds find what purchase they can and put forth their roots, slowly creating more space for themselves and pushing ever upward, even when the new world they discover is harsh and unpredictable. Seedlings are small, but a single plant can widen a crack in a sidewalk or turn a rock to dust through nothing more than patient perseverance.

In our lives, it is not uncommon to find ourselves cast into the wind, through our own choices or through fate. We are blown hither and thither by fear, uncertainty, and the influence of others. If we do find purchase, the obstacles we face may seem insurmountable and the challenges too much to bear. When this happens, look around you and note the seemingly desolate and inhospitable places in which plants have thrived. Given little choice, they set down their roots and hold on tightly, making the best of their situation. Then look at your own circumstances. Ask yourself if there is an unimagined source of strength that you can tap into. Look toward the future. Imagine a time in which you have widened a place for yourself and have flourished through your difficulties.

The smallest things in life, like the tiny sprouts, given time and the will to forge on, can overcome any circumstance and break down huge barriers. It can be tempting, however, when faced with rough or uncertain odds, to give up, to change direction, or to choose the easiest path. But within you, there exists the same resolve and fortitude as displayed in these courageous plants. You, too, in finding yourself in a tight spot, can look ever upward, grabbing hold where you can, using your determination to reach toward new heights.

10 Steps To Better Decision Making:Considering The Possibilities

1. Making a difficult choice can seem harrowing when you feel you're working alone. Involve others in your decision making by asking for criticism and seeking advice from those who can approach the choice from a fresh perspective. Listen to opinions that fall on both sides of the topic at hand. You may also want to consult an expert.

2. Learn from your mistakes as well as your triumphs. Examine decisions you have made in the past as they will teach you more than you will learn from most other sources. Though some decisions will not seem important, all decisions shape our lives and should be regarded as educational.  Apply that knowledge to your current dilemma.

3. A good decision acted upon in a timely matter is always better than a great one acted upon too late. It is important to recognize that you will never know enough to make the perfect decision. Don't become paralyzed by your need to foresee all possible outcomes to every possible choice.

4. Involve your head and your heart. Ask both practical questions and personal questions about the problem at hand. Considering the facts as well as your feelings (and the feelings of others) examining your options will ensure that you make a balanced decision.

5. Before anything else, focus on the most basic, necessary results. Often, a decision maker will get bogged down thinking about the non-essential elements of a decision. Avoid considering extraneous factors and far-fetched perfect outcomes. Ask yourself, "What needs to be done?"

6. Consider the entire range of possibilities, no matter how unlikely. When faced with a complex decision, brainstorm by yourself or with others to find as many of the vital elements as possible. Evaluate those elements as they relate to the choice you must make.

7. It was a wise person who noted that , "you can't please all of the people all of the time." Almost all decisions will involve some dissatisfaction or conflict. Some decisions may even create new problems.
8. Don't waste time on poor choices. Reject poor choices, even if you've begun to implement them, and stop doing the things that aren't working, so you can focus on the solutions that have strong potential.

9. Consult with the people who will be directly affected by your decision. People appreciate being heard and enjoy when their opinions are seen as valuable. Even making a simple choice can have a profound impact on those around you.

10. It is easy to dismiss your intuition , but in doing so, you may be disregarding valuable insight and even solutions.

Friday, June 11, 2010


This tale has been around for along time - but it's worth repeating.

When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day is not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and 2 cups of coffee.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls.

He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.

He then asked the students again if the jar was full.. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else.

He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous "yes."

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

"Now," said the professor, as the laughter subsided, "I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things - God, family, children, health, friends, and favorite passions -- things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, house, and car.

The sand is everything else -- the small stuff.

"If you put the sand into the jar first," he continued, "there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you.

So... Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness.  Play With your children. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. "Take care of the golf balls first -- the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand."

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented. The professor smiled. "I'm glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend."


If you have ever been discouraged because of failure, please read on. For often, achieving what you set out to do is not the important thing. Let me explain.

Two brothers decided to dig a deep hole behind their house. As they were working, a couple of older boys stopped by to watch. "What are you doing?" asked one of the visitors. "We plan to dig a hole all the way through the earth!" one of the brothers volunteered excitedly.

The older boys began to laugh, telling the younger ones that digging a hole all the way through the earth was impossible. After a long silence, one of the diggers picked up a jar full of spiders, worms and a wide assortment of insects. He removed the lid and showed the wonderful contents to the scoffing visitors.
Then he said quietly and confidently, "Even if we don't dig all the way through the earth, look what we found along the way!" Their goal was far too ambitious, but it did cause them to dig. And that is what a goal is for -- to cause us to move in the direction we have chosen; in other words, to set us to digging!

