Hope 2007 has started well for you. If it hasn't, maybe the
following article may help to make things better!
I am sorry this issue of Motivation Today is later than usual. I
have been feeling a bit groggy this week and have been late with
quite a few things.
One key lesson we can learn from the martial arts is the importance
of fast movement. Moving at speed is a key factor if we wish to
achieve success in almost any field of life.
I studied weapons for several years with Sensei David Dyer who had
been to Japan to study with the best in Japan for about twenty
He would come rushing at you with a six foot bo or staff yelling
'MOVE!' You moved and moved fast or you suffered some kind of pain.
Standing still and reflecting or planning your next move was not a
wise idea. Just move! And move fast!
Sometimes, moving fast to attack an opponent is the best option. If
he has a knife and you are dancing around evading his slashes and
thrusts you will gradually be cut on your hands at least and start
to lose blood and energy.
But if you move fast to attack and hurt your assailant, you could
survive and not become just another victim of a dangerous world.
Don't rely too much on blocking and evading his assaults although
obviously this might well help!
The adage that 'the best form of self-defence is attack' is
probably true. An example of this attitude can be found in a
decisive naval battle between the Union and Confederate forces in
the American Civil War.
It is exemplified in the legendary words of the great American
naval commander, David Farragut:
"Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!"
In other words, don't worry about what the enemy can do to you; make
him worry about what you are going to do to him. If you worry about
getting hurt by his 'torpedoes', you will slow yourself down and
become more vulnerable.
In 1864, tethered naval mines were known as 'torpedoes'. Mobile Bay
was heavily mined by the Confederate navy. Farragut ordered his
Union fleet to charge the bay. When one ship struck a mine and
sank, the others began to pull back. Farragut who was lashed to the
rigging of his flagship shouted the legendary order:
"Damn the torpedoes! Full speed ahead!"
Most of his ships entered the bay intact and achieved a great Union
victory. Later, Farragut became the first admiral of the US navy.
He had achieved success through speedy and reckless action. He had
the same spirit as Nelson.
A key lesson, then, in life in general is to get moving now at full
speed ahead. If you wait till you have figured out all the problems
that might come up, you will never get started or you will have
missed the rising tide. You may even drop dead before you make your
Amundsen went full speed to the South Pole and, as a result,
returned home before the poor weather which probably finished Scott
and his team.
Action that is not fast often deteriorates into non-action as the
motivation and desire cool. Act while the inspiration is there.
Strike while the iron is hot.
If you decide to walk more, get out of the door now while you think
about it but don't just think about it too long or reasons to stay
put will creep in and you may stay on the sofa watching TV!
Brian Tracy suggests the usefulness of a mantra like: 'Do it now!
Do it now! Do it now!' Repeating a phrase like this until you
actually get moving will not allow room for the negativity to creep
in and make you postpone your action.
If you need to write a thank you letter say 'Do it now!' and write
before your feeling of gratitude fades.
If you want to test the power of a quickly repeated phrase, try
saying: "My right hand is rising into the air now! It is rising up!
Higher! Higher! Up! Up! Higher! Higher!"
Keep repeating words like the above faster and faster so that there
is no time for doubts to enter your mind. You may well be surprised
to feel your right hand start rising into the air.
I have seen this method tried on groups of people. The majority of
people end up with their hands in the air. A few sceptics give
themselves negative talk from the start and say things to
themselves like: "This won't work," or "This is silly!" Not
surprisingly their hands stay by their sides!
Obviously going full speed ahead is not always a good idea. The
Titanic, after all, sailed full speed ahead into an iceberg.
Driving at speed can get you and others killed. Signing a contract
without reading the small print slowly and carefully can lead to
huge financial loss.
However, for most of us, speed is not the danger, inaction is. We
can wish and long for what we want or we can take action to get it.
We all need to 'get off our butts' in the time honored phrase and
John Carlton has summed up the philosophy of the failure in a few
"We lust after the rewards of action... without acknowledging the
necessity of actually engaging in action to get those rewards."
In the martial arts world, every one lusts after a black belt, but
only the chosen few are willing to put in the work necessary to
gain one. I advise my students to take grading exams as often as
This way, they keep their dream of a black belt fresh and alive.
They have to take immediate action to prepare for the grading and
as they pass each grading, they know they are on the right track.
Action gives them feedback and inspiration.
Don't delay, then. Get going at full speed ahead and don't worry
too much about the minefields. Don't just lust after the rewards;
take action to get them.
Your actions may not create success but they may well achieve more
success than you ever dreamed possible. Inaction will achieve
Hope you have a great week filled with speedy action.
Good luck and God bless