Mental Toughness: How to forgive

Revenge is a dish you don't even want to prepare, let alone serve (at any temperature)

Let it go.  (easy to say, but how to do it?)

Love is the ultimate power source.  We've talked about it as a motivator, and as a fuel.  It is also a powerful tool when it comes to forgiveness.

There are some truly horrible people in this world.  Rapists, murderers etc.  How can we possibly forgive these people?

The human being is not a logical creature.  It is an emotional creature.

What that means, is that you don't need to understand, exactly, why they did, what they did.  You also don't have to say they're right (or wrong).  All you have to do, is let it go.  Your anger only hurts you, not them.

Expecting human beings to be logical is like expecting computers to be emotional.  Its a nice fantasy, but the truth is we just aren't.

People do the best that they can, in the place that they are.  Nobody is evil.  Even Hitler had reasons for doing the atrocities that he did.  And, to him, they seemed justifiable, and even noble.

Understand, you don't have to see things from their perspective, or forget what they've done.  All you have to do is let go of the emotional weight of anger.

A funny article on the subject you may want to read is: Forgiveness vs Dead Guinea Pigs.

Ultimately, understand that forgiveness takes away the power that this person holds over you.  It is a fear-based weakness to hate, and it is a love-based strength to forgive.

Don't let them have power over you any more.  Let them go and live well.

Recommended Reading: Forgiveness: How to make peace with your past and get on with your life

Sensei Ono, Shinka Martial Arts
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Mental Toughness: How to have fun, be fulfilled and get rich

Most people look at people more successful than them, and believe them to be these super self-disciplined, self-sacrificing, achievement and success MACHINES.

Now, granted, those are all nice skills, and they never hurt.

The truth, though, is that often people who are living their dream lives and having a blast, were doing so when they started, too.  It might have taken a bit of sweat to get going but...  What motivated them was fun.

The truly successful have a lot more fun (which is often work for other people, mind you) in their lives.  They've found something that they love, and have monetized it.  Simple.

Imagine two caregivers.  One loves the child, the other despises it.  They both try their best to be great parents.  Which kid would you vote on becoming a more well adjusted, happy individual?

A business or lifestyle is no different!

Find a "child"/life that you LOVE, and care for it.  Monetize what you love to do!

Go to work and smile.  "I'm off to play!"  I teach at Shinka Martial Arts, the best dojo in the world.  I love my students, and literally look forward to work every time I go in.  There are days where my muscles might be sore, or I might be in a crummy mood because of one thing or another, but my kids (which, by the way, is what I call all my students, even the ones older than me!) are always there to put a smile on my face.

I absolutely, positively, LOVE teaching martial arts.  I used to PAY OTHER PEOPLE so that I could teach at their school.  So of COURSE I teach martial arts for a living!!

An excellent question to ask yourself, is "how much fun am I having in my life?" also, ask yourself this:  "Could I eliminate some things from my life that aren't fun?"

How much would it cost you to get some of the less fun things in your life delegated?  What would that free you up to do?

Because here's the thing:   WHAT YOU LOVE IS SOMEONE ELSE'S HATE/WORK.  Look at public speaking.   I love public speaking - for some, its more terrifying than DEATH!

Take what you love, and monetize it as soon as possible.  I guarantee, someone would hate doing what you do, and would greatly love to delegate those actions to you.  Soooo... what do you dislike, and, who would want to play at it for you?

(bonus: They'll do it way better than you - because they love it!!)

Recommended Homework:  Find someone who glows when working.  Find someone who absolutely loves what they do, and it seeps through every one of their pores while they do it.  Hang out with them.

Sensei Ono, Shinka Martial Arts
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Mental Toughness: How to achieve the ultimate motivation

There are two ways to motivate.  Fear, and love.  While fear may work for short bursts, love is eternal, and will get you out of bed in the morning filled with passion.

Fear is an excellent motivator, but it causes a great deal of pain in the process.

Love, on the other hand, gets the same (often better) job done, with a smile on your face.

Also, if you take into account the law of attraction, you don't really want to focus too much on what you're avoiding, and rather, on what you're attaining.

The pain of losing should never be greater than the joy of winning.  Rig the game, and play to win.

I don't mean cheat and lie, I mean change your inner rules.  Make winning something you achieve by trying, not by any judgement.  Most people don't even play the game.  Win by playing.

Recommended Viewing: Peaceful Warrior

Sensei Ono, Shinka Martial Arts
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Mental Toughness: How to do what you love & get rich

In every walk of life, profession, business and career, there are outstanding individuals.

The majority of these people are not awesome at what they do because they toil and work away at it (although the practice towards perfection takes hard work and effort) they are are this way because, as a general rule, they love what they do.

Put simply, for them, work, is play.

Some say that the awesome don't pick their fields; instead, that their fields pick them.  As if they were simply born to do them.  They love it.

