I’m a big fan of TED talks, and recently watched one by Adam Grant called “The Surprising Habits of Original Thinkers”, a talk on ‘original thinkers’. What inspires the most with talks like these, is that every attempt to climb up the so-called ‘mountain of success’ is always fraught with the possibility of failure.
I often use the following metaphor whenever I explain the essence of martial arts study to a new student: Martial arts is the art of swimming in a sea of failure in search of the shores of success. The simple act of choosing to swim in this sea of failure is a good sign that a student wants to change themselves for the better.
Once a student accepts adversity as a tool to help shape their character, they quickly find pride in grinding off their ‘rough edges’ of instant gratification and expectation in favor of sharpening their intellectual and physical ‘edges’ with perseverance and patience.
The seesawing nature of failure and success soon becomes a normal part of life. Where certain adversity would sideline many, now both adversity and failure are used to fuel students’ motivations and act as a foundation from which dreams of success are built.