The three words I use to guide my martial arts program are discipline, awareness and organization. Perhaps I should use the word ‘self’ as a prefix to those attributes, but it doesn’t roll off the tongue quite as well. That said, when someone embodies the aforementioned attributes, they do become self-actualized. This is what I want for all of my students.
Training someone to become self-actualized takes time, discipline, awareness and organization. It is much like building a house of cards. At first, it takes your hands to hold the cards in place until there is the right amount of friction and force keeping the cards together, but then you have to be able to let go.
Sometimes you are rewarded when you let go, and the cards stay up all by themselves. Sometimes the cards fall, and the ‘builder’ learns the never-ending lesson that one can never have enough patience or self-discipline. A student or child may know of the destination you have in store for them, but they rarely know how the journey will unfold.
Once the student and teacher/parent have success building a foundation of trust, it is time to repeat the process, except this time it needs to be a bit more difficult. It needs to challenge the foundation just enough to get the foundation to settle permanently. A new layer must be laid upon the previous.
The success of the foundation and second layers will be challenged. If all goes well, then you collectively share in the joy of success. Another lesson learned. If all or part crumbles, then you may share in the collective disappointment of failure. This is where a lesson of patience and perseverance is learned and/or reinforced by both parties. This is where letting go will reveal self-actualization and determination or not.
If the hands remain on the cards forever, then there is no opportunity for freedom and growth. There is no chance for self-actualization, no chance of ever knowing how strong the foundation actually is. However, if the hands are slowly removed, with the indentations of the cards still fresh on the fingertips, one begins to see the wonder and dreams possible as self-actualization takes root.
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