(By Jason Kifer)

In life we don’t earn worthwhile achievements by just “showing up.”

If we want to accomplish something worthwhile we’ve got to put in the work and that usually means doing more than what we initially thought we should do.

It’s also about putting in the hard work from the get-go.

The more work we put in the front end of our journey to achieve our goals, the easier it gets.

It’s when we procrastinate and don’t put forth the effort that we start to feel over our head and defeated.

We start to rationalize our failure by coming up with what we think are good excuses.

Ultimately our negative self-talk and delusional rationalizations win and we give up on our goal and ourselves.

As a life-long martial artist I see the value of setting goals and achieving them.

I know you can’t just show up and expect to be handed a black belt.

I understand that you’ve got to put in the work to earn the results.

After almost 45 years of training I have yet to hear someone say, “I’m so glad I quit martial arts before earning my black belt.”

I also have yet to hear a parent say, “I’m so glad I let my kid quit martial arts before earning their black belt.”

I have seen several fail some of the steps leading up to black belt and what I’ve seen more often than not is the parents making excuses for their the failure of their children rather than trying to find ways for them to succeed.

That’s just backwards thinking.

A lot of that stems from parents being uncomfortable with pushing their kids to follow through with something. That’s not the kid’s fault. They need the guidance of their parent especially to encourage them through tough situations and teach them how to work through them.

As a society we cannot quit every time we face a difficult task, situation or challenge.


Life doesn’t allow for it.

Remember, the only way we truly fail at something is when we quit. When we don’t succeed, it’s just telling us to try again. When we quit, there is no opportunity to try again, so therefore we fail.

We have to seek opportunities to better ourselves and ways to solve the problems we face.

This is what developing character is all about.

This is what life is all about.

This is the way that we become winners in life.