But not every goal will be fully achieved. Not every job will end successfully. Not every relationship will endure. Not every hope will come to pass. Not every love will last. Not every endeavor will be completed. Not every dream will be realized. But when you fall short of your aim, perhaps you can say, "Yes, but look at what I found along the way! Look at the wonderful things which have come into my life because I tried to do something!" It is in the digging that life is lived. And I believe it is joy in the journey, in the end, that truly matters.

For example, as it is with our martial arts training, the goal of attaining Black Belt is a wonderful goal to strive for and everyone has the ability to reach that goal.  However, sometimes when all we can see is our destination point, we fail to enjoy the view and experiences of the journey along the way.  Take the alphabet for yet another example, if we went from A straight to Z, think of the limitations we would have on our language and our vocabulary? 
Ever hear the old cliché, don't forget to stop and smell the roses?  There are experiences to be had and memories to be made in each and every minute of our day.  Time does not come back to repeat itself ladies and gentlemen, when the clock ticks that particular second of life is gone forever! 
So, my thought for the day is a simple one, enjoy the journey we refer to as life, don't be in such a big hurry to get to the next stop that you fail to enjoy the view along the way of getting there.   Don't be in such a big hurry to say goodnight and shut that light off on your little ones, that you fail to realize they may have a thought of their own or something special and important to them about their day to share with you, or that they want a second hug before you hurry back to the other room to put in that next load of laundry or to see what the news will bring.  I feel I am now rambling a bit, but I sincerely hope everyone understands the point I am trying to make here today.


Wednesday, May 19, 2010

How to Avoid Becoming the Next Victim

“Subtle nonverbal cues can sometimes make the difference in whether you’re targeted or not,” says Georgia State University psychologist Volkan Topall.
Here are some tips on how to keep yourself from becoming a target to street predators.

Look like you Know…
Even if you are in unfamiliar surroundings you can still “look” like you know where you are going. If you must stop and ask for directions ask a store clerk or police officer.

Use your Awareness…
Look at your surroundings. Take in the people and environment. Many criminals like to sneak up on their victims. Make brief eye-contact with those around you. Key word is brief, don’t stare. Talk on your cell phone when appropriate. Criminals love people who are on their cell phones.

When visiting…
Entertainment districts are sometimes near areas of higher crime. Dress down if you can. Flashy jewelry and other “signs of money” attract attention from criminals who feel your success is there lousy lot in life.

No need to stop for anyone…
If someone tries to stop you, don’t let them. Stay in motion.

As you walk toward your car…
Carry your keys in your hand. Be prepared. Give a glance into the back seat. Better safe than sorry.

Don’t carry more cash than you need…
Criminals sometime hang around stores to see who is paying with cash and carrying more than “average.” Better yet use your debit card instead of cash.

Let someone you trust know…
It’s always a good idea to let someone you trust know what you’ll be up to on a particular day. Let them know your route and when you expect to be home. This way if something does happen, authorities will know where to look.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Theater In Your Child’s Mind and Positive Visualization

In a previous post we talked about the importance of monitoring our thoughts. We learned that we become what we think about most of the time. The challenge is to control thoughts of past failures, present and future problems. The goal… To replace those thoughts with thoughts of success and victory.

The best way to help teach your child to control his thoughts is with a fun concept called visualization. Positive visualization or mental rehearsal, as it’s sometimes referred to, is practiced by top performing men and women in all kinds of situations. Athletes, entertainers, public speakers are just a few of the professions where the champions rely heavily on this discipline. We have a theater in our mind and it’s open 24 hours a day! Positive visualization is how we make sure that good movies are playing. So how can this help you and your child?

Let’s pretend your child has an important project which will require him so speak in front of his class or maybe the entire school. Now keep in mind this is just an example, but the idea is to use visualization on just about everything, especially the tasks which he may feel challenged and fearful of. Say to him something like this..”Son it’s your turn. You feel calm, your muscles are relaxed, you’re breathing easily, you’re on your way up to the stage and you’re taking your time. You stand confident and speak clearly; everyone can’t wait to hear your presentation. During your presentation everyone is focused on you because your doing such a great job. You finish and everyone claps! You did fantastic!”

Using the theater of the mind to rehearse success will be very powerful for you and your child. I encourage you to try it! Just remember when you visualize and self-talk (Incidentally, it’s ok to talk to yourself. It’s even ok to answer, just as long as you don’t say “huh?” to the answers.) You have to imagine vividly that it’s actually happening. You must also talk and visualize in positive terms, “I am relaxed” I gave a great presentation” Not “I will not screw up".

