Whether it be in life or in the dojo, you will experience overwhelm, defeat, fear, stress, anxiety, feelings of not being good enough at some stage. These are the moments that will test every part of your being. The power is in what you choose to focus on and what you choose to do next….

This is your life and you can choose how the next chapter of your life will unfold. Will you choose to remain where you are and become trapped and enslaved by your difficulties?  Or, do you choose to seek victory no matter how long it may take for the season to change?

Here are a few ideas to help you take control of your life.  These ideas have been inspired through years of study in the dojo and how I’ve personally chosen to move through challenges in my life.

1. Breathe and Practice Posture: An instant way to alter your state at any time in your day. We practice this so much in the dojo and it will serve you well in all areas of your life. Throughout your day, take a moment here and there to breathe and practice posture. Allow yourself to become more optimistic, energised and balanced whilst improving clarity and productivity.

2. Clarity: Be clear on what you want and what you are going to do next. Direct your mind often and remind it where you want to go and what you want to do. Your mind will be distracted and drift off course often in your early practices of this habit. Give yourself time, be patient and practice clarity a little each day. It’s worth it.

3. Fuel Yourself Well: Whilst you navigate yourself through your difficulty, do your best to take care of yourself. Often when we face difficulties we let go of all the good habits/routines that were helping us experience greater happiness and success in our lives. Do the things that make you feel good. Not just good right now. But the things that you know are going to keep you feeling good long term.

4. Exercise Your Mind & Body: Keep moving your body and deliberately exercise your inner muscles. I call them “muscles for life”. This is something that takes place in the dojo even without you knowing. Exercise qualities such as patience, determination, focus, commitment, endurance etc. You never know when they are going to come in handy. If you truly do this, the problems of today become minor bumps in the road in your future.

5. Help Others: There are times when we don’t feel equipped and able to help ourselves, but opportunities will arise where we can help someone else. Use your strengths to serve and serve often. The act in helping others tends to not only help the other person but it also seems to provide energy and answers that release us from our own challenges. If you want to get back to growing and living with greater happiness and success more quickly, go and help someone.

6. Believe and know that your best days are ahead of you: You are an amazing person, there is no other person like you and there will never be another person like you. Choose to believe that your best days are ahead because today you are choosing to focus on and do things that are going to move your forward on a the path of victory.

7. “Fall seven times and stand up eight.” ~ Japanese Proverb  Such a simple message yet it always seems to find me when I’m facing challenges. Some challenges are crippling and can appear to be total devastation in your life and there is no coming back. History tells me (in my life) that I will rebuild in a more magnificent and beautiful way. I will grow more strength, peace, compassion and wisdom. And, I believe that you too can rebuild in the perfect way and the perfect time for you.