Before bringing Covid into the mix, it’s important to emphasise how Judo, and other martial arts, help shape people’s lives and businesses.
If you’re ambitious in life it’s almost certain that you’ll have goals, whether these be formalised in a business plan, or just a few thoughts in the back of your head.
In order to achieve a big goal that may seem unachievable at first, I’ve always found it useful to give myself several smaller goals, and within these smaller tasks to complete.
This is where Judo comes in. When I started I wanted to get a black belt. This sounds a simple task, but one that isn’t quick to achieve, and if I was on my own but would be tricky to know where to start.
Luckily Judo has a system which does the planning for you. In order to get a black belt, you first need to get a brown belt and enter some competitions. Before you can get a brown belt, you need a blue belt, and so on. So the goal of getting a black belt is sub-divided into smaller goals of being awarded all of the other belts first.
To obtain each belt you have to have completed a set of tasks from the syllabus, such as demonstrating a particular throw, choke or lock.
So there we have many manageable small tasks, which in turn complete a small goal, and over many years these accumulate to the big goal.
Many business coaches use a similar strategy in order to keep people moving forward and expand their business. I also find it a great system on a personal level; if you don’t like something, set yourself smaller incremental changes to set yourself in the right direction.
As with a black belt, any significant business or personal goal could take many years, and it’s unlikely that it’ll be smooth sailing the whole time. Yes, it happens, but in reality, you need to take a step backwards in order to move forward.
With Judo this is often the case through injury, of which I’ve had my fair share. If you hurt yourself, sometimes the best option is to pause, regroup, wait for things to get better then carry on. Other times it’s possible to stray away from the syllabus and do something else that helps. For example, if you can’t do any physical training, you can certainly learn the Japanese terms and maintain your focus towards your end goal. I remember lying by a swimming pool in Turkey learning my Dan grade (black belt) theory… I wasn’t going to let a holiday get in the way of my goal.
What an injury can’t take away is all of the hard work you’ve already invested. What it really shouldn’t take away is your focus, drive or end goal, it should just change the path needed to get there. You really shouldn’t stop or give up, as that will be the beginning of the end.
This is where Covid comes in, this is an ‘injury’ to many businesses, and in fairness a really bad one. Some businesses are doing well, others are adapting their offering to keep moving forward, and unfortunately, some are having to pause and regroup. As with Judo, the ones that are having the worst experience will have to work the hardest, but try not to give up hope, and try and keep the end goal in sight.
If you’re forced to shut your doors, is there anything at all you can do to keep yourself busy and making progress towards your end goal? Even silly things such as decorating, or getting your bookkeeping up together mean that when your doors open, you’ll be ready to go.
The Internet is a hive of free knowledge, so are there any books or videos you could read to help train yourself to enhance your offering? Are there any jobs that you’ve always put off that you can now do? This certainly isn’t a ‘rethink reskill reboot’ suggestion, just tweaking what you have.
Don’t overwhelm yourself trying to get it all done, just tackle tasks off one by one, meaning you’re moving in the right direction.
I personally find that doing these tasks help me keep a positive mental attitude, whether that be through sports, or my personal or business life.
Everyone is different and will have their own struggles, but it was never meant to be easy. We’re all in the same storm, not the same boat.
Stay safe everyone, and let’s get through this together.
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