My question to you, becomes:  What do you love to do?

If my child told me they wanted to be a doctor, I would say "great!  Why?" and if they answered "because they make a lot of money" I would discourage them from becoming a doctor.  If they answered "because I really would love helping people" I would immediately get them to write up a bunch of questions in regards to their ideal work day, and then, get them to interview some of the better doctors in the area.

If their fantasy matched up with the reality, I would do everything in my power to help them achieve their goal.

Take stock of your life.  Do you do what you do for the money, or for the juice?  If its for the juice of life, how could you multiply that juice and affect more people?

The truth of the matter is, from singing and dancing to telling jokes or investing in real estate, if you find someone at the top of the heap, they're generally driven by passion and love for what they do, and they're friggen' loaded.

Talk to them.

Success leaves clues.

"I'd rather be a failure at something I love, than a success at something I don't" - George Burns

Recommended Reading:  Work happy live healthy

Sensei Ono, Shinka Martial Arts
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Mental Toughness: How to become more enthusiastic

Be honest with yourself - are you more enthusiastic about your own accomplishments, or those of a fictional character on TV, or a celebrity's love life/social mishaps?

Turn off the TV, and take an hour to really find out what you want your life to be.  Get a great, long term goal, and make it into some great, short term goals.  Get motivated with your life.

Also, don't live for "some day".  Some day is now.  Don't suffer so you can one day retire - its a fallacy that has corrupted millions of people into drudgery.

Take charge of your life, and find a way to make huge sums of money off of what you love to do.  What is your passion?  How could you multiply it to help as many people as possible?

Better yet, do this simple exercise:  Ask yourself what are your top five activities in your life for which you have utter passion and enthusiasm?

Next to each, write a few names of people who make money doing those things.  Don't know?  Look.  Then, talk to them.

Recommended Reading: Do what you love and the money will follow

Sensei Ono, Shinka Martial Arts
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Mental Toughness: How to become more optimistic

To be driven by positive expectations, verses negative avoidance, is the sign of someone with an amazing future ahead of them.  Aside from the manifestation principals behind this, the sheer motivational aspects of this are huge.

Fear has its place - you would likely do more to keep someone from stealing $100 from you than you would to earn $100.  But, fear doesn't get you out of bed, in a positive state, quite the same way that passion does.

If you love life, and are driven by your ultimate, positive goal, your life seems better.  The better your mood, the better those around you feel, and the more likely the universe is to help you out.  Not just on the metaphysical side, but, think about it:  If you've ever worked in the service industry, who do you want to help first?  The crabby lady, or the nice lady?  Who would you chase out into the parking lot if they forgot their visa card?  Who would you go that extra mile for?

Never be afraid to have positive expectations.  In fact, grab your goal list, and ask yourself honestly:  Which goals could I improve/upgrade?

What would you attempt, if you knew you could not fail?

Recommended Reading: The Secret (or viewing: The Secret)

Sensei Ono, Shinka Martial Arts
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Mental Toughness: How to never lose again

"Winning" and "Losing" are, like many things, defined by the "winner" or the "loser".

For example, let's say you went to a chess tournament in order to improve your chess game and observe masters.  Would it matter then, who got checkmate?  Not one bit.  Your desired outcome had nothing to do with winning the game, and had everything to do with personal victory caused by self improvement & astute observation.

I urge you to redefine how you win.  One great definition is learning and/or trying your best.  If you fail to try your best, then at least you learned something!

Winning, and losing, both have a momentum to them.  If you define your life so that its nearly impossible to lose, as strange as it sounds, you'll develop killer momentum.  You'll be more inclined to take on "impossible" projects, and make more "mistakes"

The only difference between millionaires and non-millionaires is that the millionaires have made ten times the number of mistakes as the non.

Push past your own self-imposed fears & limitations.  Redefine victory, and achieve it daily!

Recommended Viewing: Rocky Balboa for its inspirational speeches, and, if you haven't already seen it, Rocky (for the backstory etc)

Sensei Ono, Shinka Martial Arts
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Mental Toughness: How to master self discipline

Self discipline is a muscle.  The more you use it, the stronger it becomes.  Even a small exercise like putting a chocolate on your work desk and refusing to eat it for weeks could help you grow in this area.

Being able to take action when others would not is a skill that will make you extremely successful.

Self discipline extends past simply "not wanting to" and, in effect, becomes about courage - mastering your fears, and overcoming yourself.  Procrastination is simply a form of fear.

In essence, you must develop the will to act.

The ability to overcome fear, scrutiny and the infamous ability your mind posesses to create a fictitious and horrendous future (otherwise known as irrational and/or projectionist fear).  The "what if?" scenarios.

And don't think that the rich don't have fear - they do.  They simply do not let it hamper their judgement nor their actions.  Courage, is not the absence of fear, but rather, the overcome presence of fear.

