My teacher will often put before me very strong challenges, questions or statements which address my own weakest areas. When this happens, I don’t oppose those messages but try very diligently to work them out for myself, to find we how those points apply for my life. That’s why I have a teacher.
So during our work prior to Thanksgiving, my teacher put forth the idea that gratitude is a fast track to success in any endeavor in our lives. And I have been examining for myself where I am not aligned enough with that concept. When I scan the parts of my life where I’m not so pleased, where things are not going so great or where I’d like improvement, I often want to play the victim. I want to blame other people and I want to blame politics and all the other garbage excuses that are out there.
The work, though, is to look at everything through the lens of my teacher’s reminder: I’m not being so grateful in those areas, I’m not showing my gratitude as much as I could be. So the reply to the issues I face is gratitude – giving more in those areas.
In fact, this is a martial arts principle. It’s one of the cornerstones of our model of martial arts: the paradigm of “kaizen”, constant, never-ending improvement. So as practitioners, gratitude has to be part of the language we speak. Fast-tracking success in the areas that are important to us matters a great deal because these are not shallow, self-serving goals. These are not merely means to an end. They’re linked to our own growth as people, as members of a community and of the world at large.
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