I have the mind of a champion

The National Institute of Mental Health defines Schizophrenia as "...a chronic and severe mental disorder that affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. People with schizophrenia may seem like they have lost touch with reality. Although schizophrenia is not as common as other mental disorders, the symptoms can be very disabling."

Okay, that's a terrible situation - why bring it up? For the purpose of our post below lets reword the definition in a more encouraging light:

"...a chronic and severe mental power that helps a person think, feel, and behave in a manner that allows them to fantasize and strive for goals most people don't think can be achieved in reality. Although most people don't dream big, this state of mind can be very enabling!"

For the record we understand the severity of this very real challenge and in no way are we making light of the struggle plaguing many people. We're simply trying to illustrate the power of perception.

At LEVEL 3 we perceive every student as a martial athlete, a champion in their own way. We define "champion" as an attitude, a belief, a behavior rather than a winner of a contest or a trophy holder. We are what we perceive. Our perception of the world around us shapes our thoughts and behaviors. So it's important we know what to hear, see, and reflect upon. Each of us has two voices inside, one that will encourage us and give us hope and belief, and the other that will try to convince us we don't deserve something or cannot achieve something. Listen to the voice of encouragement even if presently it's meek, faint, or subtle - we promise, it's there. Muzzle the loud voice that discounts your worth, doubts your capability, and conforms with what we are told we can and can't be or do because we are different or inexperienced. Silence it by achieving small accomplishments everyday, no matter how insignificant they seem. Each achievement perpetuates our willingness to go bigger and bigger until one day we look back and smile and thank ourselves for taking that minute to listen to that once quiet voice. We know it's only a matter of time before every student perceives themselves as a champion, truly believes it, and achieves accordingly - that's when their world changes for the better, forever.

The journey is where we become champions. Not the finish line.