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Saturday, August 28, 2010


“True victory is self victory”
-Moreihi Ueshiba

Sometimes the biggest battles we face are not against an attacker, they are against ourselves. It is difficult to change or even just to admit we need to change something in our life. I am not talking about perfection; no one ever reaches that point. But I am talking about excellence. We can all strive for that goal and achieve it. Our excellence is probably not going to be the same as the person next door’s excellence. We are all meant for a purpose and that is with that purpose in mind we must strive toward excellence.

So how do we achieve this excellence? First we need to keep an open mind and to be able to learn from our mistakes. Remember, it’s only a mistake if you cannot learn from it, thus it should really be re-named “learning tools”.
I was reminded of this yesterday. I was privileged enough to be able to train with the Ramsey County SWAT team. They were rehearsing “live scenarios” where they simulate real life situations and drill themselves to respond the best way possible. Perfect practice makes perfect. Competence breeds confidence.
One of the new team member made a rookie mistake during one of the exercise. As the team trainer was explaining to him why things went bad and he got shot, and how he can remedy the situation in the future, the rookie kept making excuses why he reacted the way he did. I don’t think he even listened to what the instructor was telling him. He was justifying why he was right. He got shot. How right could he have been? He should have quieted down, admitted he did something that did not work well and learn a way to re-do the exercise with better end results. Now when he will be put under pressure the only thing his brain will remember is the lack of competence he has shown in the past, his lack of success in completing the task. He will hesitate and perhaps put his life or his team member’s lives on the line. Now this may be an extreme example but how many times do we put our own life on the line? Our happiness, our health?
If you keep doing the same thing over and over again, you WILL be getting the same results. It’s insane to think anything would change. If you find something in your life that is not working (notice I did not say “wrong”… because simply there are things that work and things that do not work), then you need to keep an open mind and find out why these things are not working and substitute them for things that do work.
We need to keep fighting our battles. We need to keep striving toward excellence. We need to start by winning the small daily battles we all face. Kind of like eating an elephant… one bite at the time.

We need to achieve the true victory.

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