America's Best Karate Center
Monthly dose of inspiration from 
ABK
ATTITUDE IS EVERYTHING
Powerful Word Of The Month:
PERSISTENCE 
Dr. Robyn Silverman
Young students: “No matter how tough, I won’t give up!”
Older students: The determination to keep going even when faced with challenges or initial failure.
WEEK 1 Persistence defined: What it means to keep going and what it means to quit.
WEEK 2 What gets in our way? Fears, priorities, poor character & peer pressure
WEEK 3 What keeps us going? Sup-port-Passion-Action-Rea-son-Knowledge (SPARK)
WEEK 4 When we are having trouble persisting: Re-framing, self-talk, confiding & recharging!.
Dear Family,
This month we are going to be discussing the powerful word, persistence.
People who persist make a choice. Instead of giving up when faced with challenges or failure, persistent people try something else. They keep going because something inside them tells them to strive. Their goals are in sight and they know they can achieve them if they stay determined.
People who persist have “grit.” Angela Duckworth, who has made a career focusing on the grit, says that a person’s “grit score” predicts achievement under challenging circumstances. For example; a West Point cadet’s grit score was the best predictor of success while the grittiest contestants of the Scripps Spelling Bee were most likely to advance to the finals.
There are many barriers to success that can derail even the grittiest people. From naysayers to repeated failures, poor self confidence to lack of resources, persistent people must weather the storms. Persistent people aren’t without their frustrations and challenges but they are more likely to keep going as they arise.
Every child must learn new things. According to Brene Brown, when people are learning, they often get into a shame cycle during which every frustrating hurdle or failure is a reason to shower themselves with shame. You might hear phrases like: “How did I not know this? How did I make this mistake? I’m not good enough.” Dr. Dehra Harris, who works with elite performers, found that instead of getting caught in shame cycles, elite performers remain in a constant learning phase. They see each action to gain expertise/mastery as a “singular attempt to attain a learning outcome.” They persist.
There are many ways to help persistent people stay the course. Providing Support, igniting their Passion, encouraging them to take Action, reminding them of the Reason they want to see the goal to fruition and providing them with the Knowledge they need to move forward are vital. By lighting a person’s “S.P.A.R.K.,” the gritty person can persist.
That means that we need to stress effort and grit over intelligence and talent. Research tells us that those parents who stress effort over innate gifts, tend to rear children who try harder and work longer on achieving their goals than others.
We thank you for your support. You are pivotal in helping to make our school one of the best personal development centers in the world.
Best Regards,
        Your Motivated and Dedicated Instructors

WHAT IF COMPLAINING WERE ILLEGAL? OH, WHAT A WONDERFUL WORLD IT WOULD BE!
We all know a person in our lives that cannot stop talking about their problems, challenges, injuries, health concerns, relationship troubles, and much more. They come in and immediately put the focus on them and their tale of woe.
Be honest…do you like being around these people? I’m sure some of them are good friends and you want to help them out. You want to be a good person and listen to them, be a shoulder to cry on, and possibly even offer suggestions.
Does that ever help? More than likely, the answer is no! In my experience, this gives them the green light to complain more, sulk more, and put all their troubles on your lap.
The reality is complaining is a way of getting attention. They have something to say and they want you to agree that they have it so much rougher than the rest of the world.
What if that person accepted 100% responsibility for the position they are in. What if they accepted they are in a tough spot, whether it was their fault or not, and decided they are going to make the best of it with a great attitude.
Mike Smith was the head coach of the Atlanta Falcons from 2008 to 2014. In his book, “You Win in the Locker Room First”, he talks about installing a NO COMPLAINING POLICY.
Smith says people that complain are energy vampires and will drag a team down. Be careful who you surround yourself with because they may influence your attitude in a bad way and make it difficult for you to achieve your goals.
Nelson Mandela was arrested and put in prison for 27 years. Did you ever hear him complain while serving his sentence or after he got out? The answer is NO! When asked what he was doing while serving out his sentence, he said he was preparing. WOW! Now that is a great attitude!
The Swahili term “hakuna matata”, means no worries. What if, instead of complaining, your knee jerk reaction was, “No worries!”?
You think to yourself, “I’ve got this. Yeah, it’s a minor inconvenience, but I will make it through. No worries!”
Tony Robbins says your life will completely change when you trade your expectations for appreciation. So instead of thinking everything should go smoothly for you and there should be no trouble in your life. Focus on everything you have to appreciate and be thankful for.
Think about it. I have a wonderful family, great wife, awesome little girl, and I work with an incredible team. I have said it again and again. The best people in all of South Florida train at Elite Force Martial Arts. And lucky me…I get to see them 6 days per week!
So first I challenge you to go one week with no complaining. Discipline yourself. Sure, it will be tough. Writing this reminds me not to complain!
Put an alarm reminder in your phone that says, “trade expectations for appreciation” and have it go off 3 times per day. This will serve as a gentle reminder to focus on gratitude and eliminate complaining.
Complaining drains energy. Appreciation enhances energy and puts you in a great mood.
Train hard, be your best, and make someone feel great today!
The Elephant Rope
 
As a man was passing the elephants, he suddenly stopped, confused by the fact that these huge creatures were being held by only a small rope tied to their front leg. No chains, no cages. It was obvious that the elephants could, at anytime, break away from their bonds but for some reason, they did not.
He saw a trainer nearby and asked why these animals just stood there and made no attempt to get away. “Well,” trainer said, “when they are very young and much smaller we use the same size rope to tie them and, at that age, it’s enough to hold them.
As they grow up, they are conditioned to believe they cannot break away. They believe the rope can still hold them, so they never try to break free.”
The man was amazed. These animals could at any time break free from their bonds but because they believed they couldn’t, they were stuck right where they were.
Like the elephants, how many of us go through life hanging onto a belief that we cannot do something, simply because we failed at it once before?
We see this a lot in our martial arts training don’t we. Students that struggle with a particular technique or requirements to advance to the next rank start coming up with reasons why they can’t do it or won’t be able to do it instead of trying to find the solution to overcome the obstacle. “I’m too old, I’m not flexible enough, my work schedule makes it impossible, my child has ADHD and so on and so on.”
If everyone would just understand that the obstacles, the struggle and the failures along the way are actually the necessary ingredients to becoming a black belt champion it would be much easier to accept and even embrace them!
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