In my younger—and more flexible—teenage years, I enjoyed participating in the martial arts. One Saturday morning I found myself on the dojo floor awaiting my turn in the sparring circle.
I sat mesmerized as I watched a scrappy, five-foot-tall, hundred pound, Hispanic, green belt named Jesse stand toe-to-toe with one of the senior black belts.
As it was, I was sitting next to my teacher. Clearly seeing the look of awe on my face, he was prepared when I asked him what is now an obvious question.
“Sensei, how does he do it?”
His reply was a revelation. He simply said, “All things being equal, the outcome of a fight usually comes down to who wants it more.”
My teacher then went on to explain that in most encounters fighters tend to rely on a handful of well-practiced moves. And that raw desire (and the willingness to take a hit), not mere technical ability, was often the determining factor. This reminds me of that famous quote by Bruce Lee when he said, “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.”
My teachers words stuck with me. Probably why now, 30-years later, I can recall them with such clarity. And while passion certainly has its place in the practice of martial arts and sports, it also has incredible usefulness in day-to-day life.
Pretty much everything we want in life can be attained if we want it bad enough. And if there is something we claim to want, but have not yet achieved, the simple truth is we probably don’t want it as bad as we say. Which is to say, we haven’t taken the necessary actions.
Or at the very least, we are not willing to sacrifice—or admit to—what we think it will cost in order to attain it.
And that’s okay too. The important thing is to stop lying to yourself. Want what you want, don’t want what you don’t want. Either is acceptable. Just be honest.
To your good fortune!