We do not know when the weather will create bad driving conditions. In the case of the cold, white, somewhat frozen element that falls from the sky – I will post class cancellation(s) on the dojo website – and WRNJ radio 1510, 92.7 and 104.7. Missed class(es) may be made up at your convenience.

Think about why we at times start to do something or go some place and we end up doing something else or we end at a place we did not intend to reach. Having conceived of our purpose, we should mentally mark a straight pathway to the achievement of our desired end, looking neither to the right nor left. This single sightedness is called the focus.

A focus is the one reason that most of us do not accomplish more. We establish great goals. We write them on paper as the experts encourage. We enthusiastically start taking action, we can feel the power and the energy, we know that this time we are on the right track, this time is going to be different from all those other times. Then it happens . . . Life gets in the way!

What is this thing called life? Each of us can make a list. It may be a personal or family illness; or things get turned upside down at school, work, our daily lives or play. Maybe it is an unexpected financial crisis. This interruption consumes us. Before we know it – our once bright and shining goals that were in front of us, are now just a tarnished and painful memory of what we could do if such and such had not happened. Life gets in the way of everybody, but the successful people have a way of keeping their focus in spite of life.

Several months ago I saw a passage by James Allen in “The Mastery of Destiny.” It is one of my all-time favorites on the power of FOCUS:

“All successful people are people of purpose. They hold fast to an idea, a

project, a plan, and will not let it go; they cherish it, brood upon it, tend and

develop it; and when assailed by difficulties, they refuse to be beguiled into surrender; indeed, the intensity of the purpose increases with the growing magnitude of the obstacles encountered.”

The last part of the thought is the true secret, ” . . . indeed, the intensity of the purpose increases with the growing magnitude of the obstacles encountered.” Motivated, goal oriented, people accept and cherish a challenge and rise to the occasion.


Gary Ryan Blair writing “The Ten Commandments of Goal Setting” says:

“We’re all vulnerable – it’s easy to lose focus. Accept the fact that we must repeatedly recover our focus. A brief loss of focus is a minor derailment, but, if not regained rapidly, loss of focus becomes a wholesale wreck. Focus, readjust, and realign.”

Life will continue to get in the way if we permit it to do so. People will bother us if we permit it. Stress comes from within each of us. The way we handle life’s stresses shows what kind of people we are.

Remember, today’s action creates tomorrow’s future.

Focus stresses the essential elements of life and karate. The execution of a focused response at the proper moment in a karate block or attack may mean the difference between victory and defeat. The proper response to another person, event or idea may become more important to our lives than executing a good karate technique. As we look at the important areas of our lives; family, education, work, socialization and recreation, proper balance and focus are necessary.

“What we think, or what we know, or what we believe, is in the end, of little consequence. The only thing of consequence is what we do!”

John Ruskin From “Timeless Wisdom” Yesterday I was looking at the “Simple Truths” website and saw an article that caught my attention. It reminded me of the “How to Learn” thought in the dojo handbook.

Live With Intention:

 Walk to the edge.

 Listen hard. Laugh. Play with abandon.

 Practice wellness.

 Continue to learn.

Choose with no regret.

 Appreciate your friends.

 Lead or follow a leader.

 Do what you love.

 Live as if this is all there is.

And, now as Paul Harvey would say: “Here’s the rest of the story!” A few years ago, I got a call and my assistant told me that Mary Anne Radmacher was holding on the phone. I took the call and had one of the most delightful conversations ever. It quickly became apparent that I was talking with a very unique individual, and I could feel her passion and her kindness coming through the phone. From that conversation, the idea for Life Begins When You Do was born. Each of the 10 thoughts from Live with Intention is represented in the book. And in my opinion, the end result is a masterpiece. It has more “nuggets of wisdom” per square inch than any book I know! Mary Anne has written 7 books and thousands of original quotes. She’s an artist with the written word. Therefore, if you want the recipe for how to live a full and meaningful life, this little book will be a treasured guide. As only Mary Anne could say, “It’ll help you rediscover what you deeply know.”

Posted in Dojo Newsletter.