Today at one of my satellite classes, the students actually wanted a lecture....can you believe that....they wanted one! What teenager actually asks for lectures? Hahaha! But they playfully call it "story time", because, as a few of the teens put it, "They love learning from the stories".
So here's what I told them today.....
As a martial arts instructor, I've taught many people how to form a good fist and how to punch. I've have seen all sorts of fist variations from beginner students...... thumbs inside the fist, fingers sticking out, wrists bent in cockeyed fashions, etc.
If there's one thing that students find out while they're learning to punch, it is that the fist has to be tight, especially when striking a target. I tell my little kids class "all your fingers want to ball up tightly together, to work together to make a punch strong" . How many of you have I reminded to keep that fist tight? Yes, I'm aware that some people dont have all 5 fingers and will have to modify their punch technique. But I'm not talking about the technique itself. Instead I'd like to discuss the intention of a punch....I'd like to use the punch as a metaphor.
What is the purpose of a punch? That's right, Pretty simple....to hit something. But if we dont pay attention to the elements of punching (such as proper fist formation and body mechanics), I won't matter how hard we want to make impact with the target...missing an element of punch execution will result in a poor strike.
Okay, so let's compare a punch impact with life impact.....
As I mentioned, we want all fingers to work together tightly to make good impact with the target. Imagine punching a punching bag as hard as you can with your pinky sticking out or your thumb tucked inside your fist.....sounds sort of painful, doesn't it? In those examples, a single finger prevents proper striking. Now lets apply that thought by giving each of those fingers a "quality"....let's say, that each of our fingers represent:
- Persistence: Keep plugging along no matter what.
- Upbeat attitude: "Upbeat" does not necessarily mean to act happy all the time. It also means carrying the ability to see the positive even when you're not feeling so jolly.
- Nurturing quality: Too often we associate this word with "motherly", but we want to think about the quality of the nurturing intention. It is to care for the development and well being of other people or things. Nurture your self development, nurture your learning.
- Confidence: Pretty self explanatory....
- Honest: Not only to others, but most importantly to yourself as well. Know what your goal is, and don't lessen your expectations just to meet your lack of action. Honesty with oneself includes being able to recognize when we're making excuses, and admitting them without fear.
These qualities should work together in concert to make a tight "fist". When one of these qualities doesn't work at the same level as the others, then it becomes like a sole finger sticking out ofnthe fist....it prevents the rest of the fist from making an impact.
To make a good impact, punch strong. Uncommitted punches don't hit well. Remember that making an impact doesnt always mean hitting hard, it means to also hit the right targets.....to put anothwr way, making an impact doesn't necessarily mean getting rich, being famous, or reaching thousands of people. If you reach just one person or reach even just one of your goals, you've made an impact.
Of course, I made some points on the importance of staying in school, etc....and I hope they understood what i was trying to say.
Even if I reach just one teen.......