TRAINING TIP: Associate yourself with people of good quality, for it is better to be alone than in bad company.

– Booker T. Washington

A beginner Martial Artist packs his bag, preparing to go to the dojo for the first time straight from work, when the Boss of the beer-buddies league spots him.

The Boss snorts, “you wanna hear my opinion of this Karate you’re into?”

“Sure” says the beginner.

“It’s worthless,” grumbles the Boss.

“I know,” the white belt replies, “but let’s hear it anyway.”

This month work on your secret power number one: Choice.

If you want to get somewhere in your training or your life, you need to surround yourself with people interested in doing the same thing.

Whether on the dojo floor, in the break-room, or at recess, the people you tend to will bend and shape you in ways so subtle you may not even notice it. At first.

Who we associate with changes our lives. Not only does it influence the way we speak, act, think, and dress, it tells others about the type of person we want to be, and even how we see ourselves.

Some of the most toxic people in your life come disguised as family and friends; part of growing up is recognizing that some of your friends really aren’t, and that you need to use your power to choose to save yourself, even if that means choosing to be alone.

Sensei Richard Verlaan