4 WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR DOJO AND YOUR LIFE
Black Belt|Black Belt December/January 2021
These four ways to improve your dojo and your life are all about attitude. As such, they will elevate the mood in your school and make learning more enjoyable. First up: Make "yes" your favourite word.
FLOYD BURK

No. 1: Make “Yes” Your Favorite Word.

Try to never say no. The reason is obvious. Yes is positive, and no is not. Yes propels people forward, and no does not. Yes tells your students that they’re exceptional and that they’re leaving “run of the mill” in the dust. No does none of that.

Still, many people love to say no. Sometimes it’s because they’re just used to it. Sometimes it’s because that’s the way they were taught. Occasionally it’s because they believe it gives them a sense of power and control.

In the dojo, some people reflexively say things like, “No, you must wait until I tell you it’s time.” The question the student posed could have been about earning the next belt, learning a new kata, competing in a tournament or getting a drink of water. It’s not surprising that “no people” usually have a low student count.

In the 1980s, I read a popular self-help book titled Don’t Say Yes When You Want to Say No. While that book had nothing to do with creating a martial arts business plan, “no” managed to find its way into my dojo’s day-to-day operations. That never should have happened.

Much later, I learned that saying yes often leads to hard work but that work almost always pays off. It sends the message “I will go to the ends of the earth to help you.” In contrast, saying no sends the message “I don’t get paid enough to do that.”

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