Meditation Point #128 – Success

ktadmin Posted in A Zen Thing, Quotes, State of Mind

Success is not the result of spontaneous combustion. You must set yourself on fire.” — Reggie Leach

Reginald Joseph Leach (born April 23, 1950 in Riverton, Manitoba, Canada) is a retired professional ice hockey winger who played in the NHL between 1970 and 1983.

To often we wait for success to come to us.  We feel it is out of reach or that the success of others is based largely on luck.  We make excuses for our state in life or why we haven’t attained our goals, our dreams.  If you have ever done that, you are a loser.  I say that as a fellow loser who has made more than his fair share of excuses and who probably will make more in the future.  Regardless loser’s we are.  Of course there are legitimate excuses in life but they only go so far before they become crutches.  Everyone has tunnel vision when it comes to their own life and no one likes to admit they are the problem.  If you want to break this loser cycle you need to be a little harder on yourself, not abusive but instructor hard or drill Sargent hard!  Basically you have to stop making excuses, stop feeling sorry for yourself or inadequate and start trying your best and being happy with that.  If you do this everyday, every minute of every day then you will always be successful, for even in your failures you will grow and learn.

Only through hard work does success come, to bad we like to make excuses.  I just watched “The Cowboys” with John Wayne, there is a scene where a kid who stutters is trying to tell John Wayne his friend is drowning.  The drowning friend is saved.  But what happens next would make most people call Child Services and coddle the young stutterer, John Wayne belittles and humiliates him in front of his friends telling him he almost got his friend killed and asking why he didn’t speak up.  Of course the boy tries to explain he can’t help his stutter, Wayne doesn’t let him off the hook, but makes the point, if that had been him the the water he would of yelled loud and clear.  The kid gets so upset he swears a litany with nary a stutter.  He’s cured from that point forward.  My point isn’t that we should pick on people but we should hold them to a higher standard.  There is nothing wrong with expecting boys to become men when necessity calls.  There is also nothing wrong with telling someone they don’t measure up and that they can’t do activity X just because it would be construed as mean or discriminatory.

We all need someone like Wayne to put things in perspective for us, to make us mad enough to prove them wrong and in the process accomplish what we thought impossible.  Unfortunately those men (and women) are far and few between and will remain that way until we start to hold ourselves to a higher standard.  Expect success regardless of the outcome, meaning if you can look yourself in the eye and say I did my best, with no “if only’s” then you are doing well.  Expect more of yourself but never abuse yourself.

So what are you waiting for, go seek success it won’t come looking for you and it will never happen spontaneously!

Never Compromise

ktadmin Posted in A Zen Thing, Quotes, State of Mind

In her book, entitled Capitalism: the Unknown Ideal, Ayn Rand wrote, “In any collaboration between two men (or two groups) who hold different basic principles, it is the more evil or irrational one who wins.” In a compromise between life and death, freedom and slavery, good and evil, only the latter group can win. [Source]

I’ve been thinking about this topic for some time but when I saw the above passage the topic crystallized for me.  We live in a world of constant compromise.  Compromise is an important part of life as it helps us deal with others but is there such a thing as to much compromise?  Of course.  Compromising about what is for dinner or where we go on vacation are normal compromises.  But what happens when a situation or person requires you to compromise on your basic principles?

Hopefully you have formed basic principles before being asked to compromise it, though my experience has been, that most people do not form their principles until faced with a situation.  This of course usually leads to the path of least resistance where people end up standing on and defending principles or beliefs they have never truly contemplated.  They defend these positions militantly as to do otherwise would mean they were somehow wrong.  People avoid dealing with the uncomfortable which is the tool most employed by those seeking a compromise!  Discomfort is the primary tool of peer-pressure one of the most dangerous forms of compromise.  Peer-pressure usually moves a child or teen or even adult to act against the basic principles (or morals) of their families.

As a martial artist it is important that we introspect and determine who we are and what we stand for, only then can we stand with a quiet mind in the face of adversity.  As martial arts instructors we must help our students see that compromise of basic principles without serious consideration is a negative for it often leads to the wrong path.  Basically we want our youth to stand on a strong foundation so when faced with choice they are certain of what is the right path.  Someone once said, “Everyone knows what is right from what is wrong”  the problem is doing what is right is hard it is much easier to lie to ourselves or blame others for our choices.

There is nothing wrong with understanding your beliefs and principles and standing by them, in fact that is a quality to be admired.  One must also make sure their understanding is based on a solid foundation.  To often our youth choose the wrong path in life, whether it is drugs, promiscuity or delinquent behavior, simply because no one has helped them understand their actions, or even served as a proper role model.  The hardest part to teach is that often standing on your principles and against compromise is never easy, popular or outwardly rewarding.  But there is something to be said for leaving a room with your chin up knowing you faced compromise in the eyes and held your ground.  Remember you no one wants to be caught in a compromising situation!