One step…

I have a habit of getting impatient. When I want something, I want it NOW. I don’t always like to wait for it. Okay, the truth is I NEVER want to wait for anything. Must say something about me that I’m looking for instant gratification. Maybe its because I always have so many things going on in my life at the same time. Or maybe I’m just impatient.

Curiously though this time I am patient. I know I’m not quite ready yet. I realize that there are some things I need to master. Its a path to walk along, one step at a time.

I’ve watched other students as they progress through martial arts. They get discouraged. We all do. Its hard sometimes. But they just forget to do one thing – put one foot ahead of the other and focus on that. A journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. I’m sure you’ve heard that before. Well, its true. And that same journey of a thousand steps is completed because no matter what the traveler found on the path before him, he took one step. Sometimes he had to step off of the path to go around what was blocking him, and so he took more steps than the person who could step right over the barrier. But he got there.

Frequently I hear the younger students (yes, I mean kids) get really competitive about reaching their black belt. Its natural I suppose; however, I like to remind them that we are all on the same journey striving for the same goal. We’re not running a race to get to the finish line first, we’re walking together, each of us there to support the other, helping to carry them along at spots (that’s where mentoring comes in!) if necessary so that we can all reach our goal. I might get there first. You might get there first. The important thing is to get there – to cross the finish line – to achieve a monumental goal.

One step, one slow plodding step, one foot in front of the other, until the goal is reached.

Karate teaches character, perseverance, control. I think it must be teaching me patience as well.