Sunday, January 1, 2012

White Belt Master Day 1: The Most Important Rule In The Dojo Kun And Getting Your Thirty Day Challenge Underway


Okay white belt students. It's day one of the journey to White Belt Master. I'm excited for you. I'm excited because I know that you want a better life than you feel you have today. In order to achieve that, it probably is a safe bet that you need to change some things in your life. Maybe better habits. Maybe taking action to move towards goals you have set for yourself. It all begins here, with one small step. But rather than just provide you with a cheer leading session, I'm going to do more than that. Over the next month, I'm going to show you how to do it step by step. I'm also going to train with you along the way.

Your first step is to read the Dojo Kun. These are the training rules of the Dojo here at the Black Belt Project. One rule I want to review today is the one that talks about doing.

My vision for you and for all members of the Black Belt Project community is that we will be action takers. It's all fine and well to talk about what we want in life but talk is cheap.

Not too long ago, I met a guy by chance at a restaurant. He was a talker that is for sure. He told me he didn't just talk the talk. He walked the walk. But the funny thing was that after he talked for a while, I got quite a different impression. That was, that he was probably just all talk.

You've probably encountered that situation before or been guilty of it as I have too. We all have lofty dreams and great aspirations. But just talking about them, doesn't make it happen. It takes one secret ingredient. That secret ingredient is that you must take action to make dreams a reality.

That's why, I've got one very important rule as you train here and it's going to form the basis for all our future growth. That rule is that we as students of our lives can only talk about what we have actually done.

This means that if you go to the forums and talk about what you want to achieve, instead of what you have done to achieve a result, if I see it, I'm going to ask you to revise it.

I see this as the biggest challenge to our membership. It's going to be easy to talk about what we would like to accomplish and quite another to actually do. Keep in mind, that the first main rule is that we only talk about what we have done.

With that said, your first mission as a white belt is to learn how to install change in your life. And to do that, you begin a thirty day challenge. The psychology behind the thirty day challenge is simple. It is to show you that you can change something in your life for thirty days. If you can do it for thirty days, you can do it for longer.

How do I know that? Well, you were strong enough to do it for thirty days. I know you are strong enough to continue it. The problem is that no one probably expects it of you. Most often, we don't expect it of ourselves.

It's often been said that it takes thirty days to change a habit, but no one really talks about how to keep it. I mean, what happens after thirty days. You can't just forget about it. So once you complete this first challenge, then that's where you set the bar. You must continue that change after the thirty days is up. You then begin another challenge.

With that in mind, it's important, especially with your first challenge to make it something easy. Make it something that you know you can do. Make it something you need to do. But make it something that you know you will do for sure.

Look at it like going to the gym and lifting weights. This first time out, I'm only asking you to lift the bar without any weights. Once you show me you can lift the bar, then I'm going to ask you to put some one pound weights on it and do it again. Every month, we are all white belts. We're just adding a little more weight to our bars.

I found it easy to not do something the first time out. I gave up diet coke. It required no effort. I found this the easiest thing to do. Give something up. Once you have a few successes like that, it begins time to start a challenge that requires effort. For me, that was to start walking. After a few successes though, I was up for it and did complete my walking challenge easily. I just didn't walk too far. I started with ten minutes a day.

You'll be tempted to take on more than you can mentally do for thirty days and beyond at first. It's only natural. My advice, go easy at first. Don't create a strain. Also, I'd also focus on one challenge at at time. You can do other things. You just can't make it an official challenge you measure yourself by.

For me, I've been doing this for a few months now. My thirty day challenge is to walk three miles each day. At first, that would have been a lot for me. But now, I know that I am strong enough at this point to do it. No problem. You will get to this point too.

So as you begin your challenge, you might notice that stating your challenge is not congruent with the major rule here at the Black Belt Project which is you can only talk about what you have done.

Here's how you deal with that. You can only reveal your thirty day challenge once you take one action to complete it. I walked for three miles today. I completed my challenge. I'll keep you posted on my challenge but only after I complete it each day.

You should do the same. I've included a podcast here for you as well that talks more about getting started. I'll talk to you in day 2 tomorrow.


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Michael Kuhn

Black Belt Project: Build Mental Strength


I've been very guilty of talking the talk as well. I started my 30 day challenge on Day 1 as well. It's going well so far.

I'm glad to hear that you got a challenge going. Great to hear!