Many years ago I was very much into martial arts.  I took lessons at the YMCA downtown.  I do mean DOWNTOWN.  I was raised in a very conservative, small town and had to drive for a short while to get to the city.  I would park in a vacant parking lot and walk the two blocks to the YMCA completely oblivious of the dangers that lurked in the streets.  I was so unaccustomed to the dangers that I would casually walk back to my car in the dark without a care in the world.  Why should I worry, I was taking karate lessons!  It never dawned on me why the black belt instructors were all putting straight razors in their shoes prior to leaving.  I think you get the point, but I digress.  I always went to those lessons with the primary objective of attaining my black belt.  For me that was the pinnacle of training and then I could sit back on my laurels and bask in the glow of being truly dangerous.  When I get there I will have accomplished my ultimate goal and could move on to other journeys.  Our wise instructor once sat us down and explained that once we earned our black belt, that was the beginning of our education.  That only meant that we had learned the basics and that real learning would then commence.  What a devastating blow.  Instead of being the end, the summit of the mountain, it was only the beginning.  I felt defeated and, honestly, just quit.  The idea of dedicating my entire life to this pursuit was far more than my small mind could conceive.  I sometimes look back and wonder where I would be had I just put my head down and did the work.  That is the life not lived.

As I go through the Master Mind, I sometimes get discouraged because changes are not happening as fast as I thought they would.  Oh, changes are happening and they are happening in places I could not have foreseen.  Then I heard Mark say that this is only the beginning.  There was that word again, Beginning.  These few weeks are just to get the basics down and then set the stage for the rest of our lives.  You mean to tell me that the few months I spent here is not good forever?  It was karate lessons all over again.  Mark and Davine have mentioned several times that they have been doing the exercises for decades.  Decades?

This time will be different.  Instead of working for a goal out in front of me, a black belt I could use to impress my friends, I am working to build the greatest thing in my life, me.  I can now see the possibilities and a future I previous would not dare to dream of.  I have the ability to choose my destiny and push towards it, even if it takes the rest of my life.  In that sense the MKMMA is much like getting a black belt in life.  Just like in martial arts or any other great endeavor, it discipline must be tended to each day.  Once the basics are understood I have to implement and employ them every day.  I probably won’t get a black belt from MKMMA, but then again, I won’t have to put a straight razor in my shoe.

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