Sounds kind of redundant huh? Well, in truth, it isn’t. Either you will do something or you won’t. Everything else is just an excuse period. Now before I get all the “life isn’t black and white” and blah blah rhetoric STOP and listen to yourself. Did you hear that? The mumble of muttered excuses about why you are not doing something? Well we all sure did.
Many times in life people get accomplishment confused with convenience. In reality they do not go hand in hand at all. Sure some things get done easy however the majority of the time excuses take over what we set out to accomplish thus negating the ability to complete a goal, a purpose, a task, a promise and so forth. While this may seem harsh it is the truth. It is amazing how people will begin something and fail to see it through. In my journey as a martial arts instructor I have literally met thousands who proclaimed they would become a black belt and many who, once earning black belt, said they would continue to train. Out of those people 80% of them never make it to black belt and the 20% that do only about 2% will make it to Master level in their training. So basically out of 1,000 people 200 made it to black belt. Out of that 200 only 2 made it to master rank. To me that is sad but martial arts training is not to blame…YOU are.
Sure life gets crazy busy. Sure things happen and change all the time during life but the reality is this…you, the person who dedicated yourself to training, made the decision to not see it through. It is apparent you have plenty of free time since your instructor sees you out playing around, reads about you playing video games or goofing off among a myriad of other things you CHOOSE to do over following through on your commitment to train. Making time to train is E A S Y. Let me repeat that…making TIME to train is EASY. On average it takes about 10-15 minutes to drive to the dojo and class is typically an hour long. That is twice a week. So you basically only give up 1 hour 30 minutes twice a week to train and keep your word to your Sensei and dojo. That is 3 hours a week maximum out of 128 hours of the time you are awake every week. That is less than .023% of your week. Let me rephrase that…it is ONLY .023% of YOUR week. A very small and very EASY amount of time to plan into your week.
Like most instructors I have heard every single excuse as to why someone is not fulfilling their training goals. Every time I get very disappointed in them. Not because I want them to pay tuition but because I recognize an excuse for what it is…failure. Since I began training as a kid and trained all through my teenage years (which is when most students drop out) I went through all sorts of emotions and struggles to stay in Karate. To date not ONE single person has ever said something that I didn’t face as a teenager (with parental divorce being the exception). Sure hanging out with friends was important but I did that after classes were over and my real friends understood as well as supported that. Sure going out on dates, to the games, dances and other things were important but I arranged my classes around those things so I could do both. Sure having that part time job helped me pay for my car, insurance and Karate as well as gave me money to go out on dates, to the movies or whatever but my Karate nights were arranged so I could do both. Sure I played other sports and did many activities but I still made time for Karate. Why? Because it was a priority. Why would it be a priority? Because I loved the benefits I got from it plus I knew the value of never quitting, even in the face of adversity.
As a young adult it was even worse. I had a three part time jobs, went to college full time and had all the other distractions including parties, dating and more going on just like YOU do. I still managed to train twice a week in the dojo around all those things. How? Because I set two days a week and managed my schedule around them because I knew Karate needed to be a priority. I enjoyed the benefits I got from training plus I loved how good it felt to go into the dojo, sweat it out and improve. Nothing felt more positive than to leave the dojo each night knowing I was accomplishing something. After college and entering the adult job market it was not any easier. Like many my employer wanted me to be “married” to my job but I still managed to be in the dojo to teach and train. How? Because I made it part of my daily routine to do so. All goals require scheduling to accomplish them.
Now to many this sounds black and white. They will come up with 100 shades of grey to fill in why they are failing. They will make hundreds of excuses that justify their own mind’s end. In simple it really is black and white. Those of us who have achieved black belt and higher ranks didn’t do so easily. We had to set our training as a priority even when we DID NOT want to. There were plenty of times we didn’t want to be in the dojo. There were many times we just wanted to quit training, to hang up our belt and to have fun….not to mention all the times life slid one in on us like an injury, illness, death in the family, divorce, etc. I think you get my point. It really is black and white…that simple. Either you will or you won’t, everything else is just an excuse why you are failing.
Think about that, meditate on that…and then get your butt back in the dojo and train. You will soon realize how great it feels to accomplish a goal each class and improve. That makes life positive and gets rid of the negative. An excuse is a negative so cut it out and just train. Never forget your Sensei is human too…they didn’t get where they are by accepting their own excuses. They got where they are by setting priorities and scheduling around them. This is also EXACTLY how you achieve in life, family and anything you do. No shades of grey, no excuses…either you WILL or YOU won’t.