This Guest Post is by David Takahashi, a nidan in the Hikari Dojo. David's wife and three of his children also practice with him in the dojo.
When I was in elementary school, my mother gave me the option of taking piano lessons along with my sisters. My brother had taken lessons for many years and I remembered the hours he sat in front of the piano. I thought about the free time I would have to give up and so declined my mother's offer. At the time, I felt happy and proud that I did not have to "suffer" through the practices that my sisters endured and often teased them when they were practicing.
Today, both my sisters and brother are very skilled at playing the piano and I am left to regret now not being able to play at all. What I didn't understand back then was that nothing of value is obtained easily. Whether the goal is getting good grades in school, finding a great job, competing in sports, or learning martial arts well -- if the "prize" is worth obtaining, "suffering" cannot be avoided.
Fortunately, I have since learned this valuable lesson. I no longer attempt to run from hard work. In fact, knowing that the goals I've set for my life will be beneficial for me or my family more than makes the "suffering" bearable. With each step, I know I am getting that much closer to my goal.
As a father, I am trying to teach this lesson to my four children. Three of my children are taking Karate with me. My youngest son does not. I asked him if he wanted to and right now he does not want to for the same reason I did not want to take piano lessons: he does not want to "suffer."
I have no problem if he never chooses to practice Karate. However, someday my son must learn as I did that if he avoids suffering, he will never be able to reach his potential.
It is not enough to wish for great things to happen in our lives. We must also be prepared for the training involved or we too, will never reach our goals.