This statement is very true!

This happens all over the place in physical and intellectual ways. The problem is that too many people are comfortable just coasting along. It takes less work to complete tasks and projects when you’re naturally adept at those skills. It can also be a lullaby convincing you that it is enough work and effort. Besides, how much do you need or want? Maybe it is that these tasks and projects aren’t actually of interest to you. I’ll accept that in regard to some jobs that you do to pay the bills. It shouldn’t be the same, though, when you pursue personal goals.

The pursuit of your personal interests must be done with complete attention and effort. These interests will be the way you find further joy and happiness in your life. Their completion will also be the example of how to be a success achieving your goals. This should not be taken lightly. There are times when you do trivial activities and times when you do important ones.

The trivial activities are those that don’t actively work toward the important but provide other benefits. In his book, Zen in the Martial Arts, Joe Hyams has the concept of spending time vs wasting time. Wasting time is doing useless activities to excess. Spending time lets less important activities be done with beneficial results. I have often used this example in class…

(To the younglings) You come home from school and throw your bag in the corner to begin playing video games for the rest of the evening. Spending time or wasting time? Now, you come home and play one video game then start your school work. Spending time or wasting time?

The first is wasting time. The second is spending time. Taking a moment, an evening, a weekend and using it to reset and energize is not a waste. Too often this reaching for the distraction comes from having too little of value in daily activity. People who aren’t happy with their career or family relations or such like the drama. It becomes the distraction that prevents advancement of goals

The important ones are your interests and goals. They are the things that build your knowledge, skills and courage. The perfect world has your career and relationships fit your interests and goals. I mean that as, if the whole of your life is all of the things that you want to achieve and create then you will probably be working toward your goals. Unfortunately, they usually don’t match up well. Having a day job to pay the bills gives you the time to work toward your goals.

The next issue tends to come when goals aren’t specific or clear. Having too many hobbies can cause people to lose focus and fall to distraction easily. Getting the handful (or fewer) of true interests moving toward real goals is the start. Often people become obsessive about gaining knowledge and reaching goals. Automatically, they take ownership of the projects and goals. This is where people should be working to their potential and expanding it. This is also the place where people start to understand their capabilities (strengths and weaknesses).

Potential (success) is often viewed from the perspective of records and statistics. Here are some examples…

  • Tom Brady is one of the most outstanding professional football quarterbacks
  • Wayne Gretsky has scored a record number of goals in professional ice hockey
  • Cal Ripken, Jr has set the record for most consecutive games played in professional baseball

This is where talent beats hard work as talent is working hard. The problem is that talent usually has great difficulty explaining and describing what they do. The ones who struggle and are able to keep up with the talent are the ones who become the best coaches and teachers. They have had to spend time and effort gaining the knowledge and skill, which also makes them able to describe and teach it. Sadly, these are the people least known because their success doesn’t come with trophies and accolades. They reach their potential and help others do the same in obscurity.

This holds true for how the martial arts are perceived. The most well known are either from the trophies, medals and such that they’ve won or from how much money they’ve made. Neither of these comment upon their capability to reach their potential nor help others reach theirs.


Author: Master Robert Frankovich

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