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Thomas Clifford’s Martial Arts

Be, Do, Have, & Give

Be, Do, Have, & Give...

Posted: February 26, 2019

“That which challenges us most, serves us best.”

                                       -Dr. Stephen R. Covey

 

Dear High Achiever,

I trust this blog finds you well.

I would like to share some thoughts that may assist you in your journey toward Black Belt.

If you have already earned your Black Belt, simply apply these ideas toward the pursuit of your next Degree or Title. 

Have you committed to paper a clear description of what you expect of yourself as a Black Belt? 

I suggest that “Black Belt” is too general an identity or spirit for you to settle for. It is a great abbreviation, but it is not enough.  

Be more bold, brave, daring and courageous, like you were when you earned your white belt. 

Carefully write down the qualities and characteristics that you expect, or better yet, demand of yourself as a Black Belt.

Or you will end up settling for what somebody else decides for you. 

I am confident that this will assist you. 

SPIRIT – For the purpose of this discussion, we will use the word “spirit” as a synonym for identity.

Not in a religious sense, but simply as a way defining your identity as something energetic, lively, and dynamic. 

Spirit is the “role” you embrace and embody. It can be a primary spirit that accurately describes you.

It can also be a contextual one, that you occasionally access, when it is appropriate. 

You are always in a state of “being” that you should be fully aware of.

It is important that you are able to label each specific identity that you access or apply, especially the major ones.  

For example, your profession is an identity. You have relationship identities, like: son or daughter, brother or sister, father or mother.  

Each identity has its own unique characteristics.

You will be far more effective in each role if you can assign greater detail and precision to it.

For instance, “father” is a general identity, with certain universal qualities.

However, “an unconditionally loving father, who will provide, protect, nurture, influence, sacrifice, lead by example, encourage, and inspire”, is a more specific and richer description of the spirit of fatherhood. 

“Consumer” is a spirit with very specific characteristics. “Producer” is the opposite spirit. Think about the specific differences between those two roles. Your clarity in the definitions of your roles give them their meaning. 

MIND – Your thoughts should be in line with your identity.

For instance, if your professional identity is that of a highly productive, constructive, and creative carpenter, your thoughts would not revolve around “getting out of hard work.”

The thought and identity are in contradiction. That would cause serious conflict. 

It would be far more effective for you as a carpenter to focus on improving the quality and effectiveness of your work. 

If your thoughts are primarily how to move toward, or get closer to the spirit of your chosen profession or career, it is a good fit.

If you are focused on moving away from, or avoiding the spirit of your profession or career, it is not a good fit.

How effective will you be in your livelihood if your thoughts go against it?

BODY – Your actions must also measure up to whatever identity or spirit that you have embraced.

If you choose the identity of an Honor Student, and think like an Honor Student, but you fail to take the actions of an Honor Student, you have once again, caused a contradiction.

You will fail to achieve the results of an Honor Student. Your thoughts must manifest as actions. Your ideas have to become “iDOas.” 

CONSCIENCE – If you choose a definite spirit, and you think and act in accordance with it, your conscience will be satisfied and fulfilled.

If not, your conscience will be violated and diminished. This damage to your conscience is caused by “doing” (thinking and acting) in a manner that goes against your “being” (spirit). 

When you do something, there is always a result. What you get from your behavior always goes beyond a material result.

You may get something or lose something, but your conscience is what you “have” as the ultimate result of your thoughts and actions.  

CONSEQUENCE – When you are in harmony with a definite and positive identity, you will have a healthy conscience.

This will cause you to be in a giving or loving state of consciousness. It will provide you with a greater capacity to contribute, and serve others. 

Conversely, when you choose a negative “spirit” or you think and act in conflict with a positive spirit, you will increase your propensity to waste and hate.

The consequence will be destructive. 

Essentially you first decide who to “be”.

Next you “do”, or think and act.

Then you “have” results.

The greatest result is an abundant and generous consciousness.

It is an understanding that you create the value of your life and the meaning of your experiences.

It is the “treasure chest” that you “give” from.

What is in your treasure chest?

In summary:

1. SPIRIT/BE – Choose a specific identity. 

2. MIND/DO – Think in accordance with your chosen identity. 

3. BODY/DO – Act in accordance with your chosen identity. 

4. CONSCIENCE/HAVE – Be aware of how you feel about your identity. 

5. CONSEQUENCE/GIVE – Measure the quality of the first 4 steps by how good (increasing your capacity for love and abundance) or bad (increasing your capacity for hate and scarcity) you feel.

Your desire to be productive follows feeling good. The likelihood of being destructive increases when you feel bad. What you have inside of you is what you are able to share. 

Choose a very clear Black Belt Identity. Make sure to describe it in elaborate detail. 

What will you “be” like? 

How will you think? 

What will your body be like? 

What kind of knowledge will you have? 

Who will you spend your time with? 

How fit will you be? 

How healthy will you be? 

Will your outlook on life be different? 

How will it be different? 

What is your confidence going to be like? 

What are your relationships going to be like? 

How will you treat people? 

How do you think they will treat you? 

Can you imagination yourself as this person? If you answer these questions carefully and clearly, you will profoundly influence your outcome. 

Do you think that a person “doing” Martial Arts is the same as a person “being” a Martial Artist? Which person will get more from their training? Which person will have more to give?

Here is one person’s description of their “chosen” Black Belt Spirit. 

A totally obsessed Martial Artist, courageous, confident, considerate and compassionate, with tremendous knowledge, skill, and a non-quitting spirit. 

A passionate practitioner, always positively influencing my Instructors, classmates, and students, and everyone within my ever expanding circle of influence. 

A World Class representative of the Martial Arts,  with a relentless desire to effect the “greater good” through the Warrior’s Code. 

That is how one woman describes the spirit of Black Belt that she pursues. It dramatically enhances her success. 

Remember, BE, DO, HAVE and GIVE is a formula for outstanding success. Pass it on, because the only way to keep it, is to give it away. 

I look forward to seeing you in class!                   

Respectfully,

Kyoshi Thomas Clifford 

 


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