Rajesh was 6’ 2”, 215 lbs.
I was 2 inches taller but 35 pounds lighter.
So when he punched me in the face, I felt it.
Granted, he didn’t mean to. We were practicing Aikido, a Japanese martial art, and I tried blocking his attack the old fashioned way—with force.
This is not the Aikido way.
In Aikido, instead of taking on your attacker head on, you use the energy from their movement against them.
For example, instead of directly blocking Rajesh’s fist, I should have twisted my body, bringing him into my circle and guiding his outstretched arm safely behind me toward the floor. With his hand sailing down and away, his body would quickly follow, leaving me out of arms reach and having spent far less energy.
As our Sensei used to say, “if your attacker is moving toward you, just step aside and help him continue to move in that direction.”
He knew that force rarely works.
Unless you’re bigger. Which I wasn’t.
On any given week, people are going to throw problems your way. Lots of them.
Don’t try to block them head on.
Even though you’re bigger than the problems you face, it’s only a matter of time before the onslaught will exhaust you.
Instead, redirect the energy from each problem into something YOU need to get done. Use the momentum and excitement of others to help YOU accomplish more.
People who bring you distractions or problems aren’t literally attacking you, so you can’t throw them to the floor (as much as you might want to).
But you CAN convert their eager requests for your time into something helpful.
If they’re pushing for a meeting that will distract you from an important task, tell them what you’re working on and recruit their help.
If they bring you an exciting new idea, share your priorities with them and ask how this new idea fits in.
Directly blocking problem after problem will only cause hackles to go up and shields to raise as people defend their ideas and their pride.
On the other hand, bringing them into your circle and redirecting their energy will make them part of the solution and help you get more done.
About the Author
HUSBAND, FATHER, ENTREPRENEUR, BUSINESS STRATEGIST, AUTHOR, FITNESS NUT, ORGANIZATION FREAK, PRODUCTIVITY JUNKIE
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