Baby Steps of Success

“You never know what’s around the corner.  It could be everything.  Or it could be nothing.  You keep putting one foot in front of the other, and then one day you look back and you’ve climbed a mountain.” – Tom Hiddleston

 

Photo of Ria G. Rombaoa

By Kenton Sefcik

 

Houston, we have a problem – a problem with how success is perceived.

 

I hear the adults complaining of the younger generation.  That these teenagers of today feel like they have a sense of entitlement, and that when they reach the ‘age of maturity’ they expect to be making loads of money working at a job they love.  But I ask the question, “Can we blame them?”

 

We are all a product of our environment and how we perceive it.  The problem lies in how, as human beings, we look at how someone is successful.  We usually only hear about or see the end product.

 

Music videos show young adults with expensive clothing, jewelry and cars.  Unbeknownst to the viewer, all of those things are rented and not owned by the recording artist as they are portraying an image – and one they will eventually reach.

 

What we don’t see is the ‘come up.’  We don’t hear about or weren’t there five years ago while that artist was recording a mixtape in their parents’ basement.  We don’t see the live performance shows where the artist was paid peanuts, only to have to wake up and drive him or herself to the next town to do the same thing over again.  And we don’t view the music video for what it is: a stepping stone to something greater.

 

Instead of concentrating on the ‘end-game mentality,’ we would be better served to find out the ‘how and why.’  Everyone, everywhere, regardless of where they came from, had to take baby steps to success.

 

 

 

 

About the Author: Kenton Sefcik is a husband, father, Registered Acupuncturist and published author.  www.harbourhealth.ca

 

 

The Flame Inside

If they cut my bald head open, they will find one big boxing glove.  That’s all I am.  I live it. – Marvin Hagler

 

By Kenton Sefcik

“Look at this guy.  He’s not even sweating,” he said.  Hugh was at the boxing club along with Jamie.  Hugh had boxed in his youth and told me he wasn’t getting any younger or slimmer so he’d decided to take it up again.

 

He kept making these comments to me in passing about my fitness level and how he needed the rest while clearly I didn’t.  Thing is – he didn’t know what was going through my head at the time: boxing is cheaper than therapy.

 

That day at the club was one of the worst days I’ve had in a long time.  I woke up to an empty gas tank in the car, left the house once only to turn around and bring the garbage out, and then a second time to raid the gas stash for the lawn mower once the gas light on the car came on (the small town gas station was still closed that early in the morning).

 

Got to work 15 minutes late and when you are the one who is supposed to be opening the place up and greeting a new patient, it’s not a good feeling.  I’m never late.

My stressful start sent the tone for the rest of the day.  I was 15 minutes late for every patient – even when I came back from the gym.  I was supposed to meet up with someone after work and I gave myself ample time to get there – again 15 minutes late.

I’ve had a lot on my mind lately and it’s been stressing me out.  It’s just like pain, and boxing (read: exercise) helps channel that pain into a positive outlet.  That day in the gym I took my pain, brought it out, and put it into the work.  I had more in the tank than anyone there because my reserve tank was full (of stress).

We all have some pain inside of us.  Perhaps some are struggling financially, some are having relationship problems and some might be just trying to get it right.  But we all have a choice: to turn the pain into flame.

 

 

About the Author: Kenton Sefcik is a father, husband, Registered Acupuncturist, published author and martial artist. He is one of the featured authors in the book, “The Best Inspirational Stories I Ever Read: Guide to a Purposeful Life” which will be released on July 30, 2012. You can read more of his ramblings at AMSDaily and at Dark Wing Chun.

Where Inspiration Comes From

You suppose you are the trouble
But you are the cure
You suppose that you are the lock on the door
But you are the key that opens it

-Rumi

 

By Kenton Sefcik

I’m that guy.  I’m that guy in the car next to you with the headphones on.  And on my iPod might be some dubstep – but that’s for when I’m working out.  In the car, I’ve got eBooks and motivational speeches running through the wires.

You see, I don’t always have good things to write about.  I’m not always beaming with delight over a topic.  However, I’ve learned what helps to keep the creative spark alive.  And in the end, I’ve had the chance to get to know myself and find what motivates and drives me so that I can give back and create a spark in someone else’s life.

When I’m running dry on inspiration, my first go-to is music.  The subject of the piece I’m writing and the intended audience might invoke a feeling I’m going for, so I’ll put on some music in order to ‘feel’ that work into existence.  Sometimes it’s the other way around, where some tune will bring a flood of ideas.

After music, my next go-to is motivational talks or speeches.  Watching Nick Saban talk about the upcoming football camp, listening to Michael Jordan talk about how hard he had to work, or blasting some Eric Thomas gets the blood flowing and usually starts a fire under my butt.  Of course, I’m a huge fan of Tony Robbins.

I also like to read books.  I don’t read a lot of fiction because I’m always trying distill something from someone else’s life and see if I can apply it to my own.  Works like Art of Non-Conformity, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running, Are You Ready To Succeed? and I Could Do Anything If I Only Knew What It Was help me to redefine my personal path to success.

