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Tom’s Fitness & Paris Martial Arts

One Bite at a Time

Posted: April 27, 2016

I like to keep busy, but sometimes I tend to overdo it a bit. Kathy would say “more than just a bit.” But something about starting things and seeing them through appeals to me. As a result, projects tend to overlap sometimes. 

Recently, I started in on a big one. It’s the kind of thing that you just look at, day-after-day, because you know it’s going to take awhile. You have to work up to it. 

We’ve accumulated a fairly massive pile of large to medium size trees that had been cut down. One was a huge 100 year old Oak tree, almost four feet in diameter that had died, and the large upper branches were breaking off. This was a problem, if you were wanting to walk underneath it. 

Leadership (Part Two: Action)

Posted: April 21, 2016

Last week, we looked at how leaders are planners. But all the plans in the world are really nothing more than wishes, if you never act on them. 

One of the slogans for our parent organization, the American Taekwondo Association (ATA), is “Always Take Action.” We often add, “Leaders always take action.” No doubt you’ve heard the old saying, “The journey of 1,000 miles begins with a single step.” That step is someone taking action. 

If you want to go somewhere, you have to leave where you are. This may involve some discomfort. Leaders are willing to pay the price of being a little uncomfortable now, to be very comfortable later.

Vision Matters

Posted: April 20, 2016

I was listening to Dave Ramsey last week and happened to catch him talking about the importance of “seeing” your goals. He quoted Earl Nightingale who said, “What you can conceive and believe, you can achieve.”

I’ve heard that before in several different forms, but never knew who originally said it. The version I was most familiar with came from my own martial arts instructor, Chief Master Phil Minton, who always said, “If you can see it, you can be it.” 

It took me awhile, but through the years, I’ve come to understand how important this idea really is. It’s the over-arching idea and under-lying reason behind everything you do. At what drives us toward a goal. 

Leadership (Part One: Planning)

Posted: April 15, 2016

What is leadership? Are leaders born, or can they be created? Or is it a little of both? How does one develop leadership qualities? What are some of the characteristics of great leaders? This is important, because leaders are the ones who drive change around them. 

The first quality I want to look at is planning. Leaders plan and then execute their plan. One of the best examples I can think of is Dwight David Eisenhower. As our 34th President, he was responsible for initiating the interstate highway system for national defense. This allowed the government to move troops and supplies quickly around the country if needed. 

The side benefit was that long distance travel quickly became easier. People were now able to drive to visit relatives and vacation destinations far away. In the tense 1950’s, it brought us all closer together. Transportation of goods flourished too, and we still fill up those highways today. 

Lessons From Hezekiah

Posted: April 07, 2016

In 2 Chronicles, the Bible tells the story of Hezekiah, an ancient king of Judah. Originally, there were twelve tribes that made up the nation of Israel. But during the reign of King Solomon’s son Rehoboam, ten tribes rebelled and separated themselves from his leadership. 

While the ten defecting tribes kept the name Israel, the large tribe around Jerusalem was called Judah. There were now two kingdom, with two kings, often at odds with each other, and many of whom were considered evil in the sight of the Lord. 

At the time, both Israel and Judah continually had difficulty remaining loyal to their God, often turning away and following the gods of their neighbors. But Hezekiah was one of the good kings. According to the Bible, “He did what was right in the sight of the Lord, just as his father David had done.” The word “father” in this sense refers to his ancestor, King David. 

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