You require the will to act.

This, is a skill.

Like all skills, it can be learned, it can be trained, it can be honed, and it can be taught.

Sensei Ono, Shinka Martial Arts
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Mental Toughness: Learn how to be decisive

The perfect situation rarely occurs.

There is always going to be a chance of failure, and a chance for success.  There will always be those who benefit from a decision, and those who don't.

What you must do, is take a macroscopic, microscopic, and introspective view upon our choices.  Once you know of your life's purpose, your life's direction, and your desired outcome, and you operate with a clear conscience, life's decisions aren't too hard, really.

If you look at the compartmentalizing article, I used the president as a reference.  S/he compartmentalizes their decisions and weighs them accordingly.

Being decisive is a similar thing.  Sometimes, you just gotta say "jump."

Making a decision is a muscle that can be built like any other.  The more difficult the decision, the more muscle you'll grow.  The buck eventually stops at you; the more influential and impactual you are on the world, the more often that is going to be the case.

Instead of intimidating, think of that as liberating.  You are creating your environment!

There is a story involving a general (I believe general Schwartzkopf) and he sits down at this table with a room full of advisors, and they bring to him two giant folders of information, of which they go over in depth.  This decision has been in the wings for 15 years, and both sides have convincing arguments.

The General finishes up and says "enough.  This is clearly the decision to be made.  We will go with scenario B starting tomorrow morning."

Afterwards, the General's aid approaches him and asks for permission to speak freely, and, upon it being granted basically calls out the General'd decision to be a glorified guess.

The General smiles and replies "You're right.  I have no idea if one was better than the other - there are simply too many variables to take into account.  Ultimately, inaction was costing us more than the mistakes we're bound to make in this scenario.  If it turns out to be the wrong one, we'll adjust as we go - but sometimes inaction'll kill you faster than improper action."

And he's right.  Sometimes you're at a lose/lose/lose situation, or, a win/win/win situation, and its difficult to choose between all the outcomes.  Weigh it in your mind, listen to your intuition, and ultimately, take the plunge and make the call.

Recommended Reading: Grow Up!
Sensei Ono, Shinka Martial Arts
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Mental Toughness: How to have a clear conscience

A guilty conscience is one of the surefire elements that can bog you down.  If you feel guilty about something, fix it, or let it go, now.

There are plenty of methods of forgiveness, including some very powerful meditations, to simply calling somebody up on the phone and letting them know that you do not expect any reciprocation, and simply to let them know that you forgive them.

Anger blackens the soul, as does bitterness and any other negative emotion.  In fact, it can kill a guinea pig or two (check out this article entitled Forgiveness vs Dead Guinea Pigs)

Most of us tend to associate forgiveness with being wrong and them being right - far from the truth.

Holding on to resentment and anger only hurts you, not them.  So forgive, not forget, not endorse, not condone - just forgive.

(This includes yourself, by the way.)

For future projects, to avoid future guilt, ask yourself these questions often:
Is what I'm doing...
1) The truth
2) Fair to all concerned
3) Build goodwill and better friendships
4) Be beneficial to all concerned

And that's helped me through some difficult choices.

Another thing that I like to do, is "solve issues with love" - meaning, what would you do in this situation if you totally loved this person?

Like, I had a student who was going through some rough times and wanted to quit Shinka.  Part of me wanted to let them go, because I knew they were going through some rough stuff, and taking martial arts might be an extra stress for them.

But, once I looked deep into myself and realized that, if I truly loved this person, I would encourage them to take martial arts to help them through this episode.  Once you see life through love's eyes, things become clear.  And, helping people make the right decisions in their lives becomes easier as well.

Live with love, and your conscience is always clear.

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Mental Toughness: Learn how to be creative

Ask yourself as often as possible the magic question:  "Where is the hidden opportunity?"  In fact, set it up as an auto reminder on your itouch.

The other day, my hidden opportunity reminder went off while I was about to throw out my junkmail.  As a result, I examined it thoroughly, and created a very cool thing.

There are hidden opportunities all around you, you simply have to train your eye to look for them.  Where's Waldo is just a picture of a bunch of people unless you know what you're looking for.

Look for the hidden opportunity in everything.  Bonus, look for the hidden opportunity in EVERYTHING (even the crappy stuff!)

When you have a challenge hit you in your life that is unexpected - play a game.  Ask yourself "what's great about this?" and "how is this one of the better opportunities of my life?" you'll be surprised!

Recommended Reading: The Artist's Way

Sensei Ono, Shinka Martial Arts
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Mental Toughness: Learn how to be coachable

"Great coaching is helping people discover what they already know." - Bill Gove

There are four levels of competence.

Unconscious incompetence: Where you suck and don't know it.  This applies to me at skiing.  I've never tried it, and I'm probably terrible at it.

