Jiu-Jitsu Letter

The Common Path

Seth Godin, in Tribes1:

“The one path that never works is the most common one: doing nothing at all. Nothing at all feels safe and it takes very little effort. It involves a lot of rationalization and a bit of hiding as well.”

Doing nothing seems like the easy way. It’s chosen often. We don’t see that it’s actually the hard way because the pain, and regret, usually doesn’t come until much later in life.

When I reflect on the times I chose the easy path, I can see that I was looking for safety and comfort. I wanted to hide, or at least stay out of sight. Being introverted worsened it, because when there were times I did want attention, I was too uncomfortable or scared to seek it.

This newsletter stayed in my head for years because I took the “safe” path. If I don’t send, I avoid criticism. It was easier to do nothing.

“I’m just a blue belt, what do I have to say about jiu-jitsu?”

“I’m just a purple belt, what do I have to say about jiu-jitsu?”

“I’m just a brown belt, what do I have to say about jiu-jitsu?”

What’s interesting is that I’ve been teaching since blue. And I overcame that self-doubt a long time ago. “I’m just a blue belt, who would learn from me?”

Maybe it’s ideal to learn from a black belt from the beginning. Maybe not. When it comes to learning jiu-jitsu, it just matters that you learn from someone that can teach. A black belt isn’t automatically a good teacher.

You don’t need an English professor to teach a toddler the alphabet. You just need someone who knows the alphabet.

I think about how long it’s taken me to get this site up and how much practice time I lost out on, and there’s regret. Maybe I wasn’t ready, but we never are.

“There are always a million reasons not to do something.”

We can’t wait for the perfect time to start.

If you’re thinking about trying jiu-jitsu, or returning to jiu-jitsu, don’t wait.

If you’re thinking about starting anything, just start.

  1. Tribes at Amazon ↩︎

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