Sunday, June 16, 2013

Just because something is hard ...

Master Meredith after a
very hard workout.
Let me give you three quick scenarios and then relate them to your martial arts training.

Scenario #1: You’re at the doctors office after a routine surgical procedure and discover that instead of removing a mole on your back, you no longer have a belly button. The doctor is mildly apologetic, but emphasizes the complexity of the human physiology and the intricacies of surgeries. There is, after all, “a lot to know.”

Scenario #2: You’ve come to inspect the progress on the construction of your new home and notice that the kitchen and garage have been switched. The contractor eventually confirms your suspicion and offers some suggestions for how and why this could be better. He is not entirely appreciative of your desire to have this fixed as it will be a great deal of work.

Scenario #3: The IRS has just notified you that your returns for the past seven years are incorrect and that you owe a significant sum in back taxes and penalties. Your accountant is somewhat dismissive, arguing that you did, after all, have the benefit of the unpaid tax money to play with for seven years, and excuses his mistakes on the complexity of the tax code.

Some things in life are hard. Some are mentally challenging, some physically difficult. When someone presents themselves as an expert, you have a reasonable expectation that they will execute their craft with accuracy, precision, and correctness.

In other words, just because something is hard, is no excuse for being lousy at it.

In the realm of martials arts, the mind and body are constantly being challenged to do that which does not come easy. We are challenged in our physical stamina, our balance, our techniques, our strength, reach, power, and aim. We are challenged to be patient, attentive, observant, quiet, loud, respectful, and humble.

These can be very hard. But.. just because something is hard to do is no excuse for being lousy at it. If you're not very good at something, don't use the excuse, "It's hard."

Try harder. Do it again. And Again. You would not tolerate an excuse of “it’s hard” from anyone else who under delivers, so don’t accept it from yourself. I know it’s hard - that’s why the term “Black Belt” carries the universal definition of excellence.

You don’t want to be lousy, so don’t settle for it. You can do it, it’s just hard.

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