Your work is to discover your work and then, with all your heart, to give yourself to it.

“Your work is to discover your work and then, with all your heart, to give yourself to it.”

Buddha

Work is any activity that we undertake that requires some form of effort. Going to your daily job, training in the martial arts, gardening, looking after the kids, cleaning the house, mowing the lawn and any number of tasks that must be completed each day all require effort. Some require almost zero effort and some a lot. Either way, how those tasks are complete will be the determining factor in doing it well or just doing it.

I have met a lot of successful people in my life and if I were to pick one attribute that they all have in common it would be a strong work ethic. A strong work ethic will trump any amount of talent over time. Successful people in business, athletics, martial arts and even parenting all share the ability to work hard at being the best that they can be. It’s no accident that the top people in every field work hard.

It all begins with a vision

Whatever you want to achieve has to be clear in your mind. You have to see yourself as achieving the results you’re after way before they are actualised. I have a friend who owns a martial arts school who was $70, 000 in debt over 10 years ago. His situation was so bad that his accountant and bank manager arrived at his doorstep to tell him to go bankrupt. My friend, who is now one of the most successful martial arts school owners in Australia, couldn’t give up on his dream. He decided to work harder at being a better martial artist, teacher and business person. He dedicated a minimum of ten hours a day to actualise his goals. He sat in his office day after day, year after year until he made his dreams happen. He didn’t just work hard. He knew where he wanted his business to be way before it got there. He had a picture in his mind (and on paper) and he didn’t give up until he got there. And guess what? He did.

Heart

Notice in the above quote that Buddha references the heart. What do you think that means? For me it means you have to love it. You have to love what you’re doing so much that you will never give up on it. Does that mean that you will always love what you are doing? Of course not. There will be times where you hate the tasks that have to be complete in order to succeed. Take a look at BJJ for example. Some of us, myself included, love grappling. We love escaping from pins, we love applying submissions, and we love the strategic element of BJJ. But how many of us love being crushed under someone’s side control? How many of us love tapping out? How many of us like feeling useless against better grapplers? I know that I don’t. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t love grappling. It just means that hating aspects of what we have to do to succeed is all part of the process. And this is where most people deviate from the path to success. They have a tough experience and give up because it’s uncomfortable.  Being uncomfortable, disillusioned, unmotivated and helpless is an indication that you’re on the right track.  If it were easy, everyone would be successful.

If we want to achieve anything in life, we have to work at it. Whether its martial arts, running a business or being a great parent - it’s all the same. You have to know what you want and do everything in your power to make it happen. Love the process and be quick to get back up when life puts you on your backside.

“My life is my message.”

Gandhi