These contributors are intertwined in a complicated way that is difficult to explain but I am certain that if one were missing I would not be as successful as I am today.
From early adulthood my life goals were simple and old fashioned: Get married, start a family, earn a good wage, buy a house, and make a positive contribution to society. Some of my goals may or may not appeal to you since everyone is different. That is not the point. The point is, not only did I achieve all of my early life goals…I “killed it”. Now, at middle age I am in a position to set new and even bigger goals. At the top of my list is to be able to give back for the blessings that I have received. I want to share my Martial Arts experiences and lifestyle as a example for others to become successful in their lives.
How I discovered the Martial Arts…and a powerful new lifestyle
Throughout my childhood and teenage years I was always physically active in sports and fitness. Even though I was fairly busy between work and school I always managed to stay in reasonable shape physically and understood the value.
But then adulthood struck and my early 20s were a blur. I got married, earned a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering, had two children (22 months apart), and bought a small house for us to live. Whew! By the time I hit my mid-20s, I was already feeling the stress associated with juggling family, career, and finances. I also could slowly feel my physical fitness and energy levels dropping. The main reason for this was that the typical “gym style” workouts got boring. I was unsatisfied with my results and it felt more like a chore to workout. I knew that if I didn’t fundamentally change something in my lifestyle I was doomed to end up out of shape and with less energy to put towards my family, career, and ultimately my future success.
By the time I reached my late 20s I had all of the outward signs of appearing successful but I was struggling internally (mentally and spiritually). It was clear that I was missing something. I needed a positive outlet that I could fall back on for some balance against my high stress career and the challenges associated with raising a young family.
As a kid I was always interested in the Martial Arts. I was a fan of Martial Arts movies and heroes and always thought it would be cool to be able to learn some techniques myself some day. However now that I had a young family I also felt a practical need to possess the ability to protect them from danger if necessary. This got me thinking that maybe the Martial Arts was something I should seriously look into. My thought was that I would be staying in shape, burning away the stresses of everyday life, and learning something of real value all at the same time.
To make a long story short, in the 90s I started training seriously in the Korean Martial Arts of Taekwondo, Hapkido, and eventually Kumdo. I haven’t stopped since and have dabbled in other styles along the way. I am a big believer in Bruce Lee’s philosophy that no particular style is better than another. It is what you take from any style and make your own that matters most.
What I did not expect was the impact that living the lifestyle of a true and dedicated Martial Artist would have on being successful in other aspects of my life. To excel in the Martial Arts one must strive to balance the mind, body, and spirit. This might sound cliché but it is true. Since life is always throwing curve balls at us, maintaining balance requires a never ending discipline. I believe it is this discipline that is at the core of the Martial Arts mindset. It is the conscious act of always trying to maintain balance that enabled me to develop my personal power. With this personal power (which continues to develop) I was able to set and achieve my goals at a high level. The result was true success and satisfaction.