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A black belt breaking two boards with a twin front kick

Our Ship of Personal State

By Tom Hurst, yellow belt, 02/17/19, 12:30PM MST

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I would like to compare our personal beliefs, core values, and motivations to a ship. As such we can make some interesting analogies.

What are our core values? We can work from a list and then pick one or two that are most important to us.

Integrity, honesty, respect, excellence, indomitable spirit are just some core values that are sometimes called our anchors. A ship often has more than one anchor and also has a heavy weight deep on the inside that is called ballast. The anchor holds the ship steady in a storm and the ballast keeps the ship upright.  These core values keep our personal lives upright in trying times and holds us steady during the storms of life.

Our belief system of right and wrong is the compass that directs the ship.  Without a good moral belief system how can we know the right way to go?

What about our motivations?  How do they play into this scenario?  I equate our motivations to a rudder on the ship. Our motivations, why we do what we do, is the rudder that steers the ship in the right direction.  It is our choices in life that decide which way we go, to the positive or the negative. The captain of the ship uses the rudder of the ship in conjunction with the compass to hold his course so that he can reach his goal.

And goals? The captain decides where he is going and how he is going to get there. He uses charts and maps to decide how to sail the seas.  We set achievable goals to reach measurable accomplishments. Most directly in taekwondo, to reach a higher belt.

Attitudes are like the sails. A positive attitude is like a sail full of wind driving the ship forward on its course, a negative attitude is like a sail that is turned away from the wind and the ship loses its way.

Our personal ship is directed by our moral system, guided by our motivations, driven by our attitudes to achieve our goals and held stable by our core values.  Using these strategies can help us through our lives and achieve our personal goals.


Colorado Taekwondo Institute


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