Conscious incompetence: Where you suck at it, and know it.  This applies to me in snowboarding.  I tried it once, nearly died about 13 times and figured that was enough.

Conscious competence:  This is when you are good at something as long as you concentrate.  This applies to me in chess.  I'm pretty good as long as I stay focused on it.

Unconscious competence:  This is when you're so good at something you don't even think about it.  This applies to me when I'm teaching martial arts, or playing Street Fighter II.

You want to approach life as though the majority of it had the possibility of being under your "unconscious incompetence" category.  There's lots you suck at (that's positive eh?) and you don't even know it.

So, constantly seek growth and be humble.  Ask for help.

Sensei Ono, Shinka Martial Arts
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Mental Toughness: How to Achieve balance in work & play

Most average performers struggle with balance, in the sense that they perceive that they work too much, and play far too often.  Also, their method of play is often distracting verses mentally engaging & creative.

Taking time to relax is just as much a part of success as action is.  Its all about balance.

One program I would recommend is called "eternity" for the itouch.  Its basically a free time-logging program that allows you to log your time in different activities.  The categories I use are "business", "building relationships", "manifesting, planning, meditating etc", "synaptic atrophy", "training", "synaptic growth", and "class prep/teaching".

So at the end of the month, I can look at my stats and see how balanced my life is.  I generally seem to hit Business being at 17%, relationships around 26%, manifesting at about 8%, atrophy at 7%, growth at 10%, teaching at 30% and training at 2%.

Which, if you add it all up, basically turns into personal, work, and connection at about 27%, 47%, 26%.  There is a bit of crossover as training is technically personal, friends, and work, as is manifesting; but I generally lump those into personal time, as its something I would regardless of the existence of the others.

Balance is key, of course.  And, if you start to experience stress in your life, you can check your percentages and make adjustments.

One of the things this time-logging can really help with, is your perceptions of "wasting time".  "Gah, I didn't DO anything" is a very common achiever (especially male achiever) expression to hear, after, say, spending the whole day cuddling with your loved one.

This percentage-based time logger helps put that into perspective.  Almost as if every aspect of your life were a job, and you are just checking where the paycheck is going.  "Oop, I haven't shown up at my girlfriend-job in the past two days, better put some time in" is basically what it can feel like.  So you are "allowed" to relax.

"Yikes, is that the time?  I've gotta stop my tax returns and get in some video games to achieve balance!" hehe.  "Have to".

Recommended Reading: Stress For Success

Sensei Ono, Shinka Martial Arts
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Mental Toughness: How to learn to delay gratification

Most good ideas have an incubation period.  Foundations need to be poured, websites fabricated, people assembled, technology developed etc.

During that time, the money goes out, not in.

Its important to mentally recognize and be okay with this process of planting the seeds before the harvest.

Our society is trained to exchange time for dollars, and, the path to awesome is in exchanging ideas for dollars, not time.

Train yourself to delay gratification for greater rewards.  Not in the sense of an RRSP "I'll have money when I retire" type mentality - instead, think work for free, or close to it, for 6 months and learn from someone who can teach you to be a millionaire.  

Develop skills as you age, not income brackets.  No job will ever truly set you free - you'll need to develop cash developing systems.  (see passionate passive income for more info on that)

Develop your self discipline through practice.  Even something simple like putting a chocolate bar on your work desk and refusing to eat it for 30 days can build tremendous willpower for many of us.  Find your achillies heel and test yourself.

Sensei Ono, Shinka Martial Arts
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Mental Toughness: How to love meta-cognition

You are not "in" a bad mood, you are contributing to a bad mood.  You are not "having" a great day, you are "being" a great day.

Being aware of your mental & physical recipes responsible for your day's outcome is an incredible step towards awesome.

Look at a tray of freshly made brownies.  There is a whole collection of factors that determines their deliciousness.  There is the baking temperature, the cooling time, and the ingredients.  But within that, there is a syntax.  That is, a specific order.  You can't bake the brownies before adding the flour, and you can't stir the brownie mixture at the end after letting it cool.

So to, does awesome have a recipe (in fact, you're in the process of reading the ingredients list right now!).  One thing that awesome requires, is being in an awesome state.

As you've read previously, another thing required, is consistency.  Which means you must consistently be in an awesome state.

Currently, most of us have our awesome moments, but they seem random and unpredictable.  You simply "have a good day."

I propose to you to discover the recipe for your "good days" and simply be awesome, and allow the days around you to be good as a result.

You must embrace metacognition in order to even be able to read this recipe, let alone master it.

Measure yourself on a scale of 1 to awesome.  Take your awesome temperature, and see how it affects your performance throughout the day.  Write down when you are awesome and analyze why.  Find your recipe for awesome and bake it every day.

Sensei Ono, Shinka Martial Arts
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