Your Own Sense of Success

9:21 PM Monday, November 22, 2010



In teaching karate for three decades, I have come in contact with a lot of people from all walks of life. The people that come into the dojo have ranged from work-a-day joe's, some executives, small business owners, teachers, and parents.

I have learned that none of these people where satisfied with their lives unless and until they had developed their own sense of success, an internal guidance system, based on their values.

If you are going to define your success externally, by how other people see you, you are never going to fill in that giant hole called; ultimate success. There is not enough dirt in the world to fill that hole.

When you define your own ways of success then what happens, is that you become a brand unto yourself. You are an individual and one of the greatest desires for man, and I do mean man is a race not as a gender, is to be what author Tom Wolfe called "A man in full."

Loren Christensen, Author, martial artist, and all around decent guy, once told me that his definition of success was, "Being able to come home from his job as a cop and watch Johnny Carson every night." He knew that he had a successful shift when he was in bed watching Johnny Carson. That was how Lauren measured success, simple, clean, and goal oriented.

So my question to you is, "When it comes to your martial arts do you make it personal?" Do you define what is a success or do you allow others to do it for you? Are you a brand to yourself, or are you a part of a brand?

This is how I define my success; when I go to bed at night I like to ask myself this question, "Did I learn something today?" That is how I define success. Loren wanted to watch Johnny Carson, I want a positive answer to a simple question.

How do you define success in your martial arts? Further are you a brand unto yourself with your own internal guidance system?

If not, why?


6 comments:

  1. Great post - ties in with a lot of my reading and research interests for education. Self-efficacy (the belief that you can succeed) is a major field, along with expectancy-values (what you believe you will get out of an experience is instrumentally tied to how valuable it is to you), and performance vs. achievement goals (doing something to get credit for it is different from doing something for yourself).

    Not sure if you know about these fields, but if not, it's pretty cool to hear academic work being back-validated by common sense people.

    Quint Oga-Baldwin

  2. Connan defined success as:
    To crush your enimies
    To see them driven before you
    To hear the lamentation of their women.

    Thats a good starting place :)

    Kasey

  3. Quint -

    Nice, clear and crisp way to present the ideas. I am going to ponder, "performance vs. achievement goals" that is a great distinction.

    Thanks for dropping a line

    K+

    Kris Wilder

  4. Ohrah, good post:

    "When it comes to your martial arts do you make it personal?" [Yes, but it took me a lot of years of self-reflection to get there. Even so, I still fall back into external validation mode once in a while but are much better of stopping those thoughts and getting back to what is truly important.]

    Do you define what is a success or do you allow others to do it for you? [I use to think that certain individuals had to validate my proficiency but in the last ten years I have found it better to be satisfied with myself from myself. Expectations is a huge hole, as you posted, and that hole will never be filled; that hole comes from low self esteem and not conducive to personal growth. In my opinion ...]

    Are you a brand to yourself, or are you a part of a brand? [Your post is great and it should get folks to think that what comes from within is so far superior to an individuals expectations of others and others care only about themselves so your validation will never be satisfied.]

    Ok, I will stop rambling now...your posts do get me to thinking about a lot of stuff :-)

    How do you define success in your martial arts? [Much the same as you, did I learn something and did I do well in what I did do.]

    Further are you a brand unto yourself with your own internal guidance system? [I rely almost exclusively on my own guidance system. I believe that what other say and do are contributory in nature but in the end it is MY decisions I take and count.]

    Charles James

  5. Charles -

    You touch on the bouncing back and forth from internal to external validation. I think you are right in that we should dance between those two aspects of training. I think it keeps one tethered and balanced.

    Kris Wilder

  6. Coming away from a class with something new, or a new way of looking at something I already know does it for me. One of the reasons I like working with beginners -- in order to show them something they don't know at all, it makes me reconsider the basics, and each time, the view is a little different.

    Steve Perry

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