Words and Character
You have probably noticed we repeat many words, sayings or phrases at the dojo. For example, you and your child say “Try My Best” every time you bow. They also repeat the training theme, “I Never Do Easy!” every time they greet a parent. These are all intentional because we know repetition is one ways we learn.
But you still have to wonder, does it work?
One example I read about recently was concerning the Pledge of Allegiance. It was a debate whether it was really still worth having our children recite the pledge every morning at school. One argument against it was very young kids are saying the words without really even knowing what they mean. Another argument for it said that even if they did not know the meaning of the words they were still getting positively imprinted in their minds. I don’t think either side won the debate but do you remember the Pledge of Allegiance perfectly today?
Last night a young student really surprised me. She had missed class last week so I asked how she were doing. She said she was sick last week but felt better. Without thinking too much because she had been sick, I said “It’s good to have you back. Now you make sure and take it easy out there okay!” To which she said “But Sensei, I NEVER DO EASY!” I just had to smile and think . . . “ah, is this the student now giving the teacher a lesson?!”
But my best story ever about “I Never Do Easy!” came about two years ago. A mother bringing in her son to class ran over to me very excited. She had a video on her smartphone that I just have to watch. It was of her young son learning to ride a two-wheeled bike for the first time. The video showed him starting to roll down the road with his dad holding him steady. He wobbled around a little. Then Dad let him go and he started riding the bike down the road by himself for the first time. This drew a huge smile on his face and you could see him becoming more confident and steady with every inch traveled. Then triumphantly he raises a fist in the air and yells “I NEVER DO EASY!” then promptly crashes and falls off the bike!
Your words become your thought, your thoughts become your actions, your actions become your habits, your habits become your character, and your character becomes your destiny.
So, do the words work?