This is what I call The Rules Of  Engagement to engage your Life to reach your highest goals and enjoy a balanced lifestyle. These are suggestions that have worked for me and I hope you can take something from them.

Through my training, study, guidance, and life’s expiereinces I discovered these pointers and life techniques that have helped me find and guide my path, manage my emotions, and enjoy everyday while anticipating the next!! I definitiely believe in living in the moment with balanced reflection to the past of important lessons and wonderful memories we have discovered.

Enjoyment

Some of these suggestions are Fun and will encourage you to make sure you enjoy your time and give you ideas to savor it. All to often we neglect ourselves and our personal time.

Appreciation

These suggestions also include ideas to inspre our appreciation of our surroundings and those that are important in our lives.

Managed Adversity

You may notice a common and constant theme in some of these suggestions. I ask you to endure some uncomfortable situations. When we face an adversity and learn to manage and cope with it in a positive manner we grow. We learn to appreciate the moments when we are not struggling and we build extreme confidence. Again the hurt so good phrase is appropriate for these exercises. These conditions that are challenging that we our choosing to engage in, can prepare us for a tough situation. They can train us for the surprise challenges when they become an obstacle on our path.

Please, obviously only do what you are comfortable with and as with any exercise or stressful situation you may want to consult your doctor before engaging.

Rule #1 Hobby Time

Enjoyment

This rule wants you to identify two to three hobbies and or sports you can participate in at least four times a month. This is the Fun stuff!! You have to know what you like in order to have enjoyment. Fishing, hiking, biking, reading, painting, writing,  just about anything that you enjoy and could classify as a hobby. We all need Enjoyment!!

Motivation

If we understand what we like, we can motivate or excite ourselves with these hobbies. We can get inspired by them from the promise and the anticipation of the enjoyment they will bring. This rewarding process can be instrumental in our perseverance to get other tasks and everyday issues accomplished and successfully completed.

Commitment

Some of these hobbies will even get us outside and may involve other people which are all good qualities of the hobby phase. I know it sounds strange but we really must make the time commitment to ourselves without breaking it to participate a specific number of times every so often month week etc. that you define.  We gain confidence and strength by honoring and abiding by most importantly the commitments we make with ourselves!!

Rule #2 Physical Time

Exercise

This rule proposes you have at least one physical activity you can do two times or more a week. This can be anything considered to be an exercise regiment. This is how people get involved with the Martial Arts for health benefits. Obviously there is a myriad of exercise and workout programs besides the Martial Arts you can get involved with!!

Health

Rule #2 is a little more commitment based and more work to follow. That being said, it is very rewarding, and can really have positive effects on your health and weight management.
After each activity you will mentally feel better because your endorphins will have been released and you will realize the sense of accomplishment. This will not only achieve favorable physical results but will build a tremendous amount of confidence and determination.

Quality Of life

An exercise program can also improve your muscle tone and stamina levels which also improver your quality of Life. In addition programs like Martial Arts can help you develop balance and muscle control which can maximize your effective energy to have more usable time through your life to explore your passions. In addition outdoor workouts can add an element of appreciation as you can experience Nature and enjoy its wonders.

Rule #3 Adversity Challenge

Pain Management

This rule suggests that you challenge yourself to work through some uncomfortable situations where you may experience some physical pain.

Tolerance

I don’t mean for you to be crazy and make your ill feeling condition worse but on those occasions you feel you can attempt to work through a headache, cold, tiredness or other similar condition try to push yourself,  but remember you can and should always stop if the pain gets to severe. This practice will build a higher level of pain tolerance and create a true warrior feeling within you and therefore make obstacles and other barriers disappear. Obviously some physical ailments are the sign of something worse and you can aggravate it or permanently damage a body part even more by trying to keep pushing or using it!! So extreme caution and care should be taken here as pain or uncomfortable feeling might be a good time to see a  Doctor.

