If I had a nickel for every time I heard someone say, “life doesn’t come with an instruction manual” – as a means of excusing poor choices or destructive behavior – I’d be a very rich man.

And, while I do not enjoy hearing those words, as incomplete as they are in describing the plight at the center of our collective human existence, the words themselves are true. Life does not come with an instruction manual. However, there’s much more to that sentiment that needs to be revealed to activate the power and promise of each individual human soul.

While life does not come with a manual or set of instructions tailor made for every individual, it is vital to recognize the immense power of this truth: each man and woman is the unique author of his or her own story. As such, every human is highly capable and designed to leave a lasting and significant footprint on this earth through the living of an extraordinary existence. But, each must first face and embrace the unavoidable conclusion that he or she is responsible for and in charge of his/her life. For now on, you are going to take responsibility for each decision, choose how to respond to the external, and work towards those things that create a life rich in happiness, joy, and deep satisfaction.

This one realization alone is worth the time to read this article and much more. Let this sink in…you are the author of your own instruction manual. Stop waiting for one to fall from the sky, and stop blaming outside influences for your failures and disappointments. It’s time to start writing a new chapter, and you’re the only one that can pen the next page.

As an author, you will pick-up the story right here and now (the past is background). You will need to decide what is next in the plot (your life’s trajectory), and you’ll need to decide what the main character (you) will do next. You will make plans, live through twists and turns in the plot, and ultimately live out the story of your life. Keep in mind that every good author knows that the story rarely reads as it was first envisioned. However, great authors adjust and keep writing (for you, that equates to vision, effort, and flexibility in your choices).

What does all this mean for your Krav Maga training and your life more broadly. Simply this – your greatest freedom is in choosing how to respond to life (and your training). No one can take that from you. So, decide what you’re going to “be about” and get on with it. Start writing the next chapter of your life.

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