Students often get sidetracked in their training. They stop going to class because “life gets in the way”. They stop going because of pressure from work, problems with family members, or they are just “tired”. Sometimes new students stop coming because the initial excitement and “newness” are over, and going to class seems more “routine”. These are the same students that tell me they joined the school because they needed to improve their health, manage their stress, improve their well-being, protect themselves, etc. Where is the disconnect, then? It is because we are programmed to take care of the problem right in front of us, without regard to its long-term consequences. We do what is urgent, not what is important.
Have you ever been in a very important face-to-face conversation with a loved-one or friend, only to answer your cell-phone when it rings? Why? Because you are programmed to do what’s urgent (answer the phone), instead of what’s important (talk with your loved one). We all do that from time to time. But it is important to remember that as we become more and more programmed to do what is urgent, we become a person who just “puts out fires”, who solves short-term problems by sacrificing long-term goals.
We will all continue to have problems in life; this is not the question. The question is; how do we attack those problems and still reach the goals that we set for ourselves? By stepping back, taking a larger perspective, and solving those problems for the long-term, not the short-term. Often this will create more work and problems in the short-term. Nevertheless, when the problem is solved, it is solved; you will not have to revisit again down the road because you only put a “band-aid” on it the first time.
A famous speaker once said “A successful life is nothing more than a string of successful days put together.” You do not want to look back on your life and realize that you accomplished nothing because you were someone who just “put out fires”.
Did you join the martial arts because you truly wanted to improve your life? Great. Come to class. Do what is important, not just what is urgent.