Friday, August 21, 2015

Axiom 66: True Victory is Victory Over Oneself

"Eight forces sustain creation:
Movement and stillness
Solidifcation and fluidity
extension and contraction
unification and division"
-Morihei Ueshiba

Success in life is usually a result of mastering the same types of skills that a black belt in martial arts exhibits. If you have ever practiced martial arts you will probably recognize that many of the previous Axioms are present in martial arts.

Here is a list of just a few of the skills that a black belt in martial arts will have mastered:
  • Self-Discipline
  • Patience
  • Respect
  • Humility
  • Calmness
  • Power Over Earthly Desires
  • Controlling One's Energy
  • Meditation
  • Concentration
  • Observation
  • Honestly
  • Integrity
  • Finding One's Path
  • Control Over One's Body & Mind
  • Timing
  • Reflexes
  • Controlling the Energy of Others
  • Perfection through Repetition
  • Goodness
  • Hard Work
  • Positive Thinking
These are just a few of the important things that a martial arts master will excel in to become unbeatable. However, there is one final skill they possess that is key to making it all work: synergy. It is the ability to put many skills together and execute them together consistently that makes them so great.

If you have read the previous Axioms and practiced them you must now start to think of them as a whole instead of individual skills. While you may find some success mastering a few individual skills you will never achieve greatness unless you know how to put all of your skills together at once. 

Friday, August 7, 2015

Axiom 65: You'll Never Graduate

"No one can defeat us unless we first defeat ourselves." -Dwight D. Eisenhower

"I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times." -Bruce Lee

When I finished my undergraduate degree in 2003 I didn't attend the graduation ceremony. It was just as if I was in school one day and then not in school the next day. Some of my friends seemed puzzled as to why I didn't care about taking part in the graduation ceremony. I could have cared less about walking across the stage in a cap and gown to receive my diploma.

I watched as my fellow alums bought invitations, their cap and gowns, and their whole family talked with excitement about attending the ceremony. To me it just seemed like a waste of money and an inconvenience to ask my family to sit in a crowd and watch in boredom as thousands of other people walked across the stage. I had my degree and that's all I cared about.

When I finished my graduate degree a few years later I didn't attend that ceremony either. Once again people asked my why I wasn't going to participate. I finally thought about it since my excuse of "I just don't want to" didn't seem to pacify everyone.

So here are my real thoughts:

If you want to go to your graduation ceremony with your family and celebrate more power to you. I think it is important to celebrate your successes in life in whatever way suits you. However, for me I did not want to embrace the finality of finishing school. I will never graduate. I will always be a student. 

Although I received my diplomas. I don't feel like it is over. I still feel like one day I may step foot back into the classroom. This was the feeling that I wanted to leave school with. The feeling that my education is never over.

How you finish one step in life will determine how you will start the next step in your life.