What Jiu-Jitsu’s Teaching Me About Business and Life, Lesson #2: There Is No Shortcut, You Have To Put In The Reps

carlos gracie

Today was belt promotion day at the school I attend.  I was honoured to receive a second stripe on my white belt.  All progress feels good.

I also had the great privilege of witnessing 6 individuals receive their black belts.  In Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, there isn’t a set time limit for receiving a black belt.  Each person is on their own unique journey.  However, given the very high standards of professional integrity that exist in the sport, by the time a person reaches the level of black belt, that individual has literally spent thousands of hours refining their craft on the mat.

As is customary for new black belts, each of them gave a short, impromptu, speech.  They were all humble, and grateful to the art and to their lineage of instructors.  What was interesting however, was that as they were introduced to the other students, our Professor also shared a short description of how they got started in Jiu Jitsu.

That was when it hit me:

Every single one of them, at some point, were exactly where I am right now

Jiu-Jitsu has a remarkable ability to cut away all the noise of life, and bring reality into crystal clear focus.  When you are “rolling” there is no facade.  Either you can or you can’t.  If you get caught, you have to tap.  There is no faking.  There is no ego.  However, there is no losing, there is only education.

The other part of reality is that results can be duplicated, if one is willing to put in the time, because there is no shortcut to black belt.  Every black belt, had to earn it.

Knowing that shortcuts don’t exist is liberating, and powerful, especially in the world of instantaneous results that we live in.  I do a lot of internet marketing in our business, and I am constantly amazed at how many people will get duped by marketing companies offering “instant results”.

A lot of people want shortcuts.  They want the rewards without the pain.  They want the glory without the investment of time. 

The wonderful thing about Jiu-Jitsu, is that on your first day, you realize, more than you ever have in your life,  that you don’t want anything that isn’t earned.

In fact, I would be ashamed, and embarrassed to wear a coloured belt that I hadn’t earned.  I couldn’t even imagine it.

But I know, that if I am willing to put in the time, I can achieve what they have achieved also

The power is in me.  It is just a question of whether I will put in the time.

So it should be the case in our businesses, and in our lives.  What do we want in life?  What do we want our businesses to look like?

If we aren’t willing to put in the time, then we have no right to expect the result.  If we haven’t put in the reps in our business then we can’t expect the results.

However, and this is the exciting part, if you want the results, all you have to do is put in the reps.  It is that simple.  The path is laid out and is clear.  Much has been made in the last 5 years about the “10,000 hour” rule. Some writers suggest that  mastery is more like 20,000 hours.  Regardless of the quota, the principle is the same:

There is a clear cost to obtaining mastery.  So the only question to a novice, is whether they are willing to pay the price. 

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