Life is a constant process of self-discovery. We all wear masks, and part of the benefit of training is learning to see ourselves without them: as truthfully as possible. Who I am cannot be summarized on a one-page resume. I am not my business card. I am not my tailored suit or my expensive shoes. I am not my expensive watch or my luxury car or my home address or my penthouse view or my place on the org chart or my email or my mobile phone or my blackberry or even this blog (although the blog is closer than the others) .
OK Then, Who am I?
When I enter the dojo all the worldly trappings are left behind. I take off all the things that make me someone else. I put on the same white uniform and belt that everyone else wears. The color may be different, but what it represents is not. It represents the same commitment we share to our aikido training.
The person in the dojo is who I really am.
That is the person who can get up early in the cold darkness (at least all winter long), leave a sleeping family, and go to train before work. That is the person who can be sharp and focused, who can give 100%, who can be dedicated, who can be disciplined, who can be loyal. That is the person who overcomes hardship and who never gives up; the person who relentlessly pursues his dream until he reaches it. That is the person who can be a student; a teacher; a leader; a friend. That is the person who is strong, confident, and full of life and energy.
If I can be that person inside the dojo I can be that person outside the dojo.
So Can You.
Sadly, the person in the dojo can also be the opposite of all those attributes as well. When I make excuses or am lazy or unmotivated. The times when I am frustrated or have a short temper, the times when I want to give up (but thankfully don't).
Do not miss the chance to practice being the person you want to be.
Do not miss the chance to become the person you want to be.