(thanks for the inspiration JLH)
The quiet, unassuming guy I worked with, who had been in a horrible car accident in college which shattered his body - arms, legs, wrists, pelvis. He broke nearly everything, except his will to recover. Two painful years in the hospital with multiple surgeries. If you didn't know him like I do, you'd never even guess. Mentally, he is one of the strongest people I have ever met. I can't even imagine that much courage; that much goddamned PATIENCE to endure such a thing.
I like the quote "everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about". Life can really feel like a struggle sometimes, but why do some people rise to the occasion while others seem to give in to despair, stumble, and fall - never to get up again?
These people who don't just survive, but THRIVE despite adversity, have one big thing in common: They Can See The Other Side. They can visualize a time and a place where they are past their current hardship - free and clear and happy. I cannot overemphasize how important this is. Studies done on holocaust survivors identified that those who survived the death camps often did so by staying focused on what their lives would be like when it was all over - never accepting the possibility that they would not make it. No matter what horrors happened, they never lost sight of that specific personal future beyond the barbed wire and death that surrounded them.
My greatest victories have often been born out of sheer desperation, the feeling that I had no way out, no way but FORWARD, head on into my challenges - breaking through them no matter the cost. This has not been the best way to achieve my goals but it has gotten the job done, and there is something to be said for having enough determination and confidence to see a task through, no matter how much it hurts. Too often, I am just too stubborn to give up. Sometimes I reach my goals too exhausted and battered to savor the moment.
A far better way is to focus on the positive outcome; use my mind to see the result of my successful efforts. As JLH told me, visualization is a key to high-level sports training/coaching. I agree, but at the same time there is something fundamentally different about harnessing the will to run faster in a race, lift a heavier weight or throw a ball. Overcoming life's hardships often requires seeing a bigger picture on a much longer time horizon than a simple sporting match.
In my case, the biggest goal I achieved (getting to Japan) took me 10 years and 3 failed attempts to finally complete. Through this I learned that if I just don't give up I will ultimately find a way, no matter the obstacle. Proving this to myself has been the greatest asset to my success as an adult. This confidence has stayed with me ever since and enabled me to take on challenge after challenge, odds stacked against me almost every time, and still attain the goals I set my mind to.
Our training is designed to repeat the cycle of goal setting and achievement again and agin, instilling in our KM students the same unshakable quiet confidence they will use for every aspect of their lives - career, personal relationships, academics. We don't just want to create the best fighters, we want to create the best people. We want our students to be the best they can be, able to go out and make the lives they want without fear of anything that might stand in their way. Kali Majapahit is our secret weapon, not to hurt others, but to enable our own success.
I encourage you to take a moment --- see the life you want. GO GET IT. You can do it.
I KNOW YOU CAN.
Great Heart Will Not Be Denied.