How Martial Arts Can Help You Grow Personally 39

How Martial Arts Can Help You Grow Personally

This is a guest post by Jason Maine, the founder of FullContactWay, a blog dedicated to providing the best martial arts advice and information.

Martial arts are more than just a sport or combat practices. They’re traditions, systems that have evolved over centuries across various cultures.

Many have their own set of principles. For instance, in Tae Kwon Do, students have to know, recite, and possess the five tenets:

  • Courtesy (Ye Ui)

To show courtesy to others in the fighting arts is to show respect to others in all other areas in life. It’s the so-called “Golden Rule” that many philosophies and religions follow.

  • Integrity (Yom Chi)

This tenet is associated with doing the right thing or following a higher code of ethics. With this principle, you should ask yourself questions such as: Are you living an honest life?

  • Perseverance (In Nae)

 To have perseverance is to have the right amount of discipline to not give up when things get tough.

  • Self-Control (Kuk Chi)

Part of having discipline is having the proper control over your emotions in hard situations. It’s also about controlling other habits in life from eating to relationships.

  • Indomitable Spirit (Baekjul Boolgool)

As the peak of the previous four tenets, this principle is about doing the best you can while still being modest and respectful to others who have accomplished what you’re trying to do.

The tenets of Tae Kwon Do are just some of the examples of how you can use martial arts beyond getting into better shape or gaining a form of self-defense.

Gain a Sense of Wisdom

With martial arts, there’s a newfound wisdom you can gain. Much of the training is demanding and downright exhausting. However, you will find yourself pushed to exceed limitations you didn’t think possible before.

If you’re not used to this sort of pushing, then it may be a challenge to develop that kind of discipline. Still, it isn’t impossible to build up a habit to return to class, and once you do, that sense of accomplishment once you master a new move feels like no other.

Build Confidence and Self-Esteem

Beyond growing more disciplined, martial arts will help you grow into a more confident person. When we lack confidence, we lack the ability to excel in several areas in life from relationships to careers. Taking away things that kill our self-esteem is an excellent first step to building up confidence, and stepping into a martial arts class does just that.

Once you begin practicing an art, the outside world melts away, including anything that made you feel insecure or held you back. Instructors and fellow students are there to encourage you, to guide and help you rather than put you down.

Whenever you achieve something from getting a new belt or mastering a technique, you’re celebrated. You’ll become more self-assured about your abilities, a certainty that translates to the outside world.

We mentioned martial arts being used for self-defense. Confidence comes into play here. If you’re put in the unfortunate position of having to defend yourself, martial arts not only gives you the ability to keep yourself and others safe, but also gives you the determination and unflinching courage that you can keep yourself and others safe.

Forget About Stress

For those looking to reduce any stress or anxiety in your life to become a calmer person, then martial arts can help with that as well.

Having a bad day at work or school? As soon as you slip on your training gear, you leave that behind.

One way martial arts relieve stress is by giving you better breathing techniques. Through martial arts, you gain a technique similar to a form of meditation. This grants you greater control of your breathing, which in turn curbs any anxiety or stress.

Also, regardless of which of the fighting arts you choose to practice, it forces you to slow down. Our lives have become more fast-paced, heightening our stress levels. If we want to relax, make ourselves healthier and happier, then we need to slow down. Through martial arts, we can do just that.

The arts make you focus. Learning moves and techniques take time, and you are forced to take that time.

Also, depending on what is causing you stress, you can always relieve it in class.

Dealing with pent-up anger? Let it out on the mat. Feeling uncertain about your physical health? Martial arts work great at getting you in shape.

No matter which martial arts you choose to practice, know that once you give it your all, you’re feeding every part of your body down to your spirit. You’ll transform into healthier, happier being.

Get The Lifestyle Designer's Digest
Directly into your inbox every Monday.
Previous ArticleNext Article

The Five Elements of Flawless Customer Experience 11

The Five Elements of Flawless Customer Experience

Providing a flawless customer experience is the ultimate goal for any business.

There’s a lot that goes into creating a customer experience that keeps your clients coming back for more. In fact, there’s so much involved that it can almost seem overwhelming.

