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    Matt
    Matt

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    Post by Matt on Sun Mar 22, 2009 2:13 pm

    Hi Tony,

    This is not a typical martial arts based question but is a question based around day to day life.

    Firstly a bit of background - As you will know the UK economy is a difficult place in which to work these days and in particular industries such as construction, manufacturing face difficult times. I work in construction where redundancies, pay cuts and insolvencies are common. My particular section of the industry, project management and surveying, is not immune to this.

    I have found martial arts really helpful as it assists me in coping with some of the headlines and set backs but I was wandering whether you have any other insights in to maintaining a positive outlook (training, reading etc).

    I would also appreciate it if you have any advice on how to promote this to other people who do not do martial arts as I have a team that also need to be motivated.

    Matt
    Steve Heneghan
    Steve Heneghan

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    Post by Steve Heneghan on Mon Mar 23, 2009 3:13 am

    Matt
    I know you addressed that question to Tony so I hope you don't mind me adding a comment.
    One thing I believe in quite strongly is to stop tuning in to the barrage of bad news that we get slung at us every day. Of course there is a real problem and there are some people suffering as a consequence but it is all made much worse by the news in all it's forms and the conversations that we have with each other. I regulaly have to find some tactful words to tell people to stop telling me bad stuff !!
    To liken it to martial arts, I believe that someone telling me bad news is an assault on my thoughts that goes deeper and lasts longer than a slap on the face !
    I do actually practise a sort of training here, daily I try to see the mental blows coming and parry with some good news ! and the funny thing is, it is damn hard to come up with good news when we are surrounded by the rubbish !
    Try it tomorrow, avoid the negative gossip and only start conversations that are positive.
    One powerful approach I think, is to remember that our brains are very powerful and yet very simplistic. They will answer your questions with the best response they can. Most of the time we ask the wrong questions. We often ask ourselves things like "why am I so stupid", "Why can't I get a better job", "why am I overweight", etc. And we get the answers to support the question. Try turning the questions around to make them more resourceful, so, "How can I be smarter in this situation ?", "What sort of job would I really like to do?", "what will I feel and look like when I am a stome lighter?" Same brain, different answers...but even then you have to stop the "yes but..." being tagged onto the end of the good reply !!
    Here's a couple of "resourceful" questions that I use every day;
    "What could be good about this "(Situation) and
    "How can I grow from this ?"

    Great topic Matt and I hope we see some great postings on the subject.
    Steve
    Al Peasland
    Al Peasland
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    Post by Al Peasland on Mon Mar 23, 2009 11:48 am

    Hi Matt

    Sorry for jumping in on this one too - Hope Tony doesn't mind.

    Steve has pretty much summed it up but to add my own slant on it.

    I teach alot of Self Protection. Mostly I market it as the conventional Physical Self Defence stuff that everyone has their own image of. That gets my foot in the door. I can then move into the True Self Protection and what training and martial arts is all about.

    Anyway, to get to my point.
    One fundamental aspect of self protection is awareness.
    On a purely self defence point of view, awareness is out first tool to help us avoid unwelcome situations. However, where people often go wrong is that all they focus on and all they think they should be looking out for are the bad things. Negatives such as, the gang of hoodies, the dark alley, the strange car. This on it's own will only serve to make us paranoid individuals.
    What I ask people to do is look for good and bad. Keep their awareness balanced. So we also should be looking for nice people, people who can help us, safe places to escape to, good places to park our cars as well as the negatives.

    This gives us a better awareness strategy but also keeps us balanced.

    Now lets get to the real point. All of the physical self defence skills can be transported across to every other aspect of our lives. Awareness being a key one.

    So now, when I turn my awareness to the economy or my industry or my family or my relationship or my health. I make sure I keep it in balance. I look for the negatives, because it's important we are aware of them, and I also look for the positives as they are the balance and they will stop me dwelling on the bad stuff. If you dwell on something, you welcome it into your life. So dwell on the positives.

    Hope this made some sort of sense, but if not - just refer back to Steve's.
    He's put it for more eloquently that I

    Laughing

    Cheers

    Al
    Tony Terranova
    Tony Terranova

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    Post by Tony Terranova on Mon Mar 23, 2009 5:19 pm

    Hi Matt,

    I will add to the already provided good advice from the guys on the forum.

    Thanks to the national press 2009 appears to be a year of depression and worry. I work on an international level and know that there are without doubt real issues that need addressing; however some of the current mood is more perception than reality. Example, the news says “March 18 2009 - The unemployment rate rose to 6.5%” – why not say “we have 93.5% employment” (which is incidentally still very healthy). The constant bombardment from the news is on loss of jobs and its effect on families thus making us focus our attention on the problem – and what ever we focus on will dictate our mental state (and our mental state dictates the chemistry in our body which results in how we feel).

    I will present an idea for you to ponder on about worrying based on my global engineering work. If I was on a power plant and on the 1st day we had a meeting about the power station maintenance schedule and we hit a problem with one component (let’s say it’s the boiler) - what we typically do (if we are a good team) is to spent say 30 minutes talking about the problem. Then we spend 7 hours on the solution and only then at the end of the day do we spend maybe another 30 minutes on the problem. More energy goes into possibility thinking and not problem thinking. Sometimes we actually say “right we have 15 minutes to talk about the problem and no longer before we move into solution thinking mode”. In other words we limit the worry time.

