This week, we are talking about what it means to be a person of high quality. Whether it is at school, work, or in martial arts, what does it take to be a person that is known for being the best of the best?
I'm going to take this as an opportunity to nerd out about one of my favorite things: video games. I really enjoy playing video games and Nintendo is one of my favorite companies. Their first home console, the Nintendo Entertainment System (NES) released in 1985. This was a very interesting time in the video game industry as the market for games had essentially crashed. No one wanted them anymore and that was in part to a lack of quality games. Game companies were pumping out as many games as possibly and the majority of them were shoddy, at best.
But then Nintendo came along with their console and it was a major success. This was because they took the time, effort, and money required to make a great game. Instant classics such as Mario and Zelda were known for being high quality. They were fun, well-made, and worth the money.
Even today, 35 years after the release of the NES, Nintendo games are still known for being great. While other games will go on sale after a few months of being on store shelves, Nintendo games rarely get a discount and if they do, it's not by much. Why? Because they know the quality of their merchandise and that quality costs money.
That's the point I am trying to make. If you want to be a person of high quality, it is going to cost you. It may not take money, but it will cost you your time and effort. If you want to be an A+ student, it is going to take time as you study. If you want to be an amazing martial artist, it's going to take your effort and energy to train. You cannot just wake up one day and say, "Today I am going to be awesome." If you want to be awesome, then it needs to be a continuous practice.
At one point or another in our lives, we have looked a person of good quality and said, "I want to be like them." Maybe you looked at a very healthy individual and thought that you should start working out and eating healthier. Or maybe you saw an entrepreneur on television who made a lot of money and considered starting your own business. It is easy to look at a successful person and desire what they have. Most people will look at someone who is rich, beautiful, or talented and see their life sparkle and shine like silver. But what they don't see is the time and energy that went into polishing that silver.
In the age of social media and celebrity influencers, I have so many young students (and some adults) get star struck and have ideas of grandeur. There is nothing wrong with having big dreams or goals, but what's important is understanding that attaining those ambitions does not happen over night. It takes work-- hard work. It doesn't matter if its perfecting your side kick or improving your grades. If you want to be a person of high quality then your are going to have to put in the time and effort.
About the Author
Master Matthew Eyler is a 4th degree black belt in the Korean martial art of Tang Soo Do and a New York State certified general and special education teacher. He has over 20 years experience practicing self-defense and teaching students of all ages and abilities.