Everything we learn in the Bujinkan is ura and omote. The same goes in life. As we want to be successful in life or on the mats, we are often facing failure.
The technique doesn’t work, the project, didn’t succeed. A warrior knows that failure is inevitable, but he does his best to survive. Because in a fight death is always a possibility we have to train in order the risks. How is it done? By training hard and sincerely.
People often lose courage when things are not going the way they expected; they shouldn’t. Failure is the omote of success.
All successful people in life have failed many times before becoming successful. In first grade, Thomas Edison was kicked out of school because his teachers thought he was retarded! Churchill twice failed at entering the Royal Military Academy of Sandhurst. Henry Ford went bankrupt five times. And the list is endless.
These men became famous because they all had one common quality: Resilience doubled with courage.
We do learn from success, but the lessons don’t stay as long as the ones taught when we failed. Failure is indeed your best teacher as long as you never give up. Sensei illustrated that when he translated his famous “Bufu Ikkan” into “Keep going!” at the first American Taikai.
As a person, a group, or inside an organization, we are trained to find success but we must admit that failure teaches more than success does.
This apparent paradox is easy to understand. If you are always successful how do you want to continue improving? After a long period of achievement, the person or entity loses the vision that made it possible. On the contrary, repeated failures create more knowledge than repeated success. Failure, when it is not destroying your life, is the sure path to becoming more successful.
We need success, and the “keep going” attitude is the solution to finding it.
In order to be successful in the future, you always have to have present in mind, your errors of the past.
For this to work you need to develop a few qualities. They are resilience, courage, hard work, persistence, commitment.
Edison had difficulties at inventing the light bulb. To a journalist asking how he felt about failing 1000 times? He answered beautifully: “I didn’t fail 1000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1000 steps.”
The same goes with your taijutsu. When you learn a new waza, you do it wrong. The angle is wrong, the speed and the rhythm are incorrect, there is too much strength involved, etc. But at some point after repeatedly failing, you have it. Success is a question of attitude and hard work.
In the dojo, we open and close the training session with “Shikin Haramitsu Daikomyō”. It means that whatever is happening to us, there is always something positive that we can learn from the experience.
Be happy to be failing, it means you are still learning.
Here are a few quotes* that you will like:
“Failing is one of the greatest arts in the world. One fails toward success.” Charles Kettering
“I can accept failure, everyone fails at something. But I can’t accept not trying.” Michael Jordan
“Success is often achieved by those who don’t know that failure is inevitable.” Coco Chanel
“Failure is the key to success; each mistake teaches us something.” Morihei Ueshiba
* from http://www.brainyquote.com/