Friday, May 20, 2016

How Learning Karate Taught Me to Paint

I know what you're thinking.  You can hear Mr. Miyagi saying, "Paint the fence.  Up. Down. Uuuup. Dooown."  You're thinking, "Wow!  You learned karate with Mr. Miyagi's technique training?  That's so cool!" Not really.  Okay.  Not at all, but like Mr. Miyagi's lessons, I learned things about myself that I didn't know I was learning.  In this particular instance, I learned about time.

When I was in the home stretch before my black belt test last year, I was putting some extra practice and study time in.  I wasn't cramming for the test.  I like to think it was more reinforcing what I already knew...for months.  I had a couple hundred techniques to remember that I was to be tested on. It was no small feat.  At this point, almost a year later, it almost seems like ancient history, but I could still tell you exactly what I did to work through my struggles and prepare for the task that I set out for.  One of those things was to squeeze studying and practice in the slivers and chunks of time between my obligations.  I studied on my lunch hour or got up early to practice my katas in my head.  I practiced during class time, but I also practiced before I went to sleep.  So what does all this have to do with painting?

As I was painting on a project last night while my son was across the hall in his meeting, it occurred to me that it didn't feel weird.  It wasn't strange to go to my full time job during the day and then gather my supplies and work on a side hustle in the evening time.  It wasn't odd to leave for work half an hour early to go check measurements on another job, so I can get more supplies on my lunch time.  It wasn't weird because I had already done it.  I had already set the precedent and knew that I could and do make it work.

 UL hot cocoa

Often life lessons overlap, but we have to be paying attention to catch it.  What have you done in your past that is entirely different from what you do now, but has an applicable lesson?  It's there.  Our life is not separate little compartments.  It's more like spaghetti...or karate and painting.

Make it a beautiful day, friends.

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