We sure are lucky, aren’t we?
Nodding your head aren’t you, “Sure are.” But are we really? Here’s what I mean… As I reflect on all of the achievements I’ve witnessed my students captured in 2010, I realize the amount of hard work and effort each one dedicated to these achievements. Over and over again, in 2010 I was reminded by watching those I choose to be close with – constantly growing, contributing and loving – constantly! Making their situations in life better, serving the people around them and recognizing the value in all that surrounds them. Those qualities alone shape their lifestyle, their standard of participating in life. There’s no luck involved in any of it. I choose to be around that type of person for a reason.
Let me illustrate my point a bit. In July I spent two weeks in Japan among my fellow Dojo-cho, training at the highest level under Unsui Sensei in the seasonal steam of the Japanese summer. Were we lucky to be there. You may think so on the surface, but I know all too well the sacrifices, thousands of hours, commitments and losses each of us made to make get to that special place during that special point in our teacher’s career. He requested us to be there years prior and we each did what was necessary to make it happen.
“You sure are lucky to go there and have an experience like that”… Am I?
There was no luck involved, just a simple privilege of waking up each morning inside a mosquito net on the floor of Unsui Sensei’s Dojo. I would rise, clean the Dojo and prepare my mind for what the day would bring into my life. In an hour I’d once again be training among gifted colleagues to the point of sheer exhaustion, inside a dynamic that I can’t even describe in words. A dynamic that I’ll appreciate, value for my life. This experience would not have been at all the same were we not all there, building the experience and sacrificing our time away from home for each other. Although my friends will be so quick to state how lucky I was to do such a cool thing, it had nothing to do with luck. It’s about the willingness to create the life changing experience, to make it a reality.
Again and again through 2010, I’d take notice of folks mentioning “Luck” here and there. Each time it would resonate inside me, causing me to wonder. “Really?” Or was it through effort, diligence, the law of attraction or just simply putting-it-out-there that brought good fortune into the lives of those who commanded it.
This year, I’m committed to owning my own luck, not counting on it to just happen. There’s no way this year that I’ll be going after my goals in the same manner as scratching a lottery ticket or pulling a slot handle, rubbing my hands in anticipation of cherries or lucky sevens. In those cases I’d be nothing more than another finely measured statistic pretending to be adventurous. Not for me.
While I’m not yet convinced that such a thing as luck even exists, I’ll be dedicating 2011 to mastering each opportunity that I create or those offered to me by others. Not counting on luck to come my way nor viewing anything as a coincidence. As a martial artist, I just can’t accept that either are real. Therefore this year will become – without question – what I choose to make it. I hope every student in our Dojo will do the same, while continuing to be among the hardest training group of people I’m so privileged to know.
Here’s to 2011 and to the many great things – together – we’ll create and appreciate this year. Let’s own our luck, not count on it!
Director of the Jinenkan Kosei Gogi Dojo, and personal student of Manaka Unsui.