Hi, and welcome back to Second Chance to Live. You are always welcome at my table. I have been thinking about the idea of progress. In times past I have allowed myself to be distracted by the destination. Consequently, I have not been able to see the value of the process. I have found myself balking at the process because I had already decided that I could not possibly reach the destination. In essence I was reluctant to start some projects or to pursue some goals because I did not believe that I could reach those destinations or the goals.
In the process I sabotaged what could be because I convinced myself that the destination or goal could not possibly be reached. Consequently I allowed the fear of failure to stand in my way.
As I have shared in some of my previous posts, I am a student of the martial arts. I have learned various valuable lessons through my training in the martial arts, however one particular lesson has had a profound impact upon my life. That particular lesson taught me to focus on the process rather than on the destination. Through my process I have been able to slowly let go of the notion that my value is tied to the destination. I have also come to realize that I do not have to do things perfectly. Instead I have grown to appreciate that with all new learning; there is a learning curve.
Per my experience, I will share how the above lesson has helped me while training at the martial arts school. During one of my classes — at the school — my Sensei (Instructor) had the brown and black belts drill round kicks, followed by tornado kicks. The drill consisted of two students working as a team. While one student held a focus pad, the other student executed a round kick that was immediately followed by a tornado kick. As we went back and forth drilling these kicks, my confidence grew with my ability to execute the combination of kicks with height and accuracy.
I was particularly encouraged by the progress I made because I have not always been able to execute a round kick followed by a tornado kick. A tornado kick is likened to a spinning crescent kick, which requires coordination, agility and timing.
I use the above illustration, not to draw attention to my ability, but to convey a principle. When I first started training at the martial arts school I had a limited amount of coordination. In addition to my limited coordination, my lack of balance and leg strength handicapped my ability to perform any kicks, much less a tornado kick. As I watched more advanced students demonstrate tornado kicks I was amazed by their grace and agility. When I attempted to mimic the ability of the advanced students I looked and felt extremely clumsy. What became apparent was that I lacked the leg strength, balance, coordination and muscle memory required to perform a tornado kick.
I had not yet developed the necessary leg strength, balance, coordination and muscle memory required to execute the complexities of a tornado kick. Rather than becoming discouraged and despondent I made a decision to develop my leg strength and muscle memory.
Because of my limitations and deficits I knew I needed to spend additional time and attention to drilling and practicing the movements needed to perform a tornado kick. Through my decision I decided to drill and drill again and then drill some more. I also realized that I needed to spend more time at the Y to develop my leg strength in order to improve and enhance my balance. With my commitment and over a period of time my skill increased and my legs grew stronger. Consequently, my balance increased and my coordination improved.
My progress did not come over night, but my determination and commitment to succeed empowered my process.
The combination of drilling my kicks and increasing my leg strength significantly enhanced my ability to execute tornado kicks. I am not suggesting that the execution of my tornado kicks is without flaw, but I do know that I am now able to execute a tornado kick. What initially appeared to be insurmountable became attainable because I followed the principle of progress over perfection. Because I focused on the process, rather than on the destination I was able to enjoy the process. Please read Part 2
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