I was in the Dojo the other day and our Sensei was calling up the children for awards, and upon calling up the White belts he stated: “The white belts are the most important people in the Dojo.” He went on to say, “ We all remember being a white belt, and how the feeling of being lost and uncoordinated and the thought of “I will never be a black belt,” felt, but without white belts there would no one to hand the lineage down, no one to carry on the tradition. So you, white belt, are the most important to me”
So I was asked the other day, what does success look like, that is a tough question to answer. How do you describe it because it can be different for everybody? I spent the evening thinking about success. What is it? when do we reach it? How do we know we are there? I have a very close friend who has a Doctorate in Business management and I thought to myself. What if I asked him to draw or graph success? What would that look like? When you first start school, a job, karate, playing an instrument, singing- there is a learning cycle. It is always troubling to me that people cannot accept that the cycle is not just full of wins, it can be full of wins and losses over time. As you accumulate the knowledge of those wins and losses you make better decisions, which then leads to fewer losses. Meaning you are not all over the board, you tend to be more consistent. With more knowledge, comes better decisions and fewer highs and lows and more constancy until ultimately the losses tend to disappear and then the only thing is winning. Then the discussions become about “how good of a win was it”. If you continue to evaluate and assess each win you become more and more successful over time. I realized, that never stops, it is just that the wins and losses are gone, the highs and lows, the feeling of success or the pain of defeat fade and life becomes well… boring… You are still successful and many folks simply stop there and idle .. but the true legends pick another skill to tackle, another team to be on, another complete graph and it starts all over.. imagine having a wall full of graphs for many different things, tackling that graph, and then throwing it in the trash and starting a new. Some believe you are crazy because you left your comfort zone. So what happens to people that refuse to accept the losses or they quit because they don’t want to be uncomfortable? They get stuck in time somewhere along the chart maybe on a high or maybe on a low and like groundhog day they just repeat the same thing over and over and over never really accepting their fails or hanging on too long to a win and they stop along the line of success stuck in time for eternity. Using the highs to make their Facebook profile just right or the lows to keep telling themselves the excuse as to why they don’t move forward in time. Success is a series of decisions, projects, grades, boxing matches.. that exist over time. How long that timeline is, depends on how hard you work to get to those wins and losses. How much are you willing to apply yourself to work up the success graph … And then what? What do you do then? Well if you decide to mentor or manage, the graph starts all over. Then there are the haters that take the losses and amplify them. Russel Westbrook shoots 40 point games and then has a run of 9 point games and the haters amplify the losses, the haters hunt for them.. yet if he has a 44 point game nobody talks about how hard it is to get 4 more points when you have already scored 40, nobody amplifies the success of shooting 10% better than a great game. I mean who the hell wants to ride this roller coaster again and again and again?? … The successful people that’s who! As a parting note: Dr. Scott McCalla added, the only thing you NEVER want to do is not show up, don’t turn in the homework, don’t go to practice because that is a Zero (0) and zeros don’t even get you on the success chart. Keep moving forward.