Thrash, then when you’re done with that, sink or swim…

Get thrown in a pool for the first time and thrash, then sink or swim.

Mama bird kicks baby bird out of the nest for the first time. Fly or die, baby.

Drive a stick for the first time and grind some gears, burn up the clutch and spin the tires without going anywhere, or drive.

Fight for the first time and get pummeled or overcome your opponent.

Start a new project and thrash, then succeed or crash thoroughly.

The beginning of anything often seems so chaotic, and it is. Seth Godin says to “thrash early” and “not thrash late”. There’s merit to this in that in order to get into the swing of things, you just have to start moving.

Imagine a new dancer. She doesn’t know any movements yet. There is no grace, no style, no coordination, no beauty. In essence, no dance despite the stage and the music. Flailing, failing, tripping and falling she gets up and begins to bring life and art to her dance.

So is it so with a new martial artist. Every punch is in a different spot. Hands and feet feel clunky. He can’t get his mind out of the way to move. He can’t get his body to do what his mind wants it to do. Forms are choppy. Sparring is clumsy and ineffective. Blocks fail to block. But then, the mind sees movement and the body moves without thought. Forms become art and fighting becomes effortless. The martial artist brings balance to his force and swiftness to his motion.

No one is born a pro. Talent is acquired not inherent. Skill is developed not spontaneously available. Natural ability kicks in and takes direction from the will. The will is you. You choose which way to go.

Swim, fly, drive, win, succeed…
Drown, fall, ride, lose, fail…

Your power to decide. Your will, your call.

But first,
there is thrashing.

There is always thrashing at the start.

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