Spring 2016

There is a line from The Empire Strikes Back when Yoda laments about Luke. “All his life has he looked away... to the future, to the horizon. Never his mind on where he was. Hmm? What he was doing. Hmph! Adventure. Heh! Excitement. Heh!” I found myself thinking about this quote when contemplating how to help students make the impressive leap from brown belt to black belt. In the words of one former student, “Many people today do not understand that not everything is fun, or that hard work can be fun. Working hard and then accomplishing something is a different kind of fun.” She is correct. The lower belts, when everything is new, are fun. Unfortunately, then, students often dream of earning a black belt, instead of being the best green belt or blue belt they can be. Then, when they are brown belts, they still talk and dream of “when I am a black belt”. The problem is, you need to focus on what you are and where you are at that moment. In sports, one does not dream of winning the championship before winning the game and overcoming the challenges that await them that day. How can one harbor realistic dreams for life, be it in college, at work, or in one’s home if one is not investing his/her energies into addressing the current situation before them? There is nothing wrong with dreaming and imagining for the future; we find goals to set and visions to fulfill and guide us in doing so. However, we must also remember to put at least as much energy into our present, both the “fun” and the “challenging”. Developing this focus, determination, and work ethic is what will truly help us all become: Jedis, black belts, graduates, spouses, parents… -> the best in ourselves.