I Live My Life To The Fullest
I found this write-up on the internet years ago and it really hit a cord with me so I thought I would share it with you. Osu – Senpai Donella …
I experience joy and fulfillment with every breath. I live each moment as if it were my last. When it comes to life - I take it to the limit! I love myself unconditionally and treat myself with dignity and respect. As a result I am able to treat others with love, dignity and respect. I have a value system, a Code of Honor that I live by. I have my own personal mission statement. I don't just talk my talk, I walk my walk. I am proud of myself everyday. I know that I am a precious child of this world and I treat myself with the care and nurturing of a precious child. I allow myself to make mistakes and be imperfect. And I love myself for my imperfections.
I don’t judge my success by a bank account, a number on a scale, or a zipcode. I judge my success by how I feel when I make eye contact in the mirror. I know my level of success by how long I can sit in a room with no TV, no radio and no other distractions of any kind. I enjoy the quiet moments with myself as much as I enjoy the company of my closest friends. These are my goals. These are my dreams. This is the Code that I live by. Do I live this way every day! No. Do I expect others to live this way? No. Am I closer to this ideal today than I was a year ago? Yes!
I believe in progress rather than perfection. I believe that living life is like climbing a mountain. There is no elevator to the top. I reach the summit one step at a time. And at each plateau I get a different view, a different perspective of the landscape, and each day I am closer to my goals and my dreams. Some days on my mountain climb it feels like I’m strolling through a grassy meadow with a mild summer breeze blowing through my hair. Other days it feels like I’m climbing a sheer cliff wall and I wonder if I can even take another step. I’m afraid I’ll fall and sometimes I feel like just letting go. But I don’t! I don’t ever give up. No matter what! I’ve watched too many people give up on their dreams - give up on their goals. And I will NOT be one of them. I will get to the top! And then … there will be another mountain to climb.
I realize now that I create 90% of the obstacles in my life. I draw people into my life that hold me back.I create situations that keep me "stuck". But now that I realize I do that, I can stop. Today, I am accountable to three people: me, myself and I. Today, I am responsible for my own thoughts, feelings and actions. I no longer blame others for the situations I’m in. I see that it is much easier to point a finger at someone else rather than look at the three fingers pointing back at me. I won’t make excuses.
I won’t use the "yeah but", I won’t whine and cry when things don’t go my way. I know that there’s a purpose for everything and even though I don’t see it immediately, it doesn’t mean the purpose isn’t there. Just because the clouds hide the sun does not mean the sun isn’t there. So I say yes. Yes to taking risks and living outside the box. Yes to treating people the way I’d like to be treated. Yes to dreaming big dreams. And yes to taking life to the limit!
Did you know that an eagle knows when a storm is approaching, long before it breaks?
The eagle will fly to some high spot and wait for the winds to come. When the storm hits, it sets its wings so that the wind will pick it up and lift it above the storm. While the storm rages below, the eagle is soaring above it. The eagle does not escape the storm. It simply uses the storm to lift it higher. It rises on the winds that bring the storm.
When the storms of life come upon us – and all of us will experience them – we can rise above them by setting our minds and our beliefs on our inner strength and spirit. The storms do not have to overcome us. We can allow our inner strength, spirit and power to lift us above them.
Just as the eagle has inner knowledge, we can take comfort in the knowledge we gain from our karate teachings which give us the wisdom to rise above and through the storm.
A strong mind and spirit enables us to ride the winds of the storm that bring sickness, tragedy, failure and disappointment in our lives. We can soar above the storm. Remember, it is not the burdens of life that weigh us down, it is how we handle them.
A certain man planted a rose and watered it faithfully, and before it blossomed, he examined it. He saw the bud that would soon blossom, but noticed thorns upon the stem and he thought "How can any beautiful flower come from a plant burdened with so many sharp thorns?" Saddened by this thought, he neglected to water the rose, and just before it was ready to bloom ... it died.
So it is with many people. Within almost every soul there is a rose. The God-like qualities planted in us at birth, grow amid the thorns of our faults. Many of us look at ourselves and see only the thorns, the defects. We despair, thinking that nothing good can possibly come from us. We neglect to water the good within us, and eventually - it dies. We never realise our potential.
Some people do not see the rose within themselves; someone else must show it to them. One of the greatest gifts a person can possess is to be able to reach past the thorns of another and find the rose within them. This is one of the characteristics of love ... to look at a person, know their true faults and accepting that person into your life ... all the while recognising the nobility of their soul.
Help others to realise they can overcome their faults. If we show them the "rose" within themselves, they will conquer their thorns. Only then will they blossom many times over.
A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared.
He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours. It struggled to force its body through that little hole. Then it seemed to stop making any progress,
it appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could, and it could go no farther.
So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bit of the cocoon.
The butterfly then emerged easily, but, it had a swollen body and small, shrivelled wings. He continued to watch the butterfly. He expected that, at any moment, the wings would enlarge and the body would contract. Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a swollen body and shrivelled wings. It was never able to fly.
The man acted with well-intentioned kindness, but he didn't understand the consequences. The restricting cocoon and the struggle required to get through the tiny opening, were nature's way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly once it achieved it's freedom from the cocoon.
Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If nature allowed us to go through life without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as we could have been and we could never fly. Have a great day, great life, and struggle a little - then fly!
An old story might tell you some of the mindset you ought to apply when studying martial arts:
A young boy traveled across Japan to the school of a famous martial artist. When he arrived at the dojo he was given an audience by the Sensei
"What do you wish from me?" the master asked.
"I wish to be your student and become the finest kareteka in the land," the boy replied. "How long must I study?"
"Ten years at least," the master answered.
"Ten years is a long time," said the boy. "What if I studied twice as hard as all your other students?"
"Twenty years," replied the master.
"Twenty years! What if I practice day and night with all my effort?"
"Thirty years," was the master's reply.
"How is it that each time I say I will work harder, you tell me that it will take longer?" the boy asked.
"The answer is clear. When one eye is fixed upon your destination, there is only one eye left with which to find the Way."
When I was a young man, I wanted to change the world. I found it was difficult to change the world, so I tried to change my nation. When I found I couldn't change the nation, I began to focus on my town. I couldn't change the town and as an older man, I tried to change my family. Now, as an old man, I realize the only thing I can change is myself, and suddenly I realize that if long ago I had changed myself, I could have made an impact on my family. My family and I could have made an impact on our town. Their impact could have changed the nation and I could indeed have changed the world.
The Water Bearer
A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on each end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the masters house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his masters house.
Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments - perfect to the end for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do. After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. "I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologise to you", "why"? asked the bearer, "what are you ashamed of"? "I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your masters house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don't get full value from your efforts", the pot said. The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot and in his compassion he said, "as we return to the masters house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the path". Indeed, as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some. But at the end of the trail it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again the pot apologised to the bearer of its failure.
The bearer said to the pot "did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of your path, but not on the other pots side"? That's because I have always know about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you've watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my masters table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house".
Each of us has our own unique flaws. We are all cracked pots. In Gods great economy, nothing goes to waste. Don't be afraid of your flaws. Acknowledge them, and you too, can be the cause of beauty. Know that in our weakness we find our strength.