In life we frequently encounter people who learn things fast, and adapt quickly to different situations. However, in every field of work or interest, the leaders are often those who are very well established; we know that a moment of genius is not going to bring anyone to their level. It is effort that adds up over time that sets them apart from those who only did things a little.
Among martial artists, it is clear that the elites have made training a part of their life, as much as daily activities such as showering and cleaning the house. On the other hand, people who do not go far are those who only practice in class, in front of their classmates.
What if that martial artist is very talented? Or if the person is very intelligent?
That person will probably amount to nothing if little effort is put in. Why do we keep emphasizing the word effort? Because effort is a factor of success; it is when we multiply effort with talent do we calculate the level of success. It is as easily understandable as elementary Mathematics. This is the law of cause and effect. If you want to reap good results, be sure to sow good effort.
The wise will see the importance of effort; if effort is not present in sufficient amount, there will be not much success even if there is a lot of talent. The wise realizes that discipline is needed for putting in effort. They cultivate discipline before starting on any task and maintain that discipline throughout the process.
This is why in Chinese philosophy wisdom consists of discipline, rather than IQ or EQ. Wisdom is about distinguishing right from wrong and staying on the right track, and for that willpower in the form of discipline is a part of it.
The wise sees past regret, because they are aware of cause and effect. If you want to reap good results, be sure to sow good effort. With wisdom one will recognize the causes of ill effects and stay away from bad causes.
Many martial artists are obsessed with knowledge, believing that knowledge of a better way to train or a better way to fight will be the deciding factor of victory. Some realize the importance of experience, and experience will reveal that hard work is the primary ingredient for victory.
It is often not so much about having the better knowledge, as much as the extent every bit of knowledge is made use of to increase the chances of victory. The discipline to hone your skills using your available knowledge will bring you further than those who seek knowledge but do not actively involve themselves.
Kung Fu is different from taking paper exams. It is tested in the skills that has manifested through both hard work and thought. This does not merely apply to people who practice the way of practical combat; it also applies to those who practice forms to get a taste of the age old art. In forms, it is about mind and body performance of the individual. In combat, it involves the mental and physical performance of the individual in response to the opponent or the enemy.
The intelligent considers all factors leading to results and concludes that being disciplined is the key to producing hard work. A wise Kung Fu practitioner measures their own physical and mental performance regularly to always know where they stand. If they want to match up to people whom they are to compare with, they know they need to muster the discipline for improving their physical and mental performance to bridge the gap.
Knowing is the start and doing is the process. If one believes luck and talent will compensate when one strays off the right path, it is equivalent to discarding a wise choice. An intelligent choice is effective only if it is followed all the way.
A large fraction of the population leaves work in school or at the workplace to the last minute. For something as skill dependent as Kung Fu, last minute genius will not produce good results. Not just in Kung Fu, but also in many professions such as fine craft, medicine or preparing food. We can tell the difference between consistent work and last minute work. Reliance on last minute work limits productivity and room for improvement.
If Kung Fu is to be an art of a high level of refinement, solid discipline is a must. People have compared companies which are known for high quality of products with companies which are notorious for poor product quality. In any area of life, poor discipline will show in poor results.
Consistent effort will make difficult tasks eventually easy. This is how disciplined is applied in Kung Fu, a category of martial art with huge room for refinement. Each Kung Fu style may be a collection of disciplines which require considerable work to become good at. It will be a problem if the practitioner is not focused and unsure of their goals and current standard. Practitioners who are sure of their path and disciplined enough to bring themselves through each training session are the ones who come out achieving skill and physical superiority.
A disciplined way of doing things will earn you accomplishments that will bring you ahead of others. It will earn you advantages in combat. Higher accomplishments in physical ability will give you more confidence and physical security.
Discipline is an integral part of the Kung Fu practitioner’s life. Be it honor, respect, humility, courage, responsibility or trustworthiness, it holds all the martial ethics together. It resists temptations to make the easier choices that will cause harmful consequences in the future. More often than not, it is the student’s own discipline that will make a stronger and more respected martial artist rather than the nature of instruction.
Even in daily life, discipline builds fine character in the way of developing good habits. From personal hygiene to treating people with courtesy, good traits are cultivated with discipline. Character leaves a deeper impression on other people than words. Words tell a person’s language and mannerisms; character is what people identify you with.
If you are looking for meaningful proverbs, right now you do not need to look further. Discipline is a virtue. Genuine work will earn you trust. Friends, colleagues and customers will find you reliable and put their faith in you.
Being smart with knowledge and with words can win you a good impression and make you successful for one day. Being wise and knowing what is right, while being disciplined to work on the right thing every day is what will bring you big success in your lifetime.
Try living with discipline from this moment onwards. Do what you should do and do what is right. Fulfill your duties. Live up to your expectations.