I may not be there yet, but I’m closer than I was yesterday.

“I may not be there yet, but I’m closer than I was yesterday.”

Unknown Author

In any facet of life there are two kinds of people – the motivated and the unmotivated. The unmotivated are happy to sit back and watch life pass them by whilst the motivated go about grabbing life by the horns and turning it in the direction they want to go. 

The difficulty in being motivated and going after what you want is that results are not always instantaneous. Many times you will go through numerous failures before you achieve the success you’re after and the martial arts are a great testing ground for this theory. Nearly all of us, myself included, have learnt a technique, trained it to death, and tried it in sparring or on the mat and failed.  Does this mean that the technique doesn’t work? Sometimes, but more likely and most often than not, it’s that you have not put in the adequate amount of time and reps to make it work. So it is with life. Sometimes we try something and it fails. Does that mean that it doesn’t work? No. So what do we do when something isn’t working? This is a fork in the road that really defines the kind of person that you are. The first option is to quit, give up, stop what you’re doing and move onto something else: a very easy option but one that creates a bad habit for whenever things get tough and difficult. The second option is to persist and become solution focussed: the hardest option but the one that bears the most fruit.

Being solution focussed requires you to first define the problem and you have to be as specific as possible. For example: you cant just write down I am crap at sparring you have to be more specific about what the issue is, it might be that your uncomfortable in close, in kicking range, against tall people, against short people etc. If it’s your ground game the specific issue might be getting past guard, escaping side control, applying a certain choke etc. If it’s your business the specific issues might be getting more customers, reducing costs, attracting better staff, improving a specific KPI. Whatever the problem is, you have to be as specific as possible if you are going to overcome it.

Once you have defined your problem the next step is to find as many solutions as possible. A lot of these you can come up with yourself by simply grabbing a paper and pen and listing out every possible option that you can up with. In an area where you have no idea what to do - jump on the Internet, buy a book, ask a friend, consult someone who has achieved what you want to achieve, buy an instructional DVD or audio CD. Once you have a list of solutions go about trying every single one of them until you find a solution that works for you and your particular situation. Is it time consuming? Yes. Is it expensive? Sometimes. Is it worth it? Absolutely.