YOU First

Some say relationships should be 50/50. I disagree. A truly successful relationship must be 100/100. When two complete people come together they will have the best chance of having a happy, fulfilling, and successful long-lasting relationship. A common notion when two people come together is the idea that they complete each other. This is really starting out on shaky ground. If you think that you need someone else to complete you then what happens if you lose them (to anything from a breakup to an accident or to health issues)? Are you then done for? Is that what your “soul mate” would want for you?

It is true that it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. We are here to experience this life we are living. But how do we truly experience life to its fullest? By consistently and diligently working on ourselves. By making ourselves the most productive, positive, and passionate that we can be. To learn how to really live is to get out of the mundane attitude of the day-to-day “just getting by” and cherishing every moment. We never know when it will be our last and once a moment passes it will never return.

Want to have the most incredible experiences of truly fulfilling relationships? Want to be the best father, son, mother, daughter, brother, sister, friend, husband, wife, employer, or employee? Then make the most you can of yourself and live by example.

You can never feel bad enough to make things better for others. Your pain won’t bring others up. Allowing yourself to remain in a state of suffering won’t help the world, it will only bring it down. The most you can possibly do, the greatest gift you can possibly give to the world is to discover your true Self, and become as happy, healthy, successful, and fulfilled as possible. Do this not at the expense of others, but for their benefit.

Can you expect to be a positive in the lives of your loved ones if you’re not at your best?

What do you want to be in the lives of those you love? How would you like to be thought of or remembered? Where would you rather come from in your relationships? From a place of strength, or from weakness? From a place of joy, or depression? From optimism, or negativity? From wellness, or illness? From a place of focus, or distraction? From the calmness of your center, or from irritability? From being decisive, or confused? From courage, or from fear? To be needy, or needed? To lean on, or to support? Would you rather empower, or destroy?

Whether or not you realize it, your moment to moment choices, your actions, and your reactions are shaping not only your life but the lives of those you touch. Some in a small way, and some in a very big way.

You can choose to be different. You can choose to be better.  Such is the way of a true martial artist.


Originally Published February, 2006


Shifu Ahles
Shifu Raymond Ahles, the owner and Chief Instructor of the Blue Dragon School, is a certified instructor of Ba Gua Zhang Kung Fu & Chi Kung and a 7th Generation Lineage Disciple in the Ch’iang Shan Pa Kua Chang Association. In addition to his 30 years plus teaching experience in the martial arts, Shifu Ahles also holds a B.S. degree in Exercise Physiology, he’s a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and has an extensive background in the healing arts of Oriental Medicine including certifications in Advanced Amma Therapy, Chinese Herbs and Acupuncture. He is a licensed Acupuncturist and Chinese Herbalist in NJ.