I remember this like it was yesterday. I had just been hired at the local martial arts school where I trained to be a part-time instructor. I was 15 years old. I was hired to teach 3 days week and my hourly wage at the time was $4.25/hour.
Of course, this was back in 1992.
I was thrilled! I was going to get paid to teach martial arts…something I was happy doing for free.
Side note: I still feel that way today! Teaching martial arts is my dream job and I count my blessing every day I get to do it for a living.
Back to the message. The next morning, I was in the kitchen, getting my breakfast ready when my dad told me he wanted to talk to me. He sat me down and gave me a talk that has stuck with me ever since.
He told me that the school I worked for was counting on me to be there to work certain days and I had to take that responsibility seriously. He told me never to slack off and make some B.S. excuse about why I couldn’t go to work one day.
My dad is a very gruff, to the point, kind of guy. He doesn’t know how to sugar coat anything!
He drilled into me that being “kind of” sick or “not feeling that well” was not a reason to not show up to work. “They hired you. They are counting on you, and you have a responsibility to be there to do your job.”
I got the message loud and clear, and the reason the message sunk in was because my dad lived by that philosophy himself. He never called in sick or ditched work because he was up too late the night before. It just didn’t happen. I can hardly remember him not going to work.
He lead by example. He walked his talk, and I saw it. Message received Pops!
Now for the second message he gave me that morning that continues to impact me to this day. He said, “Craig, you are making your own money now. We aren’t rich people, so when you need or want something…you can pay for it yourself.”
Funny thing, I didn’t think that my dad was being hard on me. Him and my mom were hard workers. They worked hard every day at their jobs and then worked hard on the house during the weekends. They weren’t lazy. They were responsible people.
My dad’s talk taught me the value of money and how important it was to spend it wisely. If I wasted it, I wasn’t going to have the funds to buy what I needed later.
Great lesson! Thanks dad!
My good buddy and training partner, Bill Storm, says all the time that “old school is good school.” He’s right. These are a couple of old school messages that some may say are too hard or too over the top for a 15-year-old. I disagree. They have made me the person that I am, and I am grateful for it.
I don’t think we should ever get away from strengthening the work ethic of today’s youth. We all need to increase our responsibility and be held accountable so we can reach our true potential. This mindset instills discipline.
By the way, the root word of “discipline” is “disciple”, which means to teach. So, by instilling this philosophy in our kids, we are teaching them responsibility. We are teaching them the skills, habits, and mindset to be successful adults later in life.
I don’t tell my dad thank you enough for those lessons. He’s almost 72-year-old now and not in the best of health. His words and example were two powerful influences in my life
Work ethic and don’t be foolish with your money. Got it Pops! Thanks!
John McEnroe is known as one of the best tennis players in history. He won 77 singles titles, 78 doubles titles, and 7 major titles (4 US Open and 3 Wimbledon).
He was not only known as an incredible tennis player. He was infamous for his temper tantrums on the court that often landed him in trouble with umpires and tennis authorities.
In 1984 McEnroe was playing a match in Stockholm, Sweden he argued with an umpire over a call then got so angry with the umpire’s call, he grabbed a tennis ball and hit it into the crowd. Still angry with the umpire, he walked off the court and smashed a chair and table with his tennis racquet.
While McEnroe was one of the best players in history, his temper cost him many matches, titles, and money over the years. Not to mention, he made himself look ridiculous on many occasions.
We all get angry from time to time. We can’t control what happens in the world. We can’t control what other people say or do, however we can control how we respond to it.
Surely, in the moment it is hard. Sometimes the best answer is to walk away, take a few deep breaths and regain your composure.
Black Belt Champions are not perfect. They get angry, frustrated, and irritated from time to time. However, they learn to control their emotions so that they don’t ruin relationships with the people they care about.
We have all said things in a moment of anger that we later regretted. The problem is even after an apology, you can’t take those words back. They are out there and most people won’t forget what was said.
Here’s an idea. Learn to turn frustration into fascination. Instead of being angry and frustrated at what someone says or does, learn to become fascinated at their actions and thought process. Become fascinated by their point of view.
You could say to them, “You have a fascinating view of the world!” or “What a fascinating thing to say!”
Does it work every time? No! Nothing works all the time; however, it does work a lot of the time and this little trick can save you from saying and doing things you may later regret.
In ancient times, a King had a boulder placed on a roadway. He then hid himself and watched to see if anyone would move the boulder out of the way. Some of the king’s wealthiest merchants and courtiers came by and simply walked around it.
Many people loudly blamed the King for not keeping the roads clear, but none of them did anything about getting the stone out of the way.
A peasant then came along carrying a load of vegetables. Upon approaching the boulder, the peasant laid down his burden and tried to push the stone out of the road. After much pushing and straining, he finally succeeded.
After the peasant went back to pick up his vegetables, he noticed a purse lying in the road where the boulder had been. The purse contained many gold coins and a note from the King explaining that the gold was for the person who removed the boulder from the roadway.
Moral of the story: Every obstacle we come across in life gives us an opportunity to improve our circumstances, and whilst the lazy complain, the others are creating opportunities through their kind hearts, generosity and willingness to get things done.
As a group of frogs were traveling through the woods, two of them fell into a deep pit. When the other frogs crowded around the pit and saw how deep it was, they told the two frogs that there was no hope left for them.
However, the two frogs decided to ignore what the others were saying and they proceeded to try and jump out of the pit. Despite their efforts, the group of frogs at the top of the pit were still saying that they should just give up. That they would never make it out.
Eventually, one of the frogs took heed to what the others were saying and he gave up, falling to his death. The other frog continued to jump as hard as he could. Again, the crowd of frogs yelled at him to stop the pain and just die.
He jumped even harder and finally made it out. When he got out, the other frogs said, “Did you not hear us?”
The frog explained to them that he was deaf. He thought they were encouraging him the entire time.
Moral of the story: People’s words can have a big effect on other’s lives. Think about what you say before it comes out of your mouth. It might just be the difference between life and death.