My next step is to stay engaged in a small community of dreamers and doers – online and in real-life.  I try to surround myself with people who are slowly plugging away at their craft so that they inspire me to put one foot in front of the other.  There is a wonderful symbiotic relationship that happens when I’m around them – pushing each other higher.

Lastly, after all those steps of input, and if I still don’t have enough output, I rest.  I take some time (usually I only require a few days) to not work on anything.  I let all those wonderful ideas I’ve put in my head percolate and let the natural flow occur.  Heck – that’s how this article came about!

So go out there into the world and take.  Take and take and take so that you can give.  And when you give, you will have completed the cycle and are able to start it all over again.

 

 

About the Author: Kenton Sefcik is a father, husband, Registered Acupuncturist, published author and martial artist. You can read more of his ramblings at Dark Wing Chun (posts as ctkwingchun) or visit his website Harbour Health.

So Much Cooler Online

 

Photo of Randy Legaspi

By Kenton Sefcik

 

Online transparency – what does it mean?

I think, as folks who are looking for inspiration online, we have to be careful how we view other people based on their online appearance.  Throughout our lives we are taught to not judge a book by its cover.  This implies that a poor book cover could have something amazing written inside; the same analogy can work the other way.

Just because someone has a fancy website, an interactive Facebook page, a Twitter account, Ning account and is saying that they have saved the planet due to an alien invasion – doesn’t make it so.

The problem isn’t with those who have all the fancy online gadgets; instead, it’s about how it makes us feel.  Many people feel inadequate in the online world.  Facebook status updates are often filled with positive life experiences.  Also, Facebook only allows members to ‘Like’ something.  Members don’t often air their dirty laundry online or write about family drama – and if they do, they are quickly shunned.

It’s important to keep these online celebrities in perspective.  Oftentimes, if asked, they will say that they are just like everyone else.  They have relationship troubles, money challenges and troubles with balancing all of life’s responsibilities.

What should be taken from these people is their ability to inspire and motivate – their message.  Looking beyond that, into our own inadequacies, is unhealthy and counter-productive.

About the Author: Kenton Sefcik is a father, husband, Registered Acupuncturist, published author and martial artist. He is one of the featured authors in the book, “The Best Inspirational Stories I Ever Read: Guide to a Purposeful Life” which will be released on July 30, 2012. You can read more of his ramblings at AMSDaily and at Dark Wing Chun.

Let’s Create Together

 

“When the student is ready the teacher will appear.” – Kung-Fu saying

Photo of Ria G. Rombaoa

By Kenton Sefcik

 

I started writing almost by accident.

 

As a few of you know, my profession is that of a Registered Acupuncturist (Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioner).  What this entails is me placing sterile, once-use-only needles into my patients to help their bodies remember to heal.  There’s a lot of downtime between placing the needles and cashing the patient out – even when I’m running two rooms back to back – because a 20 minute rest is needed for the needles to do their job.

 

When I began in this field, I had a lot of questions and worries.  Sometimes I felt, while sitting in my clinic alone, that starting a small business was the wrong thing to do.  I was very blessed, however, to have some people to ‘talk’ to.  I use the world ‘talk’ loosely as ‘emails’ were written back and forth on more than a weekly basis.  I also use the world ‘emails’ loosely because they were more like novels.

 

I was writing – a lot.  After a few years in practice I started following a blog by a Kung-Fu practitioner Suki Gosal.  I wanted to start my own, and since I was writing so much, I figured I could handle it.  A short time after, Suki asked me if I’d like to join forces with him.  At the time, I had joined Suki and two other writers and thus began my journey.

 

After those first years in practice I got a rhythm down and between patients, or when they were resting with their needles in, I would write.  I started reaching out to other writers, bloggers and martial artists.  I set up interviews, wrote guest blog posts and articles, and exchanged ideas.  I decided that writing would be another hat, so I put it on and worked hard to get published in a reputable martial arts magazine.

 

It is said in Kung-Fu that, “When the student is ready the teacher will appear.”  I believe this to be true of other things, like how I found writing – or more likely – how writing found me.  It snuck up on me and when I least expected it and became a part of me.

 

I’d never considered myself an artist.  I was always jealous of how my children, still in the single digits, could draw better than me.  How my wife could look at a room and remake it in her head, then put it to paper.  How others could dance, skateboard and play chess.  I always wanted that.

 

If you are a human being, you have art inside of you waiting to come out.  Your art might not look like art in the strictest sense, but it is: art with numbers as a mathematician, art with music as a pianist, art with movement as a martial artist, art with colour as a painter, art with wood as a homebuilder, art with nature as a landscaper.

 

I’m going to keep treating patients, punching heavy bags and writing to see where it takes me.  Will you come along?  Let’s create art together.

 

About the Author: Kenton Sefcik is a father, husband, registered Acupuncturist, published author and martial artist. You can read more of his ramblings at AMSDaily and at Dark Wing Chun.