Monday, February 10, 2014

Consistency is a key trait for Black Belts ..... and any successful person

Consistency is a crucial trait to have for success, not just in martial arts but in business, school, relationships, and all other areas of our lives.  As a professional Martial Arts Instructor I am constantly teaching my students to demonstrate respect, to have focus, to practice humility and compassion...the list goes on and on.  But I feel that all of these character traits do not truly become useful until they are backed with the Self Discipline of Consistency.

30041 Martial Arts BusinessTake for example a math problem when you were in elementary school.  You could guess a random number, and maybe it is the correct answer.  But can you repeat your success?   Being able to repeat your positive action or behavior is where true success lies.  In fighting we all keep in the back of our minds what I call the "punchers chance"  which is the chance that even someone with little training can take out a champion with a random blow.  The odds are very low that this will happen, and if it did the chance of it happening again are even less.  This person wont become a world champion because they cannot consistently repeat their success, even if they did something amazing one time.  Now we all want to be champions, not necessarily in fighting, but a champion in life in general.  We do not want to just have a minute of glory that came from us getting lucky one time, we want to be able to consistently reproduce our success so that we can take it to new levels each and every day.  

To be consistent we need to have right effort.  We have to be always watchful of the results we are producing and analyzing how and why we are getting those results no matter if they are good or bad.  If we are not getting results that are exceptional on a consistent basis then we need to change, improve and push forward again.  That being said, I have had students and staff members tell me "No one can be perfect every time, we are all going to have our off days."  I agree with that one hundred percent.  Life will always have its ups and downs, good days and bad days.  People of mediocre success will use this as a crutch to have "off days" but successful people take this as a challenge.  How successful people think is that if we know we will have some days that are worse than others, we need to train ourselves to make our worst day better than the best day of everyone else.  Think about that....  Your worst day is better than others best day.  Is that possible?  If you really want to be as successful as you possibly can be then you know that it is.

So how do you practice consistency in our every day lives?  Be relentless on yourself!  Don't let yourself do anything less than amazing.  Is every aspect of your life at a level of awesome that is head and shoulders above everyone else?  If not, correct it now, immediately and completely.  Surround yourself with people that hold you to this level of success, not people who drag you down below what you are capable of.  If you are able to do something right, then there is no excuse to do it any other way!  It amazes me the multitude of excuses people come up with as to why they could not do something as well as they could.  "I was in a hurry." "I didn't think about it." "It was hard."  And on and on.  To me, all these lame excuses are just another way of saying "It is not important enough to me."  And that is fine, not all people are cut out to be successful, but these people have absolutely no right to complain about not being where they want to be in life.  Like the expression goes, you sleep in the bed you make.  If you want to be on another level, then you have to get yourself there!

When one of my students earns their Black Belt, I feel like they have shown that they have the ability to demonstrate the character traits and physical skills needed to be a Black Belt.  At this point it is now the mission of the New Black Belt to demonstrate consistency in their actions.  They have what it takes to be a Black Belt, but now the test is to actually live like one, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  This is why I feel Black Belts can be so productive and successful in whatever endeavor they take part in, they are attempting to have all the traits that a Black Belt should have in every thought and every ounce of their being. 

30024 martial artsThese are my thoughts, this is how I feel.  When people come to me with excuses I smile, tell them Iunderstand and encourage them to keep going; in my heart though, I think that excuses are for people who are not strong enough with their discipline in consistency to practice being a Black Belt with every ounce of their being.  We all have the same 24 hours in day, there have been so many people with tons of different disabilities and disadvantages that have found levels of success beyond imagination.... So whats your excuse?!

RJ LoPresti

3020 Old Atlanta Rd
Cumming, GA 30041
(678) 513-5436