Who are your friends ...
I write this with some small amount of trepidation, as I do not want to come across as an elitist in any way - but I feel that is worth saying - and perhaps more importantly, worth hearing.
As the old saying goes - "You will never soar like an eagle if you're hanging out with turkeys".
Well, that can often present a problem in the martial arts - no, not like you think - it's not so much that there are too many 'turkeys' in the martial arts industry , as I suspect there are turkeys in every industry and you'll find them wherever you are - but rather, I do find that martial artists can be a rather 'loyal' bunch, and sometimes this loyalty (a fine trait) can be misplaced - forcing us to hold on when at times it makes more sense just to 'let go!'
I learned a long time ago - to a large extent, each of us is somewhat a product (wrong word but you know what I mean) of that group of people with whom we spend out time. My advice is this - not new advice by any means - but be careful who you spend your time with .... surround yourself with like-minded people - positive people - people who are interested in bettering themselves through learning and application - people who are not afraid to take risks - people who know the true meaning of the much bandied 'win-win' - people who are uplifting rather than down-pulling - people who will acknowledge your accomplishments and not see accomplishment as competition - people who see the 'big picture' - people who know you for the person you are and not just the person that the world sees - people who support, share, love and live life to the fullest. These are the people we all should learn to recognize and allow into our lives - you cannot help but benefit by being in their company.
I have a variety of friends - martial arts friends, business friends, family friends, fishing friends; all have something great to offer. But here's the harsh bit (please do not think less of me) - life is short, time is too precious - sometimes we need to move on (or away) from spending time with those people who are not a good and positive influence in our lives. It's not their fault - it;s often just who and where they are in that point in time.
Anyways - to finish on a positive note - it is no co-incidence that I surround myself with positive people and find that positive things keep happening in my life. People often comment to me that I seem to know lot of 'way cool' people, or succesful people - or amazing martial artists, etc - beleive me, it is no co-incidence. It is all about the choices we make.
Good training - choose wisely!
PS; The added pic is of yours truly accepting an award from Chuck Norris recently in the USA.