Short, concise lessons and concepts helpful to students
Why I Dislike Wimps
By Terry Bryan
Maybe it is my 40 plus years of training in the martial arts. Maybe it
is my military background and surviving three combat tours in Southeast
Asia, or my surviving terminal cancer. Could be I am just getting old
and cranky but I am developing a real disinterest in spending time and
dealing with people that have a defeatist attitude and are not willing
to do what it takes to get things done.
A Truism: “Success leaves tracks and if you follow other successful
people you will have similar results”.
Listen, if success was meant to be easy, then everyone would do it, right?
Champions have clearly defined goals, obtain the necessary tools and resources
they need to succeed and then attack the problem or objective with precise
and predetermined strategy and tactics. Winners do their homework, make
a plan and take action. Knowing they will not win all the time, they set
themselves up to make sure any failure is not life threatening and indeed
the experience is one of learning and forward movement.
Bruce Lee once said that the difference between a glass of colored water
and a fine wine could only be determined by its taste. From a distance
they may look identical but it is only the tasting that reveals which
one is true. Bruce said this when he talked about the martial arts, stating
that only by working with an experienced practitioner can you determine
and “feel” real martial arts. There are a lot of show people
out there that have learned to talk the talk but many of them do not walk
For years, I have searched out the very best teachers to learn from,
not only in the martial arts but in business, marketing and investing.
It’s no different in other fields, although sometimes it’s
harder to test and experience who is real and who is not. I have met lots
of speakers on the circuit who teach investing and have never bought a
property, teach business success and never had their own business. So
the secret I guess, is do you research and pick your teachers well. Instead
of going for the flashy, younger and faster method, many times it is the
senior and elderly where the real value is contained, where the wine is
Although I like the saying “if you are not the lead dog the view
is all the same”, it’s ok to be a follower, if you are following
leaders. The problem I see today is that most people are following the
followers, chasing goals and dreams not even thought about. There is a
reason the bottom 80% of people do certain things and have certain results,
while the top 20% do different things and have different results.
Losers give up too easily. They quit too soon. They do not have passion
about what they are trying to achieve, don’t have a series of back
up plans and do not understand the price of success.
Winners on the other hand, have clearly defined goals, understand the
cost of success and make the commitment towards success. Their character
is forged under trial by fire and guided by streetwise knowledge, not
the kind of superficial knowledge and theories learned in traditional
Now I rambled on about choosing your teachers and mentors well, but it
is equally important and harder to do to choose “yourself”
well. You know… the person you are, the person you are becoming,
and how that is either taking you towards or away from your personal,
family and business goals.
Are you developing what the Japanese call Tamashii, or “Indomitable
Spirit”? It means, no matter what happens you understand that you
are determined to win. I know that hanging around these people who demonstrate
tamashii makes me stronger and hanging around people who whine and complain
takes energy away. That is why I guess I am getting cranky and watch the
time I spend with others and what they are doing to me. That is why I
choose who I associate with carefully and avoid wimps, negative people
and people that do not have goals for their future.
About the Author:
Terry Bryan is the former General Secretary for
the USA-NKF (National Karate Federation), the official governing
body for the sport of karate with the US Olympic Committee. He
currently is the Executive Director for the American Black Belt
Academy, a 501c3 non-profit organization located in Colorado Springs.
His column, Simple Lessons, regularly appears on FightingArts.com.