    I try and apply this way of thinking daily. If I am worried about anything then I give myself an allowance of 10 to 20 minutes once or twice a day to worry about (as I am human and need to express myself and my concerns). Then I spend the rest of the day possibility thinking which allows me to get a better perspective on things. Possibility thinking will lead you developing a better tolerance for uncertainty. As time passes you will find that there is a sense of freedom when you embrace uncertainty which will reduce addictive worrying traits. Worrying cannot and does not change life's uncertainties. If worrying becomes a way of life then thoughts will intrude your mind all day long, distracting you from the present moment (and the present moment is the only reality).

    This is only a habit and it can be changed by replacing it with a better habit. The ancient samurai were taught to accept that they would die on the days they went into to battle – this removed any uncertainty and with them accepting they were going to take their final dirt nap they were released from all inhibitions and worries of death resulting in them putting up an ever better fight.

    Back to the boiler problem on the power station – one process we go through is that we question the accuracy or usefulness of the information we are given. It is also useful to apply this questioning strategy to your own beliefs/thoughts. It will help you get a better perspective if you learn to stop and ponder on the accuracy/reality of a given thought (as some thoughts have none or little validity). This can help you that realize your thoughts/worries may not be serving you – therefore it can help you to move on thus freeing up mental and emotional energy. This allows you focus in a more productive manner.

    The reality is that the cards are stacked against us anyway - because no matter what we do, we aren't getting out of here alive! – So make the most of every day. The things that counts most in life is the minutes we spend learning and growing and helping other people (not dwelling on ourselves). Remember that there's a lot more to success than money. If you have love and good health, you're already successful.

    Start every day by immediately writing down 2 things you’re grateful for and at the end every day write down 3 things that went fairly well (and keep a daily log of these notes all year round). This is a strategy I picked when reading one of the many books in my library (can’t remember which one!)- As Oprah Winfrey says, "Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough." Also hold your feet to the fire and look at everything you are doing in terms of expenditure and real working effort. Maybe for a short while we need to have 2 jobs.

    I realize you said not to relate any of these strategies to martial arts, but I have to say that physical exercise (movement of the body) is a must especially when times are tough. If you smile for long enough the muscles at the back of your jaw are close to the motor cortex sections which release serotonin (which cools the brain and makes you feel good). If you laugh long and hard enough it will release endorphins which will make you feel better immediately – if you meditate and breath correctly you will release valium and that make so you feel relaxed- if you train hard you will create massive endorphins making you feel terrific – if you have anger and hostility you will release adrenalin and cortisol suppressing your immune system and making you vunerable to illness and weak mental states – what I am saying is that movement of the body is a must – it is in our DNA – and as you know good training is one of them most fantastic forms of instant gratification on this planet……………..

    Here is some recommended reading:

    • Maximum achievement by Brain Tracy
    • Psycho-Cybernetics by Maxwell Waltz
    • It’s not about the bike by Lance Armstrong
    • Don’t sweat the small stuff by Richard Carlson
    • First into action by Duncan Falconer (this was the first book about the SBS)
    • Unstoppable by Cynthia Kersey
    • Man’s search for meaning by Victor Frankl
    • Thick Face Black Heart by Chin-Nin-Chu
    • Tough Times Don’t last Tough People Do by Dr. Robert Schuler

    And any of Geoff Thompson's motivational books which you can see on his website: www.geoffthompson.com


    Hope this helps mate – see you at training……..

    Tony. T
    Matt
    Matt

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    Post by Matt on Tue Mar 24, 2009 7:22 pm

    Many thanks for the responses gents, they are truly appreciated. I think there are many examples of how martial arts and self protection can be utilised in the business world. As you have said training your mind as well as your body to ensure proper awareness, determination, focus on the positive and defence against the negative could have great advantages in the workplace.

    I am fortunate enough to train at FFMA and the experiences and challenges I face there are excellent in terms of giving me the capacity to face difficulties with confidence. However, just to extend this thread further - Do you have any ideas as to how to improve the morale and motivation of others who aren't exposed to such training?

    How do you use the strength that martial arts has given you to motivate others?
    Al Peasland
    Al Peasland
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    Post by Al Peasland on Tue Mar 24, 2009 8:10 pm

    Lead by example - probably the best advice I could give.

    Some people learn more quickly by modelling themselves on you rather than listening to what you have to say or reading what you have to write.

    I think Geoff has written about it in a couple of recent articles - and far better than I ever could

    http://www.geoffthompson.com/detailArticles.asp?id=109

    "As Saint Francis said, we should all preach the gospel, and if we really need to, we should use words."
    Tony Terranova
    Tony Terranova

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    Post by Tony Terranova on Wed Mar 25, 2009 12:33 am

    Hi Matt,

    Al's advice is right on the button - lead by example - I find people are motivated and inspired by those who lead by example and are exactly what it says on the tin. You are already a good role model so you have all the tools you need.

    See you at training.
    Tony. T

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