Right Action: Guiding Principles for Martial Arts and Life

Guiding your life with “right actions” leads you towards a peaceful existence. “Right Action” is not bound by strict rules. Rather, it adapts to individual interpretations of right and wrong, acknowledging that perspectives may differ. Embracing “‘Right Action” entails trusting yourself to engage in constructive deeds for both yourself and others, facilitated by an open and compassionate outlook on life.

Harnessing Positivity

At its core, “Right Action” originates from fostering positive thoughts. It extends to positive talk as well. Negative thoughts and talk breed uncertainty, hindering your progress towards positive outcomes. Pessimism can even influence your decisions, complicating your ability to make the right choices. Conversely, cultivating positive thoughts and language empowers you to consistently make sound decisions, paving the way for a peaceful journey through life.

What Is “Right”?

Deconstructing this phrase, “right” signifies not only your conduct in daily life but also your interactions with others. It involves addressing situations appropriately. Given the array of interpretations of right and wrong, embracing a neutral stance enables you to respond fittingly. Regardless of your interpretation of right and wrong, prioritise thinking constructive thoughts, speaking positively, and taking actions to facilitate personal growth.

Action in Motion

However, thinking about things or talking about things will not propel you towards your goals. Action is the catalyst for progress. Courage is often needed to take action in life. In that case, be courageous. Become the person who aligns their positive words with actions. That is the essence of “Right Action”.

Whether within everyday life or within the dojo, consider these steps:

  • Show respect to yourself, others and life as a whole;
  • Practice generosity by investing time in others. In martial arts, we call this “service to others”. If you are able to help fellow students in the dojo, you will be able to do it with family, friends and work colleagues;
  • Refrain from exploiting others, as karma has a way of catching up. Instead, be of value to your community;
  • Do not talk negatively, do not preach hate, and try to walk a mile in other people’s shoes. Strive for empathy. Empathy fosters understanding, leading to personal growth;
  • Only let the good into your life. Do not consume bad foods, do not read negative books, do not absorb anything which preaches discord. Like a sponge, absorb positivity and shun negativity, as your output in life mirrors your input;
  • Show compassion. Small kind acts can yield immense impact on others. It is a step towards wisdom, recognising your place in the broader world.

Taking The Step Forward

This week, contemplate your life values. Envision your ideal conduct. Fend off negativity and instead, embrace “Right Action” daily through your thoughts, speech, and actions, all while cultivating a compassionate demeanor towards others.

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