When confronted with an unwanted task, people often approach it in one of two ways:

• Avoid it because it’s a pain in the derriere or they don’t feel like doing it on a particular day; or
• Rush through it because it “takes up too much time.”

Disclosure: I have been guilty of buying into the above excuses. It’s human nature. But what is it really about? Is it the task itself or is the daily grind of doing the same thing over and over? I think that, for most people, it’s the latter.

Obviously, I’m going to relate this to martial arts. But this post is about life as well. How long does it really take to do the necessary task(s), especially if it relates to reaching some long cherished goal? As an example, I once timed myself performing Naihanchi Shodan/Tekki Shodan/Chulgi One (different language terms for the same kata) ten consecutive times. Further, as part of this experiment, I went through this kata at moderate deliberate speed for all ten repetitions, focusing on each move.

To perform ten repetitions of this kata, at deliberate moderate speed, took me all of five minutes. That’s it. Imagine if you were to spend 15 minutes a day, every single day, at this pace, performing just this kata, you would end up with 10,950 repetitions of this kata and a deep understanding of the movement and its’ applications.

Yet, many people have a tendency to rush “through the steps to success” and focus on the outcome. The “steps to success” is often too much of “a pain in the ass.” But to achieve the desired outcome or goal, it’s necessary to go through the “steps to success” correctly and with attention to detail. “Inch by inch, it’s a cinch. Yard by yard, it’s hard.”

Time yourself with a stopwatch going through a task, whether it be martial arts, personal or professional and you’d be surprised at the results. Most smartphones come equipped with a stopwatch or a timer. Give it a try. You just may find out that the onerous task may not be such a “pain in the ass” once you put it in its’ proper perspective.

Over to you, do you occasionally experience this kind of thinking? How do you get out of it?

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