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Thomas Clifford’s Martial Arts

Rank Of Collaboration

Blue Belt - The Rank Of Collaboration

Posted: February 26, 2019

"You can't do it all, so do all you can."

                                       -Coach John Wooden

Blue Belt - The Rank Of Collaboration



Dear Friend,


I trust this blog finds you well. 

Are you reading or re-reading any of Dr. Stephen R. Covey's books? 

If so, please comment about your thoughts pertaining to his work. 

I imagine that you are quickly discovering how applicable Dr. Covey's ideas are, and how beautifully they fit into a Martial Arts philosophy. 

The principles in this book are universal, and resonate deeply with most people. 

It is difficult to find flaws in his reasoning. 

I am confident that you will enjoy his work if you study it. 

The 4th Habit - Think Win-Win, is a terrific concept. 

It essentially suggests that should we seek opportunities for mutual gain. 

This does not negate the value of competition. 

In fact, it encourages it. 

We should seek Win-Win outcomes in situations that do not require the Win-Lose approach. 

For example, you certainly want to go for Win-Lose in competitive sports, but not with your own team, during a game. 

Your team needs you to think Win-Win. 

Teamwork requires cooperation. 

A great example of where Win-Lose does not work well is in a friendship. 

Win- Win is a far better paradigm. 

Lose-Win is also a faulty model of interaction. 

Finally Lose-Lose is the worst of all. 

In a cooperative reality, Win-Win is the only useful approach. 

The other models all lead to Lose-Lose. 

It may be semantics, but I prefer the word earn rather than win. 

"Win" suggests an outcome controlled by chance. 

"Earn" implies a result that comes through choice. 

Many of us are deeply scripted and programmed to see every interaction as a win or lose conflict. 

The truth is that if we are in a situation that requires cooperation, Win-Lose thinking will sabotage our success.  

Have you ever tried going for Win-Lose when Win-Win would have been more effective? 

Of course you have. 

We all have. 

Many people are trapped in this mind-set. 

I recommend that you examine which approach that you are using in your life. 

Are you truly cooperating and seeking mutual benefit for yourself and others when it is appropriate? 

Or do you constantly see everything as a contest where if someone else wins you automatically lose?

In my experience, the toughest and most successful people are constantly increasing their capacity to apply Win-Win to as many areas of their lives as possible. 

Every World Class Martial Artist who I have ever met, embraces the Win-Win approach. 

Believe me, Win-Lose is always available when they need it, but they rarely do. 

When you genuinely apply Win-Win to your life, Win-Lose is easy. 

Do not delude yourself into thinking that Win-Win is easy. 

Win-Win is extremely challenging and extraordinarily rewarding. 

Look carefully at the life of a successful competitive athlete. 

Ninety percent or more of their time and energy is spent on cooperative Win-Win endeavors. 

Their Focus on Win-Lose competition is only the tip of the ice berg. 

Now take a look at sports fans. 

They talk a very robust, competitive, Win-Lose game, and then they go play it in areas of their lives that require Win-Win. 

What is the result? 

Mediocrity at the very least, and catastrophe at the very worst. 

Take a closer look at your approach to your relationships and your interaction with your friends, family, classmates and colleagues. 

What are you going for? 

Investigate your motives, you may be surprised. 

"All men should strive to learn before they die, what they are running from, and to, and why."

                                       -James Thurber


I look forward to seeing you and your family in class at the Dojo!


Kyoshi Thomas Clifford

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