What are we thinking?

We all think in pictures. Many times what we see in our mind translates to what we end up with in reality. The great challenge lies in being ale to control what kind of pictures play in the theater of our mind! Here's some important and practical information for both parents and children.

What kind of thoughts do you habitually think? What kind of thoughts does your child habitually think? Although we would like to believe our thoughts are of success, accomplishment, and a bright future, they may not always be. If we took an inventory of our thoughts we might discover from this audit that we dwell on past failures, present problems, and future anxiety too much. No matter how good you or your child’s current situation we can all benefit from tighter control of our own thoughts,

Why is this so important? Because many of the psychological breakthroughs of the last century had to do with the fact that “we become what we think about most of the time.” Just that one sentence should awake you to how important this topic is to you and your child’s future success. This is mainly due to the power of the subconscious mind which processes every thought and experience we have. The subconscious actually doesn’t know the difference between a real event and one that is vividly imagined. I encourage you to do your own research on the subconscious.

Try to catch yourself thinking thoughts of fear and failure and then quickly change them to positive successful thoughts. Just being aware of your thoughts and this fact will have a huge impact on your success.

Social Anxiety

Maybe it has happened to you before…. 

Your daughter is scheduled for her first dance lesson, karate class, or soccer game and you get her to the class or the field and she freezes! She just doesn’t want to get into the class or step on to the field! 

Your son’s first baseball game is Saturday and he’s been talking about it all week..”I can’t wait to hit the ball, I can’t wait to run the bases, I can’t wait.” Then when the time comes to get his baseball uniform on he refuses!

Or how about when you feel as though a particular activity will be beneficial for your son or daughter and you say “hey would you like to give ___ a try?” and they say “No!” you then ask why and possibly un-intentionally argue about how it’s no big deal to try things!

In my years as a martial-arts school owner and instructor I’ve witnessed my fair share of children who seem to become un-interested at the moment of truth. If this has happened to you don’t worry about and don’t be mad at your child. All that happened was a slight case of social anxiety brought on by the thought of stepping out of their comfort zone. If you were able to get them there because they were excited and then they suddenly changed their minds all that happened was simple.. Their mental picture did not match what they now see in reality. If you asked them about trying something and they said, “No!” Then they simply already made a mental picture of themselves being uncomfortable.

We all have social anxiety. It’s not easy to step out of our comfort zones. Just imagine attending a party where you don’t know anyone? Or, if you’re ok with that, how about speaking in public? The key fact to remember is our kids are no different. But the sooner you help them step out of their comfort zone the easier it will get each time. If you give up the first time the harder it may get!

There’s a psychological principle called systematic de-sensitization. Which simply means; the more you make yourself do what you are sensitive or fearful of the less sensitive and fearful you will be. So if your child experiences some social anxiety don’t let it bother you too much, just keep trying and don’t give up, social skills and the ability to control fear are essential in our world and the sooner your child begins develops these skills the better.

Self-Discipline For Children

What is self-discipline? 

Self-discipline has been defined as the ability to make yourself do what you know you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like or not! A disciplined person knows what has to be done and does it. They don’t put it off until latter or allow themselves to be easily taken off track. And, most importantly they prioritize and focus on being self-disciplined with activities that move them toward their goals. There’s a big difference between having self-discipline with tasks that don’t move you toward your goals and doing very well what need not be done at all. It’s usually the more challenging activities and tasks that will help you reach your goals than those of less importance. This concept is easily confused so be careful which activities you exercise your self-discipline with.

When teaching children self-discipline it is important to have fun and keep in mind that the idea is to establish routines that are followed for the entire week without deviation or distraction. We want our children to pick up after themselves, to clean their rooms without being told, to study and do their homework on their own, and to be responsible for their extra curricular programs as well. We demand a whole lot from them!

Explain to them that there are two kinds of discipline; Parent discipline- We constantly tell them what they need to do! And Self-discipline- They take care of certain things without reminders from us! Sometime just understanding this simple concept can point them in the right direction!

List all of their responsibilities that have to do with, school, home, extra curricular, and leisure time. Have a discussion about all their responsibilities in those areas. Then, with there input, teach them how to prioritize. In other words make sure they know that homework and studying are more important than chores. Remember the self-disciplined person does the more important goal-oriented activity first.

When your child understands what’s important by the goals you’ve have set it will be easy to establish a comfortable routine for everyone to follow. Your routine should include all the activities on your list. The more regimented you child becomes and the more you and him plan time for every responsibility in order of importance the more discipline he will have. Just remember to stick to a fun routine so it becomes habit and therefore causes your child to want to be self-disciplined.