There is an old Kung Fu adage, “If you skip one day of training, your training will skip you for two days.” Really, this is just a humorous way of saying two things. One, whenever you skip practice and come back, it takes time to get over issues like tiredness, and to remember where to resume training, ultimately losing progress. Secondly, the more time skipped, the less likely you will actually feel like practicing. Soon enough, you may not even feel like training at all, which is a disaster!
So how can we inspire ourselves to stay motivated, and to practice when we have the time and opportunity? Here are a few suggestions. First of all, find something or someone personally motivating. For instance, watching a good Kung Fu Movie. “So cool, how can I be more like Jackie Chan? How can I fight like Jet Li?” We all have someone in our life who pushes us to better ourselved. These are our mentors, our Sifus, our families, even the little voice inside that tells us what we want out of life.
Frequently though, we don’t have access to someone who can push us. For these times, finding the drive and motivation within is the key. Here is some advice to become your own personal coach. The first step is to visualize a specific, definite goal. “Do I want to be a Kung Fu movie star? Do I want to be strong enough to protect myself from that bully? Do I want to be healthy enough to live until I’m 100?” When you have a definite and specific goal in mind, the next step is to plan for actions that will bring about change. What do I need to do to get to my goal? I need to practice at least three days a week. That pizza looks tempting, but it won’t help me reach my ideal weight. I should eat some vegetables and lean meat. This kind of planning gives you the tools to reach those goals. You know you need ‘x’ amount of time to train to be healthy, do it. You know you need to drop ‘x’ amount of weight, so make the necessary dietary changes. Once you have a plan, and know the realistic steps to achieve it, then nothing can stop you from making necessary changes, nothing except for you, that is.
Sometimes we all need a little help. Reach out to others when you are feeling weak. Talk to your fellow students, teachers, and friends. If you need help setting goals, work with your teachers. There will be someone who can help you. The Denver Shaolin Kung Fu Taichi Institute’s doors are open 7 days a week. We will help you get to where you want to be.