“Your success is ultimately determined by the decisions you make daily, otherwise known as your habits.”  Chris Freytag


The Key to Making Life Unique and Worthwhile by Jim Rohn

The key to making life really unique and worthwhile is to share. Sharing has a certain unique magic of its own. Here’s what I learned in sharing ideas.

If you share an idea with ten different people, they get to hear it once, and you get to hear it ten times. So here’s part of self-interest for yourself, getting you even better prepared for the future. Share ideas. Share with your family, share with the people around you, share with other employees, share with your colleagues.

Because, by sharing, two things happen. Here’s what we call it. I don’t know how to explain it, but I do know it happens. And I don’t know all about how it happens or why it happens, it just happens.

When one person shares with another, two things happen. The audience could be transformed, and so could the speaker. If you share with someone else, they could be transformed. You may have dropped in at the right time. This may be their moment.

They’ve got three numbers dialed into the lock already, and if you say it well and say it right you’ll be the fourth number that they can dial into the lock of their personal experience and the door will come open and there’s opportunity they never saw before. The person who hears could be transformed.

But here’s what else is exciting. The person who speaks could be transformed. Guess what we’re all looking for… transformation for our new life. The new life tomorrow, the new life this month, the new life next year, the new life this year.

The caterpillar one day says, “I think I was made for more than this crawling on the ground.” So the caterpillar climbs the tree, attaches himself to a leaf and spins the cocoon. Who knows what disciplined effort it takes to spin a cocoon. But something inside the caterpillar says, “I was designed for something more than being just a caterpillar.”

And then when the cocoon is ready and it opens up, out comes a butterfly that flies away, maybe singing, “I believe I can fly! I believe I can touch the sky! I used to be a caterpillar on the ground, now I fly.”

I’m asking you to go through such a metamorphosis. I’m asking you often to go through a period where you say, “New skills, new things are waiting for me,” and part of this will come if you’ll translate for other people what you feel in your heart and in your soul. As awkward as your language might be at first, don’t hesitate to do it.

Here’s what sharing does… makes room for more. Key question: If the glass is full of water, can it hold any more? And the answer is yes. Yes, if you pour some out. So jot that down. If you want more, you’ve got to pour out what you’ve got, and then you have the opportunity to receive more.

Now, unlike the glass that remains the same size when you pour some out, it’s not so in the consciousness of human beings. Your capacity will increase the more you share. You’ll get bigger and bigger and bigger.

Now, why the self-interest wish to be bigger? Here’s why: to hold more of the next experience. Some people can’t hold much happiness because they’re too small, their thinking is too small, their activity is too small, they’re too small in their ability to share, they’re just too small. Can’t hold much. They’re too small.

But the bigger you get, the more you will receive. When happiness is poured out, you’ll get more. When joy is poured out on the nation, you’ll get more. When bounty is poured out from the economy, you will get more, if you share what you’ve got and become bigger and bigger and bigger.

            The thoughts related in Mr. Rohn’s article fit very well with our karate training.  When I started training in Isshin-ryu Karate in 1973, I did not know anything about the style.  I was traveling to Ledgewood to get thing that were needed for our apartment and saw people wearing white that were punching and kicking.  After I bought what was needed, I stopped at the dojo, watched a part of the class, spoke with the sensei and started training the next day.  Information from more experienced students was shared with me and I started to learn.  What was being taught was much different from any other type of martial arts training that I had previously done, so I accepted what was being taught and progressed through the ranks.  After earning my yellow belt I assisted with classes and found, as in teaching at the high school, teaching at the dojo added insight and understanding to what I had been taught.  Sharing Isshin-ryu insights with newer students, reinforced what I had been taught and I had to be certain what I was sharing was correct.  After earning my black belt and opening the Isshin-ryu School of Karate in 1979, added pressure was put on my shoulders to continue to learn, advance my skills and understanding and to strive to improve daily to best help the students in the dojo.  Training with two first generation students of the founder of the style, Tatsuo Shimabuku, (Walter VanGilsen and William H. Duessel – my current instructor-) has added great insight and understanding to advance my abilities and to help be teach the style the way it was originally taught.

            I was transformed physically, mentally and emotionally by the teachings of my first instructor and those developments have positively affected my life outside the dojo.  Setting goals along the way have helped me continue to make continued steps toward perfecting the elements taught within our style, specifically in kata, kobudo and kumite.