However, providing a flawless customer experience becomes much easier when you approach the task through these five distinct elements:

Time
Understanding
Ownership of Emotions
The Unexpected
Follow-Through

Time

When it comes to your customers’ satisfaction, time is essential. Think of how a great experience at a new restaurant quickly sours if you’re left waiting for your food to arrive. Think of how your excitement over a great department store sale turns into frustration as you stand in line for what seems like hours.

Time is your most valuable resource and it is up to you to make sure you’re using your customers’ time wisely.

This is why restaurants have comfortable waiting areas with drinks and appetizers, or why airports have lounges with restaurants, shops, and even bars.

If your customers are being forced to wait for a service, make them feel as if their time spent is not wasted. The more positive drivers you offer customers, the less likely they are to grow dissatisfied with their experience.

Think of how you can implement this in your own business. Are there places where you can help fill customers’ time? Are there places where technology can be used to cut down on the time it takes to complete a task? Remember, it’s the customers’ time that should be valued, not your own.

Understanding

How to Use Content Marketing to Boost Your Business 6 Marketing Influencers You Must Follow

You must understand what your customers want, when they want it, and how.

While this may seem daunting, getting a better understanding of your customers doesn’t take millions of dollars, complex data analytics, and a degree in psychology. Instead, all it takes is a simple look. Watch their process, engage with them, ask them questions, and listen to them.  

How are customers interacting with your product? What’s the first thing they do when they enter your store? What’s the last thing they do before they leave? How long are they spending in each department? Do you notice anything that hampers their experience?

Take a look at your competitors. How are your potential customers interacting with them? What does this business offer that you don’t or vice versa? What is your, as Harvard Business School professor Clayton M. Christensen says, “job to be done?” What are your customers hiring your product or service to accomplish? Understand why your users are turning to your products.

Ownership of Emotions

Many companies have already taken hold of their customers’ emotions, though cynically. Subliminal advertising is a key example. However, the ownership of emotions does not have to be cynical. When used correctly, it can be the “holy grail” for companies.

Owning emotions begins with the aforementioned ability to understand. When you truly understand a customer’s choices and then act to make the experience better, you’re building a relationship of trust. That trust is the foundation of emotional ownership.

One way to build this trust is to reduce the “emotional” noise that surrounds your customers. Let them know that, even on their worst day, your business or product is there for them and that it will be a constant in their lives.

Think of restaurants and the long wait times you have to endure when they’re busy. Think of how angry—or “hangry”—you feel as you stand around, waiting for your table, and listening to your stomach growl. However, think of how some restaurants are able to reduce that emotional noise by serving you finger foods and drinks as you wait.

Also, seek to understand what emotionally motivates your customers.

Why should they be motivated to visit your store or use your product? To feel confident? Free? Unique? Secure? Successful? Research shows that all human beings are motivated by one of those factors.

The Unexpected

Experiences become stronger and more memorable when they’re accompanied by an element of surprise. Surprise can be addictive, which will only keep your customers coming back for more.

Think about mailing your customers or clients small packages with gifts and swag. Everyone loves to get mail and everyone loves free stuff, especially when it’s least expected.

A surprise doesn’t have to be a huge flash mob (though it could be!). Hand out snacks at your store. Is it a cold day? Give your customers hot chocolate or warm punch. Is it a client’s birthday? Send a card! Even a small note of thanks for a customer’s business is a nice little surprise.

The most important thing to remember: simply be sincere and don’t become predictable. Chocolates on hotel pillows were once a great surprise for guests. However, now that their wow-factor has faded, hotels are continuously trying to get back to the “unexpected.”

Follow-Through

You’ve made promises and established goals. The only thing that’s left is to follow through on them. This starts with creating your mission statement, one that you, your employees, and your customers can commit to it. This will define your customer experience.

Your mission statement must promise to impact yourself/your business, the community, or the world. It may commit to impacting one, or all three. However, whatever it promises, you must follow through on. Your customers’ trust, and thus their experience, depends on it.

More about these five elements can be discovered in Unforgettable: Designing Customer Experiences that Stick, to be published in 2018.

***
Kyle H. David has made a career in technology and entrepreneurship for nearly 20 years. In 2001, he formed The Kyle David Group, now KDG. Over the past 16 years, KDG has grown at a rapid pace, attracting clients ranging from the United States Senate to major financial institutions, international nonprofits, and Division I universities.