Mind Mastery

This is a fantastic confidence and mind determination builder and can eventually  mean less down time for you and more time to peruse your goals. I believe some pain is magnified and anticipated from our mind. I think it is interesting how are mind perceives and manages pain. For example, if you are holding  a Yoga Pose or your leg extended for Martial Arts Kicking purposes, and your strength is waning as it gets harder to hold, well if you feel another stress somewhere else on your body not related to the posing exercise you will momentarily forget or not focus on the posing pain. In fact, I have trained holding poses and have had the instructor hit me with a relatively flexible stick but with enough force to feel it and take my attention away from the pose at hand to help me prolong the pose and maximize the time to gain the best results I can. By no way am I suggesting you do this unless you train with an expert versed in this style training. I just want to explain how the mind is very powerful and can be trained to accomplish goals we don’t think are obtainable!

Rule #4 Strength & Weakness

Know Yourself

On this Rule if you can write down at least 6 strengths and 6 weaknesses that apply to you. In this exercise you don’t need to feel compelled that you need to change your weaknesses, but if you know and accept your weakness you will better understand yourself. Remember the saying “A man’s got to know his limitations”.

Understanding Doesn’t Mean Change

People always feel compelled to try and change them selves which is very hard, instead lets learn to accept and deal  with our strengths and weaknesses and use them always as an advantage to us. The better we understand ourselves the better decisions  and actions we can make through our life.  For example if your not good or capable of working mechanically with your hands and putting things together than you shouldn’t buy furniture that needs to be assembled and think you are going to assemble it. This is called setting yourself up for failure.

Time  & Energy Management

Don’t waste your time or emotions. Don’t engage in a knowing failure, you will drastically deplete your energies and confidence. It is ok to take chances and attempt things and not always succeed at your attempts but make them educated risks instead of foolish chances.

Rule #5 Know Nature

Get Outside

On this Rule we want to appreciate Nature and Mother Earth. There are so many aspects of our Lives that can get inspired and fueled from interacting in some capacity with the great outdoors.  This Rule suggest you sit outside or in some capacity be outside for at least 15 minutes at least three times a week. Try to do this without any other stimulation to start. I mean without reading, smoking, listening to music or any other distraction.

Calmness

Take this time to hear the birds, feel the breeze, smell the flowers. This is your time, so avoid any mind distractions from thinking or stressing.  Let the sights and sounds soothe your mind and take you away to your calming place.

Appreciation

When you get a little more advanced try to go out in more severe elements like a rain or snow storm, again be sensible  avoid lightening or other possibly threatening danger!!  A safe walk in the rain or snow will feel good when your done and make you appreciate the dry warm indoors and other aspects that we sometimes take for granite.

Rule #6 Goals & Paths

Set Goals

On Rule #6 set some Goals and describe to yourself a common Path bridging these goals so you can travel that Path and keep it in your sights at all times. Set a goal for the current year, 5 years from now, and for your next big birthday.

Determine Direction

These goals you define can be forever changing. You don’t have to marry your goals and live with them forever,  but try to define some short and long term ones so you can get a direction and pursuit of what is important to you.

Stay On Your Path

Keep these goals present in your mind everyday. Ask yourself every morning what you did yesterday that contributed to your goal. Acknowledge every step down your Path and savor the pursuit of these goals daily.  try to avoid obstacles and challenges derailing your determination and discouraging your desires.

Rule #7 Relaxing & Breathing Therapies

Body Awareness

Rule #7 encourages you to get a massage once a month. Not to mention all the possible medical benefits, a massage will help you learn your body in a totally different perspective. It will teach you to relax and explore breathing techniques and understand the power in our breathing besides the obvious necessity. Consistency as with anything else is key, that is why I suggest get a massage at least once a month. Massages can help prevent muscle injuries as well.

Muscle & Stress Release

I like to challenge myself, especially when my body is hurting, to a massage and let the massage therapists go as deep as possible into my sore mussels. This is my best description for the phrase Hurts So Good. Through these massages and intense therapy work you can learn to breathe through the pain, therefore again increasing your pain tolerance and pain management skills.  If you can learn to relax through a somewhat painful but soothing experience you can than be calm and relaxed with life’s challenges and difficult experiences. This is a master key to a stress free existence. Obviously listen to your body and your Massage Therapist and/or Doctor!!

