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Not By Accident

The other night I was watching a student with my second son, Charles, who is the head of our dojo. The student was moving particularly well.

Later, at home, my son said, "You don't get that way by accident."

I had to think about what he said. Of course, he was right. The student moved well because he practices hard -- really hard. He comes to class regularly, but more importantly, he practices diligently at home. He moved well because he worked at it -- it was not by accident.

Sometimes you will get a physically gifted student who learns very quickly. But you can tell the difference between such a student, who learned quickly, and another student who became skilled by hard work. The quick student will often have a shallow understanding of what he is doing -- if he understands what he is doing at all. The one who worked at it learned the hard way. He is more likely to understand what he is doing because he has made a lot of mistakes and had to overcome them to become the way that he is.

No one gets skilled by accident -- it takes really hard work. When I see someone who has become skilled, I respect the hard work they have done to become like that.

Respectfully,

Charles C. Goodin