20 January, 2013

Life Versus Lemons: Yum!

"I can't accept not trying," wrote Michael Jordan in the greatest book on inspiration of all time.  It's also the book's title.  You should look it up.  It's only 32 pages long.

"Success occurs when your dreams become bigger than your excuses," said Ebenezer Ghansa, Chief Instructor of the Gurkha Infantry and Senior Instructor of the world's most active and elite special forces squad, the 27th Anti-terrorist Division of South Korea.

Ebe taught me martial arts, and instilled in me the attitudes that have, I believe, helped me learn to write as much as anything. How could martial arts possibly be applicable to writing? Ever seen/read Fight Club?

This message is, hopefully, charmingly simple instead of just making me look like a smeg-head. :-)

I hope that smiley face helps.  Here's another.

o<:->   (That's an attempt at Santa with a goatie.) 

Anyway, what Ebe taught me was how to get beaten up and not care.  That's vital in martial arts.  It's not like the movies.  The fact is, no matter how good you are you'll get smacked around, and you need to get used to taking a hit.  And to get better, you need to get used to losing.  Thanks to Ebe, I've been beaten up more times than I can count.  Probably something in the four or five hundreds.  The best part was, the people who kept beating me up never got much better at it.  I wasn't testing their ability, but they tested mine, and as such I got better.  Eventually I started to win.  Amateurs learn faster than anybody.

Imagine it.  One of the most qualified martial arts teachers in the world, and all his top students have had their butts kicked more than a kid with a nazi tattoo on his face at a high school in Israel.

The point? Life is a lazy smeg. He'll knock you down, beat you up, hand you lemons et cetera, but he never gets stronger. You will. (Remember 'Arete' from the post, "To Will and to Be".) Bruises heal. Scars look cool. If you like lemons, there are countless recipes available, and you can even invent your own.

If you don't like lemons, punch life in the face. You'll probably lose the first fight, but every time you stand up you'll be a little stronger, and life will stay the same lazy smeg he always was, just standing there like a brick wall ready to be smashed down. This applies to any dream. No one is going to hand you success.

"Once you can snatch the pebble from my hand, you will be ready to leave," said the Sensei in Karate Kid.   Ebe's attitude was more, "How about I hand some pebbles to all my top students, including these Special Forces guys.  They'll beat you up with the pebbles for awhile, but once you can rip one from the odd hand you probably won't want the smegging thing anymore, because you'll have something better:  strength."

Now, I wish to make it clear that I in no way condone hurting people.



Always remember, if you're feeling lost in the vast mire of aspirants, so long as you're one of the rare few who will keep trying until you succeed or die poor and happy knowing you at least gave it everything, you'll be in very small company, and the market isn't closed to you. (See my "Marketability Means Marketing" posts.)

Never accept not trying. Not trying is for wusses. Artists may look like geeks much of the time, but every self-made person has to know how to kick some spiritual ***.


Anonymous said...

This is just what I needed today...

Wm. Luke Everest said...

I'm glad you found it useful. I checked out your blog as well. Very cool indeed. Best of luck to you in the future and congrats on your success thus far!

Scott Marley said...

Insightful, a simple point but it works, I liked it.