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Simple Lessons:

Short, concise lessons and concepts helpful to students and teachers

Why I Dislike Wimps

By Terry Bryan

Maybe it is my 40 plus years of training in the martial arts. Maybe it is my military background and surviving three combat tours in Southeast Asia, or my surviving terminal cancer. Could be I am just getting old and cranky but I am developing a real disinterest in spending time and dealing with people that have a defeatist attitude and are not willing to do what it takes to get things done.

A Truism: “Success leaves tracks and if you follow other successful people you will have similar results”.

Listen, if success was meant to be easy, then everyone would do it, right? Champions have clearly defined goals, obtain the necessary tools and resources they need to succeed and then attack the problem or objective with precise and predetermined strategy and tactics. Winners do their homework, make a plan and take action. Knowing they will not win all the time, they set themselves up to make sure any failure is not life threatening and indeed the experience is one of learning and forward movement.

Bruce Lee once said that the difference between a glass of colored water and a fine wine could only be determined by its taste. From a distance they may look identical but it is only the tasting that reveals which one is true. Bruce said this when he talked about the martial arts, stating that only by working with an experienced practitioner can you determine and “feel” real martial arts. There are a lot of show people out there that have learned to talk the talk but many of them do not walk the walk.

For years, I have searched out the very best teachers to learn from, not only in the martial arts but in business, marketing and investing. It’s no different in other fields, although sometimes it’s harder to test and experience who is real and who is not. I have met lots of speakers on the circuit who teach investing and have never bought a property, teach business success and never had their own business. So the secret I guess, is do you research and pick your teachers well. Instead of going for the flashy, younger and faster method, many times it is the senior and elderly where the real value is contained, where the wine is genuine.

Although I like the saying “if you are not the lead dog the view is all the same”, it’s ok to be a follower, if you are following leaders. The problem I see today is that most people are following the followers, chasing goals and dreams not even thought about. There is a reason the bottom 80% of people do certain things and have certain results, while the top 20% do different things and have different results.

Losers give up too easily. They quit too soon. They do not have passion about what they are trying to achieve, don’t have a series of back up plans and do not understand the price of success.

Winners on the other hand, have clearly defined goals, understand the cost of success and make the commitment towards success. Their character is forged under trial by fire and guided by streetwise knowledge, not the kind of superficial knowledge and theories learned in traditional education.

Now I rambled on about choosing your teachers and mentors well, but it is equally important and harder to do to choose “yourself” well. You know… the person you are, the person you are becoming, and how that is either taking you towards or away from your personal, family and business goals.

Are you developing what the Japanese call Tamashii, or “Indomitable Spirit”? It means, no matter what happens you understand that you are determined to win. I know that hanging around these people who demonstrate tamashii makes me stronger and hanging around people who whine and complain takes energy away. That is why I guess I am getting cranky and watch the time I spend with others and what they are doing to me. That is why I choose who I associate with carefully and avoid wimps, negative people and people that do not have goals for their future.

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About the Author:

Terry Bryan is the former General Secretary for the USA-NKF (National Karate Federation), the official governing body for the sport of karate with the US Olympic Committee. He currently is the Executive Director for the American Black Belt Academy, a 501c3 non-profit organization located in Colorado Springs. His column, Simple Lessons, regularly appears on

To find more articles of interest, search on one of these keywords:

Tamashii,Indomitable Spirit, attitude,postive attitude,work ethic

Read more articles by Terry Bryan

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