We’ve all heard the self-help people tell us that motivation is the key to achieving miracles in our life. Some will tell you that “how” is not important for achieving success, but you need to know “why”. There are as many different methods as there are self-help gurus.
There is only one things that remains true across the board. Achieving milestones and goals, no matter how small, is motivating. This is why there are books about how making your bed in the morning can change your life. Achieving small goals and milestones is a motivating influence. It fuels your energy and inspires you to take more steps forward and more attempt more goals.
The Secret To Life
This is why I have a saying I share with my students. Before we begin to practice a form in Shaolin Kung Fu or Tai Chi, we bend at the waist in a specific “Bow”. This is a small movement that signifies we are beginning our form. Over the years of training I found that no matter how tired I was during a workout, if I bowed again, it would turn into the first moves of the form and those moves would pull me further. Before long I would be punching and kicking hard again and moving inexorably to the final movement of the form. Once I completed the form, I might stand there for a few moments catching my breath. During my thoughts of being tired and taking a break, I would suddenly ‘bow” again and it would all start up once more. The “bow” was a small action that spurred me into action and the more difficult movements. Now I tell my students the secret to life is “Just Bow”, the rest will just start happening.
If you are trying to start a new venture, career, go back to school, or reach your black belt, this principle will get you through. Find a small action you can take that will lead to the rest. Achieving small goals or steps will fuel the rest of your path.
This is why martial arts are the perfect path to support your life goals. It has built in milestones and goals with belts and sashes. Every few months you get the feedback and pride of accomplishing another step on the path. The community of other students congratulate you and recognize your efforts. It is almost like it was invented specifically as a life-motivator.