Types Of Therapy

There are all kinds of massages available. I am a consistent Deep Tissue and Thai Massage recipient. Deep Tissue to me repairs and soothes my muscles especially the ones that have engaged heavily in my Martial Arts exercises. For me, again, the deeper the therapist goes into the muscle the more stressed muscle release can be achieved and the quicker the recovery can happen.  I than can be using that muscle to full capacity quicker than without the massage assistance. Thai Massage is in some ways considered an assisted Yoga type experience. It is heavily orientated to stretching our muscles. This massage is originally harder to relax because of the pulling and stretching style. But once you teach yourself to breathe through the resistance you may feel, you will gain a comfort level that will allow you to relax as well as more familiarity with your body and pain management skills.

Rule #8 Collections

Interest

Rule # 8 is about interest. Interest that can capture our attention and inspires our mind to, assemble, gain knowledge, and reflect on an earlier time. It’s not the core of our everyday life so it is kind of an educational therapy as it can help us recognize memories further identifying what is important to us and understanding ourselves even more.

Start A Collection

We exercise this interest by collecting something. Maybe rocks from parks or trips you’ve taken. Or something as material as ties or watches. Maybe aquarium fish,  baseball cards or concert tickets. When we collect items we usually enjoy the story of how we acquired them which makes it  a great memory itself as well as fun to share with others.

My Collection

I have a few item categories I collect about. One very pertinent to TaeVerge is my Bruce Lee Collection. I like to try an obtain elements that are indicative of The Bruce Lee Era because of what he and this so important martial Arts Era represents to me. He was a pioneer in so many ways of popularizing and bringing Martial Arts to The USA. He has given it such a great appeal and certain collectible pieces to me about him and that era really feed my mind and in some ways give me a glimpse of what I imagine it was like. How interesting this is to me. I have learned so much from just collecting these pieces. I will share them here on TaeVerge.

Rule #9 Name It

Have Fun!

On Rule #9 it would be great to create a nickname for your self. This is appealing to your fun side and and also helps you find and define something you want to stand for and feel strongly about!! Your nickname you choose, can certainly be clever, it may be multifaceted and have many meanings. Make it Fun!!

What’s In A Name?

Having Fun sometimes at our own expense can really help us soften our mind, and maybe even lose our Ego!! Obviously everyone has weakness as I am sure we all are aware of it but unfortunately not all accepting it. To be able to laugh, accept, and project the confidence to yourself that you are not discouraged by your weakness can actually be one of the greatest exercise and steps we can take. Certainly a nickname does not have to poke fun but, it should at the least contain some fun in its meaning.

My Nickname

I call myself The WooFDriver!!  My first explanation of my nickname is that my Grandfather’s name was Wolf. Another explanation of my nickname is for my overwhelming Love of dogs, and the activities I do with them. I actually drive & run a Team or Pack of Dogs. Professional mushers and those who run a team of dogs most commonly on a sled are sometimes referred to as Dog Drivers, hence (WooF)Driver. My dogs are either Malamutes or Husky Breeds. These breeds have close relation to their ancestors The Wolf. Hence again the name WooF(Driver). Finally instead of spelling Wolf traditionally,  I obviously have played the spelling like when a dog barks WooF.

Rule #10 Reflection

Appreciation

On this Rule it’s all about the appreciation, stimulation and excitement of special times, occasions, people in our lives, our anything we cherish.

Picture This

I encourage everyone to take photos of these fun, and cherished times in our lives and assemble them to be displayed on a Digital Photo Frame. Strategically place this Digital Photo Frame somewhere in your home or office that you will catch glimpses of throughout your day. You will be surprised how the lit up image will bring the photo to life and catch your attention (without being obnoxious).  No matter how many times you see the same photo you will light up as well!, maybe with a grin or chuckle, but most importantly with the appreciation of the time or person in the picture.

In A Moment This Moment Will Be A Memory…

These photos and consistent display can stimulate us to want to create more fond memories and understand that every moment is a memory and we need to seize the moments we have in our lives to make the fondest memories and experiences we can.