I’ll admit it. I’m impatient. But who isn’t in these days of under a minute ebook downloads and drive-thru Vegas weddings? Let’s face it, we live in an instant gratification world, and when you can’t get “it” now, no matter what “it” is, disappointment and frustration can consume
me *ahem* someone. It’s easy to forget that something worth having (read a publishing contract) is not only worth waiting for, it’s worth working for persistently and diligently.
As I was flipping through a AN EDUCATION IN THE MARTIAL ARTS by Sensei Dale Jenkins, I found an Asian folktale with a good moral for those of us who want “it” now. No matter what your “it” may be.
“Time to Learn”
Matajura wanted to become a great swordsman, but his father said he wasn’t quick and could never learn. So Matajura went to the famous dueler, Banzo, and asked to become his pupil. “How long will it take me to become a master?” he asked. “Suppose I become your servant to be with you every minute. How long?”
“Ten years,” said Banzo.
“My father is getting old. Before ten years have passed, I will have to return home to take care of him. Suppose I work twice as hard. How long will it take me?”
“Thirty years,” said Banzo.
“How is that?” asked Matajura. “First you say ten years. Then when I offer to work twice as hard, you say it will take three times as long. Let me make myself clear. I will work unceasingly. No hardship will be too much. How long will it take?”
“Seventy years,” replied Banzo. “A pupil in such a hurry learns slowly.”
The more you worry about the end result, the less time you have to focus on your daily training, practice or craft. Focus your energy wholeheartedly on your work and the results will take care of themselves, whether in the martial arts, in the publishing world or in life.
I’d love to hear what your “it” is. Please share in the comments.