Chief Instructor: Sifu John C. Loupos - Since 1968

Your Life in a Snapshot

by Sifu John Loupos

Here at our headquarters school in Cohasset we have a library, a fairly extensive one I might add. Niched away in this library are several photo albums commemorating points of interest in the history of the school or of my own training history. Recently, I was taking a stroll down memory lane when the awareness came to me that I was not only enjoying my perusal, I was actually taking inspiration from it. Seeing all those old photos (and some of them really are quite old) reignited in me the feelings associated with the scenes they depicted. It was as if I was there once again.

Just out of curiosity I went home and revisited my own personal photo albums. One of the things I noticed was that all these photos as well were of memorable moments, moments which had special meaning in one context or another. There were no photos of me folding laundry, or napping on the couch next to an empty bag of potato chips, or watching TV. The photos I had in my photo albums, both at home and at the school, were of times, places, events, or states of my being that to this day I choose to identify with. They were of times of personal or professional victory or accomplishment, of me in some way at or feeling my best, whether I was holding a trophy high or just feeling good. You also probably have photos of your own very much like these lying around somewhere, photos that cast you in a preferred light or which evoke desirable feelings.

I know in my case there are many many more photos never-taken than are stored away in my archives. What I mean by that is that my whole life could have been one big photo shoot. Not that I don't ever have my down moments, but I certainly don't look at all those great photos only to find myself wishing nostalgically that I was once again, or still, there. I AM still there. My life is full of high points because that is the life I choose to lead. Though those photos of mine can arouse inspirational feelings in me, the feelings themselves are hardly distant memories. I live those feelings daily. And it feels great!

You too can accomplish the same thing, just by putting your mind to it. When you practice your Kung Fu or Tai Chi imagine yourself as the martial artist you would like to be. Practice in each training session as if that practice is destined to be THE one which will be encapsulated in a snapshot for the future, recording for you for all time your own personal most memorable moments. But then don't leave it at a fantasy. Do it! Train as if your life were one constant ongoing snapshot portraying you to yourself as the best you can be.

If you train like this than you too will become that which you envision for yourself. You will achieve the skill and the personal congruence necessary to be and to feel accomplished in your pursuit of martial arts or whatever else you set your mind to in life.

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