This is a story about a student who had a goal of competing and becoming a world champion. For year he was a hard worker and was well on his way to achieving his goal. At one time I noticed that he had become more complacent in his progress. Instead of practicing for competitions, he used the time to focus on non-essential items.
At one point I asked if he was going to use what he was doing to help with future competitions. He replied no. I asked him if he had practiced for an upcoming tournament. He replied no, that he already knew he needed for the competition. The tournament came and went and he ended up getting a fourth place. He fell behind competitors that he would have usually beat, had he practiced like he should. This resulted in him losing his overall first place standing for the year. That resulted in him having to now push even harder to try and regain that place.
After the tournament, he was saying how he could not understand why he lost. I told him that answer was simple. Since he did not prepare to succeed, he automatically prepared to fail. He was reminded on how he spent his time doing things that were fun to do, but did not in any way prepare him to meet his goal. It okay to have some fun, but you still have to keep your priorities straight in order to meet your goals.
It is easy to get complacent in what we do, be it school or our jobs, but how many of us are just content to be a white belt in martial arts? As martial artists we are always practicing for the next rank or the next competition, so more times than not we are preparing ourselves for success. That is the same mindset we must invoke in ourselves in everything we do. Instead of being happy in just doing your day to day tasks, you need to figure out how you can exceed the expectations and prepare yourself for the next promotion at work or that next ‘A’ on your math test. There is always something you can be doing to better yourself and draw you closer to your goals. Remember if you are not preparing for success, you are preparing to fail.