            Each student has the capacity to learn and share what is learned with others in the dojo.  Each student has the capacity to use the internal developments taught within our dojo to positively affect one’s daily life.  As we carry the discipline and teachings found in the dojo into our daily lives, we may be able to positively affect others by our good example.  As my grandfather said many years ago, “You look at other people as you truly see yourself.”  Making small steps every day toward becoming a more positive person, we will interact with others and positively influence them. 

            As we enter 2013, chose to share your positive attitudes with others, transforming yourself and others to see the capacity that each of us has to become a positive influence in our schools and community.


“You have not lived a perfect day, even though you have earned your money, unless you have done something for someone who will never be able to repay you.”  Ruth Smeltzer   

Believe in miracles.

                        Find the Secret to life within yourself. 

                                    Live to help others and you will truly help yourself. 

Congratulations to the students who earned promotion since our last newsletter:  John DeHuff – Junior Yellow Belt,  Thomas Schroeder – Senior Green Belt 


Weather Reminder:  As we approach the winter season, listen to WRNJ Radio 1510 AM, 92.7 and 104.7 FM if the weather is questionable.  I will make class cancellations by 4 pm on days when weather conditions may not be safe.  Also, I will post information on our dojo web site, .



It’s just a small, white envelope stuck among the branches of our Christmas tree. No name, no identification, no inscription. It has peeked through the branches of our tree for the past 10 years or so.

It all began because my husband Mike hated Christmas. Oh, not the true meaning of Christmas, but the commercial aspects of it, overspending, the frantic running around at the last minute to get a tie for Uncle Harry and the dusting powder for Grandma, the gifts given in desperation because you couldn’t think of anything else.

Knowing he felt this way, I decided one year to bypass the usual shirts, sweaters, ties and so forth. I reached for something special just for Mike. The inspiration came in an unusual way.

Our son, Kevin, who was 12 that year was wrestling at the junior level at the school he attended, and shortly before Christmas, there was a non-league match against a team sponsored by an inner-city church.

These youngsters, dressed in sneakers so ragged that shoestrings seemed to be the only thing holding them together, presented a sharp contrast to our boys in the spiffy blue and gold uniforms and sparkling new wrestling shoes.

As the match began I was alarmed to see that the other team was wrestling without headgear, a kind of light helmet designed to protect a wrestler’s ears. It was a luxury the ragtag team obviously could not afford.

Well, we ended up walloping them. We took every weight class. And as each of their boys got up from the mat, he swaggered around in his tatters with false bravado, a kind of street pride that couldn’t acknowledge defeat. Mike, seated beside me, shook his head sadly, “I wish one of them could have won,” he said. “They have a lot of potential, but losing like this could take the heart right out of them.” Mike loved kids, all kids, and he knew them, having coached little league football, baseball and lacrosse.

That’s when the idea of his present came. That afternoon, I went to a local sporting goods store and bought an assortment of wrestling headgear and shoes and sent them anonymously to the inner-city church.

On Christmas Eve, I placed the envelope on the tree, the note inside telling Mike what I had done and that this was his gift from me. His smile was the brightest thing about Christmas that year and in succeeding years.

For each Christmas, I followed the tradition, one year sending a group of mentally handicapped youngsters to a hockey game, another year a check to a pair of elderly brothers whose home had burned to the ground the week before Christmas, and on and on.

The envelope became the highlight of our Christmas. It was always the last thing opened on Christmas morning and our children, ignoring their new toys, would stand with wide-eyed anticipation as their dad lifted the envelope from the tree to reveal its contents.

As the children grew, the toys gave way to more practical presents, but the envelope never lost its allure. The story doesn’t end there.

You see we lost Mike last year due to dreaded cancer. When Christmas rolled around, I was still so wrapped in grief that I barely got the tree up. But Christmas Eve found me placing an envelope on the tree, and in the morning, it was joined by three more.

Each of our children, unbeknownst to the others, had placed an envelope on the tree for their dad.

The tradition has grown and someday will expand even further with our grandchildren standing around the tree with wide-eyed anticipation watching as their fathers take down the envelope.

Mike’s spirit, like the Christmas spirit, will always be with us.

Author Unknown


“On the whole, my impression is that mercy bears richer fruits than any other attribute.” — Abraham Lincoln


“Refrain from asking what is going to happen tomorrow, and everyday that fortune grants you, count as gain.” — Horace


“Everybody ought to do at least two things each day that he hates to do, just for practice.” — William James