“We were at my friend’s place, and she was telling me that she’s leaving.”
“She said, ‘You know, one thing is leaving for a better opportunity, and completely, the other thing is leaving because you’re trying to run away.’
“And what we were trying to run away from, it was not just the economic situation. It really was the absence of any fighting spirit left.
“People were just depressed, and I did my best to also run away from that.”
So Ana Stevanović left war-torn Serbia, but she did so with a gift — her practice in Bujinkan, an ancient Japanese, martial art that centered her and focused her to look outward, inward and forward, in order to seek a purposeful life.
“Bujinkan was the first thing that contributed to my determination to keep searching,” she says.
“Martial arts was the first door where I somehow felt that there is a purpose in all the chaos that was existing around me.”
Ana, in fact, writes chaotically.
Her first book, Beginner With A Black Belt — Become the master of your own journey, which hit the Amazon best-seller list, was initially created through chaos.
“Over two years, there was no structure whatsoever. I just wrote,” she says.
“I was just writing chapters really without any plan.
“Every time I would find a connection between what western people consider a success or purpose, and what martial arts and the eastern parts would actually consider a success or purpose or meaning, when there was that connection, I would just write it down.”
“It was chaos,” she laughs.
“Then one morning in January, I woke up and I knew what the structure was.”
And this structure is part of what makes Beginner With A Black Belt such a fascinating read.
After discovering the three most important questions on the road to self-mastery, Ana set out on a mission to find her answers.
The soul-searching questions center around The Principles of Heaven, The Principles of Earth and The Principles of Human.
She’s no longer running away, but she’s always going with deep purpose.
Ana shares some of her discoveries with us in this episode of Story Warriors, and it’s deeply human.
From chaos to structure to the human condition, Story Warriors, the podcast for crafting great stories.