Your personal Christmas


Bloody Christmas

What’s the problem with Christmas? And why am I asking this in May? Here’s why: the last two weeks have been quite wonderful for me; I know that doesn’t move you too much, but have a thought, a reflection on what you’ve had to celebrate recently. Christmas is supposed to be this time of celebration, a certain amount of gluttony and happiness. We build it up into some unforgettable time when all the people of the world will be united. The truth is that often it’s nothing like that; having had plenty of nothing Christmases and one particularly miserable one I’ll vouch for that. The reason for my two weeks of celebration: my silver jubilee of teaching martial arts and receiving my award for winning the national entrepreneur of the month from Nigel Botterill. It’s been a unique time; lots of reflection on the past, making plans for the future and very much living in the present.

Past and future

25 years is a long time and the more I reflected the more it gave me time to think about the important people that have crossed my path in that time. That was what gave me the idea of setting up the UFS Hall of Fame; in other words to acknowledge these people who have added so much to my life: Glynn Daniels, Paul Daniels, David Tomney, Anne-Marie Wright (now Coles), Cindy McGrath, Ved Dehir and Matt Lorentzen. Each played their part and has helped the martial arts school of UFS be the great place it is today. The photo that accompanies this blog is another example of why I love to teach. That photo is a microcosm of the personalities that I in the 2012 version of the club. If you study it carefully you can see the different dynamics, friendships and attitudes of those in it. These people are the hope for the future of the club – the legends to be, to yet form.

The algorithm of joy

Another pointer to the future was receiving my award from Mr Botterill. For those who haven’t heard of Nigel; he is a businessman who has set up 8 million pound businesses in 8 years; an impressive feat by anyones standards. He formed the Entrepreneurs Circle two years ago with the promise of teaching the algorithm for how he did it. I actually had two chances to join the Circle before I finally decided I was ready for it and it was ready for me. The results have been staggering. It’s not about the knowledge as much as it is the implementation of the knowledge; the idea that you learn something and then do something about it. Life really is all about attitude – where you put your focus that’s where the results come. As a result of what I learnt, what I implemented and the local support I had I won the national award for April for achieving the most that month in the view of the judges. On Thursday 3rd May I received my prize in front of 640 people at Newbury Racecourse in a room decked out in 1940’s paraphernalia; I found it quite amusing that people kept asking if I was nervous or excited. I wasn’t really either; I was happy, content, pleased. I really do love to win and I loved the splendour of the occasion.

Expectation beyond the obvious

Which brings me back to Christmas, or even our own birthdays. We build these events up, or other people do it for us and they fall down either for unreal expectations or poor planning. The two events I’ve described were both well planned and they were great because of other people’s excitement. I was part of it, so knew, mostly, what to expect. The welcome surprises that other people contributed made the events even better. The fact that people were pleased for me added to the situation. That’s the element of a good time: a reason to be happy, friends and supporters who want to see you succeed, you putting your enthusiasm into the event and a great location. Great fun doesn’t happen all by itself. I have had the most wonderful time for the past two weeks. The important people in my life have contributed and the random acts of kindness from people I hardly know have added to it. Bearing in mind that I have described my experience I hope you now go off and find your own personal Christmases; a time for you to reflect and look to the future. The great fun in your life should definitely not be confined to 25th December.

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