Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Don't Be Held Back

This is a topic that is a little harder for me to express because the nature of martial arts and life is patience. To grow stronger we must first go through the process of enduring discomfort for a period of time. The longer the time period, the more fruit that can be harvested in the end. Even if we want to become more patient, we must first be tested by situations that will test our patience. Therefore if things are going good for you, it is much harder to develop character. The unfortunate sayings, " No pain no gain," or "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger," are just as true today as they were years ago.

On the other hand there is a time when you are no longer enduring and you are only tolerating. Therefore you are wasting time without the benefit of developing character. In fact you can begin hindering your character development with feelings of frustration and disappointment.

A friend of mine has been training with a "kung fu master" for the past 3 years. He has been very diligent in his training and really works hard to better his technique. The only problem is that the master has only given him a few techniques to learn over such a long period of time. Of course in the martial arts world this is common for all beginners. But every master knows that you teach the student at the pace he is able to handle. If he is lazy, no need to teach him much. But if he is true to the technique, then bless him with knowledge. This master gave him the same techniques for 3 years without ever giving him the explanations needed to understand the meaning behind it all. Mindless techniques practiced in repetition without purpose for years on end.

Not everyone can be trusted to be your master. Just as not everyone can be trusted to be your employer, or spouse. We must remain humble so that we may find the answers that we are in search of, but we must always respect ourselves enough to know when we are being taken advantage of. At that moment we have to draw a line in the sand and move to a surrounding that we truly can develop. Just as my friend waited patiently for a long time for more techniques we can find ourselves hoping for our situation to change. Sometimes even if we know we are on a path that leads nowhere, we persuade ourselves into believing that we are still moving. Just like laying on your back in the grass and watching the clouds go by. You may feel like your moving, but the world is just moving around you.

If you have fear to leave a situation that you know is not right for you because your afraid of losing.....whatever. If you make any decision based on fear it is the wrong decision. Just because this guy is your master, boss, best friend etc. It doesn't mean that he is more special than you. It doesn't mean that his purpose is more important than yours. We all must play our role to the fullest. Never let anyone make your path harder than it already is.


João Érico said...

Hi Warren,

It's J. Érico from Brazil again.

That was an interesting topic.
And I agree that no one have the right to make our path harder.
But I think that one good way to overcome situations that hold us back, it's to know ourselves.
Sometimes we got trapped in situations like that just because we simply don't have idea of our own limits.
And that's another nature of martial arts and, why not, life too.

Sorry again for my poor english.

Take care!!

Martin said...

Did your friend realize this after 3 years? ...If so, you could argue that this "Master" taught him a valuable lesson :)