Thursday, June 17, 2010

To Persevere

"Success is the ability to go from failure to failure without losing your enthusiasm."

Sir Winston Churchill

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Monday, June 7, 2010

Fear and Failure

"The essence of warriorship, or the essence of human bravery, is refusing to give up on anyone or anything." Chogyam Trungpa

I set goals and fail to meet them; my work schedule is onerous. Finding time to train is thwarted by circumstance at every turn. I am tempted to give up. I want to quit, to dropout.

Circumstances make me feel defeated and it is this feeling of failure and not the true nature of failure that causes many to succumb and surrender. The truth about discrete events of failure is that the derivative negative perceptions are merely a function of a lack of perspective, delusion, not perceiving the true nature of things.

We often suppose that the path to success is one of consistent forward progress. The reality is that success and accomplishment are achieved only in the face of successive failure. It is not a straight and smooth path but winding and difficult. Indeed, the proper response to defeat is a key to achievement. "He who will not be defeated, cannot be defeated." This is a Navy Seal maxim which admits of no defeat. But note, implicit in this maxim is the presumption of adversity and temporary set back. For where there is no challenge of defeat, there cannot be the exercise of bravery. This is also the ethos of the ancient Ninja, whose creed was survival begotten of endurance. You are only defeated when you cease to strive; when you despair of your goal and quit.

The scriptures say that a just man falls seven times but rises up again. (Proverbs 24:16) Just men fall! But, just men do not remain prostrate in the dust. He rises again and again admitting no defeat. The failures of yesterday have passed as a mist. We live under the sun at this moment. Will you press on? Just men do. Warriors do.

Hatsumi Sensei is fond of saying, "just keep training." Well, that's all there is to it.