Karate Guess So

琉球国唐手家・明増盛の「慈恩」(Ming Zengsheng, 1869 - 1945)

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“Walk on road, hm? Walk left side, safe. Walk right side, safe. Walk middle, sooner or later, [makes squish gesture] get squish just like grape. Here, karate, same thing. Either you karate do “yes”, or karate do “no”. You karate do “guess so”, [makes squish gesture] just like grape. Understand?” -Mr. Miyagi

It occurred to me that lately, I’ve changed my day-to-day cash flow plans a couple of times.

A year ago, I was running on a fairly strict cash-only plan.

A month ago, I was running on a strict budget, but doing it entirely out of my checking account.

Now, I’m loosening the budget reins, and moving all of my payments and day-to-day spending to a credit card, including a new balance that I can’t immediately pay off.

The thing is, changing plans too often scares me. Like the quote at the beginning of this post, I start worrying about being squished like a grape.

The simple fact is that any plan will work.

If you want to get out of debt, just pick a plan and run with it. If that means you follow Dave Ramsey and do the low-balance-first debt snowball, good for you.  Do it.  If you follow Suze Ormann and do a high-interest first repayment plan, great. Do it. If you follow Bach and pay based on a complicated DOLP formula to repay in the quickest manner, wonderful!  Do it!

Just don’t switch plans every month. If you do that, you’ll lose momentum and motivation.  Squish like grape! Just pick a plan and go. It really, truly does not matter which plan you are following as long as you are following through.

This applies to other parts of your life, too.  For example, there are a thousand fad diets out there.  Here’s a secret: they all work. Every single one of them, whether it’s Weight Watchers, slow carb, or the beer-only diet. The only thing that matters is that you stick to the diet.  If you manage that, you will lose weight on any diet out there.  Except for the jelly bean and lard diet. That one will make you extra soft.

Another secret: the productivity gurus are right. Every single one of them. David Allen, Stephen Covey, Steve Pavlina, and the rest. They all have the One True Secret to getting the most out of your day.  Really.   Pick a guru and go! But don’t try to Get Things Done in the morning and do 7 Habits at night. Changing systems, changing plans, changing your mind will make you sabotage yourself.

The real secret to accomplishing great things, whether it’s paying off $100,000 of debt, dropping 40 pounds in 3 months, or tripling your productivity is to do it. Just get started and, once you’ve started, don’t stop. If you keep going and stay consistent, you’ll accomplish more than anyone who hops from system to system every few weeks.

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    1. I really like these types of motivational articles. I couldn’t agree more. I am dragging myself through some (that I’d rather avoid) work tasks and following my own productivity guidelines. There’s always some task to work towards!!

    2. Thanks for this post. I am reminded and I totally agree with you. Whatever plan we take, it’ll require determination and consistency even at times that it may look like it won’t work – just have to go continue. I’ve had moments of switching my gears from time to time and it’s nothing but “a lost” – always starting but no ending.

    3. You are absolutely right! Part of the problem in picking a plan is the unwillingness to change. Once you overcome that part the rest is purely execution. Good job getting to the point!


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