On this New Year’s Eve, I’m thinking of a I very short Zen story that I have always liked because it says so much in few words.

One day a student asked his martial arts teacher: “How long will it take me to be really good?”  The teacher causally replied: “10 years.” The student who was quite confident, replied expressing impatience, “But I work hard every day!  I try and I try and I try. I’ll practice as many hours as necessary. I want to be excellent sooner than that. If I do all this, and even more, how long will it take then?”  The teacher reflected for a moment and said, “20 years.”

That’s what I’m thinking about this morning as it is a perfect analogy for relationships, work, mastery in anything and excellence in life overall. Bottom line: The commitment to “working it” never ends. There will always be a challenge or challenger to our skills. This isn’t a bad thing: It keeps us sharp, thinking and on our toes — testing our balance and centeredness.  What do you think? 

I’m @DianGriesel aka a perception analyst & strategist; creative attitude disrupter & adjuster; author of The Silver Disobedience Playbook & TurboCharged: The Silver Disobedience Edition; and the blogger & model known as @SilverDisobedience  More info on my websites (search my name) and at Wilhelmina Models. Silver Disobedience® is a Registered Trademark.