When I was young, I was always drawn to martial arts. I have to say my relationship with God and my desire to perfect my martial arts kept me on the straight and narrow, even though I occasionally drove into the median and sometimes ran into a wall. I would soon reemerge back on the road striving to be the best I could be, unwilling to be satisfied with the normal status quo. Most children dream of being princes & princesses; my dream was to be a noble knight. Being a modern day knight requires you to hold fast to the golden rules of honesty, integrity, and trustworthiness. As you know if you have read any of my articles, I am a cause and effect proponent. I believe that who you are is merely a summary of all your past actions accumulating into the now. You are either going to strive to live a life of honesty and light or a life of deceit and darkness. That doesn’t mean that you are fully emerged in light or in darkness, there are many levels. To make it easy let’s say there are one to ten levels which are a progression of being glory & enlightenment, whereas the negative is the same but going to destruction & total unawareness of one’s self. You should want to strive for total enlightenment, being an honorable person, one who has respect in the community. The culmination of these traits, molding yourself into a total artist of life should be your ultimate goal as it is mine. When I see people that are unhappy, sad, depressed, I want to give them a gem of life. So often I see people in a perpetual move to the negative side. You know where a person is based on what they spend their money and time on. You can even go deeper and find out what types of books they read, television programs they view, and type of music they listen to. It is not an exact science, but I have found through all my years of counseling that you can almost always trace a person’s mood, behavior, demeanor and actions back to cause and effect.
There is short-term cause and effect and then there is long term cause and effect. Short term could be how you started your morning off and where you find yourself right now when you are reading this article. Are you in a good mood? Do you have a smile on your face? Or are you in a bad mood with a scowl? I feel one of the biggest problems we find ourselves in is the lack of self-inflection, self-inspection, self-realization, this is the type of mediation as you sit silently investigating yourself, your mind and your actions, this will eventually lead to self-discovery; which may give you the answers to your elation or your misery. Long term cause and effect can go back to your childhood — trauma that you might have had when you were young, mental cruelty through friends or parents, and all kinds of other incidences that could have occurred while you were an adolescent. The way you feel towards yourself whether it be good, bad, or ugly could have been brought on by many factors all contained from birth to present. The question is are you willing to change? Are you prepared to make the necessary changes? Change always favors a prepared mind, are you prepared to live an abundant life? Are you prepared to be a noble knight? There will be many obstacles and snares on the journey of excellence. There will be many people wanting to pull you down to the lowest denominator. The level of mediocrity is where you will find the masses of people herded and corralled in to the lowest level of life. Martial arts have helped set me free from the shackles and chains of commonplace. My relationship with God has been my anchor, my lighthouse, my compass of truth. Don’t confuse my relationship with God as an endorsement to mainstream denominationalism. I simply endorse any method, organization that helps develop a positive relationship with God. A relationship with God is a one on one experience. It requires clocked in time, you really do have to prioritize to maintain sanity in an insane world. Remember there is more to life than how many letters in front of your name, how many clubs you belong to, your social status, etc. When you die what will be written on your grave stone? What will the people say about you? Friends, family, and co-workers — will they say you were a person of integrity or will they say you were a cheat? Will they say you were a great father or mother? Will they say you are a lover of life? This is the time to renew your life; from this moment on you will strive to be a better person and if you don’t know what that means find someone who does. A true artist of life is not a quitter; they are an overcomer, a type of person who learns and grows from their own mistakes.
At our institute I strive to give people inner strength, self-awareness, and self-worth. When you become happy with yourself, you will begin to be empowered with the tools to help others. If you are feeling depressed the best way to solve the depression is to help others. I know it is the most difficult time to want to help anyone but yourself; self-pity is a powerful poison and the antidote to the poison is charity, mercy, & kindness.