Adult Student’s Corner

by Sifu D’arcy Langois

Walls occur in many forms, and whether they are physical, mental, or emotional they represent obstacles in our lives. Over the past 18 months I’m sure everyone has become intimately familiar with all sorts of walls. The COVID-19 pandemic created many challenges: job losses, online learning, masking, distancing, and so much more. It has completely altered our world. The good news is that we all have a tool in our kit to help get through those barriers and take down the walls, and that tool is persistence.

This past year and a half has been rough, for a wide variety of reasons. Under these circumstances how do you muster the strength to keep going after you crash into a wall? This is something I’ve been thinking about for a while now, and I’d like to share a few tricks that I used to keep moving myself forward.

  1. Always keep your goal in mind. Remind yourself what you are after, and keep it fixed in your brain (this is true for Kung Fu, work, or anything else you can think of). Knowing where you’re going will help you focus and stay on task.
  2. Make a list of what you want to accomplish, and then track it! Break your goal down into its component parts and make that list (daily if necessary). Checking items off a list is rewarding so don’t forget to cross things off as you do them.
  3. Never plan to start tomorrow when you could start today.
  4. Recognize that you don’t need to go straight to 100%. Start your journey slow and ramp up. Give yourself time to grow and recover, the journey will be smoother.
  5. Most importantly, don’t be too hard on yourself. Everyone stumbles, and everyone falls; it’s what you do after that counts. Pick yourself up, re-center yourself and keep moving forward.

Obviously, this is not an all-encompassing list but they are things that have helped me stay on my feet during this challenging time. Everyone has their methods of wall-busting, but one thing unites them all: persistence. If these points don’t speak to your “persistence strategy”, take a moment and consider how you can break your own walls down. Your goals will thank you!