(photo: Saraaaaahh.)

Study, gain knowledge, prepare, and think positive, but also consider the possibility of failure. That way you will not be focusing on it and can do your best.

Experience comes from the actions we take and contributes a lot to our knowledge bank. If we make a plan, it is usually good to balance motivation and enthusiasm with knowledge before taking action.

However, a lot of experience is gained by failing and learning from that failure. We are not born with this knowledge, otherwise we would come out of our mother’s womb, shake the doctor’s hand, saying, “Hi! My name is Rick, can I kick now?”

We have to take action and then we learn from the results of that action, whether positive or negative.

Positive results get repeated; negative or less than desirable results teach us. Intelligence is the ability to learn, the ability to solve problems, and the ability to adapt to survive.

It is doing what you need to do, not simply knowing the square root of the world’s circumference. People are intelligent when they do their best to survive; when they act intelligently. A Rocket Scientist may know absolutely nothing about law and a Judge may know absolutely nothing about rocket science. Does this make them any less intelligent? No, it would be foolish for them to waste time learning something they are not going to use to improve their lives.

So intelligence is not so much about how much you know, but how you use information and learn from what might be perceived as a mistake, but is actually an opportunity to improve.

“An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.”

Benjamin Franklin:

Founding Father of the United States of America

A passion for learning and achieving

I broke the record at my school when I was age 15 for getting my orange belt in two weeks. Within two years I had the skills of a Black Belt. I didn’t just learn a few katas and some self-defense techniques. This system required skills in all areas of the martial arts, not to mention having to give demonstrations, teach classes, and write reports.

I spent all of my spare time training. For me it was eat, drink, and sleep the martial arts. I arrived at the school so early that I had to sleep in the back until it opened. I stayed the whole day until closing. After class I would let any advanced student use me as a throw dummy to practice their techniques. The average Black Belt time was at least five years. I tell this story to inspire my students to train harder and put out the effort; by doing so they too can go where I have gone.

Try not to set yourself up for disappointment though. Don’t be surprised if things don’t work out exactly the way you planned. For example, a student might decide to work so hard that he or she will get an orange belt in two weeks as I have done. They create a good plan for massive amounts of action. On the second day of training, he or she breaks a leg. Now, they can do one of two things. One, is to be totally disappointed and feel like a failure for not achieving the goal. The other is to realize that these things happen, and spend the time doing less physical activities that still move them toward their ultimate goal. It is in no way a permanent event, and it does not demonstrate any frailties (except for maybe the bone) or failings on their part.

Prepare to succeed, to succeed

Use planning and preparation to your advantage, but be aware before you start that things may not go as planned, and you must accept these possibilities. You must expect the unexpected and be flexible and ready to adapt. Whatever you do, do not focus on the negative possibilities in order to avoid them. If you do, then you will direct your focus towards them and only enhance their chances of interrupting your success. The Law of Attraction states that you will get more of what you focus on, so if you focus all your attention on making a mistake, that’s exactly what will happen.

Before going into battle, the legendary Samurai of Japan would accept death. They would come to the realization that they may not survive the upcoming battle. Once they accepted this possibility, they no longer focused on it and went out and did their best to win. If a Samurai didn’t accept death and joined battle worrying about whether he would die or not, this would allow his fears to force mistakes and therefore loss.

It is the same with knife fighting. You must accept the fact that you might get cut. If you don’t, you could make the wrong moves and put yourself in even more danger. You can also expect the unexpected in positive terms. Sometimes we have a goal, but are not exactly sure how we are going to achieve such a goal. We can at least start and believe in the positive; our plan will arise once we are on the path of achievement. More knowledge equals more keys.

Winjitsu Work Out

Think about what you need to learn to become more successful in what you do. Do you need more classroom and book instruction? Or is it time to take action and learn from doing?

Remember: failure and making mistakes are also methods of learning.

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