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It’s All In How You Look At It

Posted by on July 23, 2013

Sometimes your biggest weakness can become your most potent strength.

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A 10-year-old boy  lost his left arm in a devastating car accident.  He decided to study judo despite only having one arm.

He began lessons with an old Japanese judo master.  He was a quick learner and was doing well so he didn’t understand why, after three months of steady training, the master had only taught him one move.

“Sensei,” the boy finally asked, “shouldn’t I be learning more moves?”

“This is the only move you know, yes.  But this is the only move you’ll ever need to know.”  The boy didn’t understand but he trusted his teacher.  He went back to practicing his single move.

Several months later the sensei took the boy to his first tournament.  Surprising himself, the boy easily won his first two matches.  The third proved to be a little harder but after some time his opponent became impatient and charged.  The boy deftly used his one move to win the match.  Still amazed by his success, the boy was now in the finals.

This time his opponent was bigger, faster, stronger and more experienced.  For awhile the boy seemed to be overmatched.  Concerned the boy might be hurt, the referee called a time-out.  He was about to stop the match when the sensei intervened:  “No,” the old teacher insisted.  “Let him continue.”

Soon after resuming the match, the bigger opponent made a critical mistake.  He dropped his guard.  Instantly, the boy used his move to pin him.  The boy won the match and the tournament!  He was the champion!

On the way home the boy and sensei reviewed every move in each match.  Then the boy asked what was really on his mind.  “Sensei, how did I win the tournament with only one move?”

“You won for two reasons,” the sensei answered.  “First, you’ve almost mastered one of the most difficult throws in all of judo.  Second, the only known defense for that move is for your opponent to grab your left arm.”

The boy’s biggest weakness had become his biggest strength.

Anything can stop you if you let it.  Tragedy.  Trauma.  Upbringing.  Life experiences.  Hard knocks.  You can use any or all the above to excuse poor performance, a soured disposition, bad manners and rotten attitudes.

The exact same set of circumstances can bring either smashing success or disgusting mediocrity by saying the exact same thing:  “Well, it’s no wonder.  Look at what’s happened in my life!”

Friend, it’s time to stop blaming other people and other circumstances for your own lack of purpose, your own internal weakness.  Everyone has bad stuff happen in their lives.  Everyone.

It isn’t what’s happened.  It’s how you choose to see it and what you decide to do with it.

Your biggest weakness can become the means of your greatest success.

If you let it.


© July 2013

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