Lessons From Mr. Myagi

Sometimes adolescents and teens take a fair-weather approach to behavioral change. This is a recipe for failure. Real change requires a deep commitment from the beginning.

Remember the movie, The Karate Kid?  In one scene, Mr. Miyagi, a karate expert, is preparing to train Daniel, a wiry young man who is getting picked on at school.  Mr. Miyagi asks Daniel, "Are you ready to begin training?" His response is, "I guess."

Mr. Miyagi’s response is very poignant.  Mr. Myagi says, “Daniel-san, must talk. Walk on road, walk right side, safe.  Walk left side, safe.  Walk middle, sooner or later, you get squished just like grape.  Here, karate same thing.  Either you karate do yes, or karate do, no. You karate do - "guess so," squish, just like grape.”

Becoming a Great Student

Becoming a great student, the kind of student that is in the top 1% of their class no matter what school they attend, requires this same level of commitment.  There is no “maybe” when it comes to dedicating yourself to this level.  You either make the commitment, or you don’t.  There is no middle of the road.  Taking the middle of the road is a recipe for failure.

One reason a middle of the road strategy is a recipe for failure is because you will certainly put an increased effort forward but you may lack the final drive needed to push the quality of your assignments to achieve an “A.”  Or, you might invest several more hours in a week to study for a test but you fail to review your notes the day before the test and therefore only slightly improve your grade.  Ultimately this leads to frustration and resentment you gave up more desired activities such as watching T.V, playing on the computer or socializing with friends in lieu of studying.  Really the only way to do this is to devote yourself 100% to the cause.  If you don’t, you are setting yourself up for disappointment.  Full dedication to improving your grades is one of the best decisions you can make.

So now I ask you, are you ready to being your training?  I hope you responded with a resounding, “YES!”