If you’ve been watching the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, then you’ve recently seen some incredible feats accomplished by some of the most dedicated individuals from around the world. It almost goes without saying that any single Olympic athlete would not even be on the center stage right now if it were not for their unparalleled drive.

Of course, you don’t need to be an Olympic competitor in order to reap the benefits of leading a perseverant life. You will recall that last month we highlighted the importance of Goal Setting, outlining the methods that anyone should follow to properly establish a goal and to see it to completion. One important element to achieving that sense of accomplishment is to establish a habit of follow-through despite the hurdles that may stand in your way, to see the finish line ahead and to pursue it without hesitation.

This month we’ve chosen Perseverance as our monthly Life Skill. Without perseverance, it might feel easy to give up on something that would otherwise fulfill you. You could miss out on some of life’s most meaningful rewards, but by practicing the martial arts, you will develop a drive toward success unlike any other.

When beginning Karate, there’s one goal that everyone strives to attain: the black belt. Reaching your first-degree black belt can take as long as five years, but this offers an incredible lesson in perseverance. This highly sought-after goal requires mental and physical training and testing over a long period of time. Even after it has been attained, there is so much more to learn and to strive toward, making Karate an exceptional opportunity for years of character-building.

While learning each new kata and training for each new stepping-stone toward your next belt, you also develop a passion that will continue to affect the rest of your life in a positive way. But the pursuit of one’s passion is never without difficulty.

There will be times when the road ahead may seem impossible, but by always keeping sight on our dreams, they are never outside of our grasp. It was with tragedy that Norwegian skier and Olympic athlete Simen Hegsted Krüger began his cross-country skiathlon race among 67 other racers from around the world. In only the first 200 meters, Krüger fell, broke one of his poles, and was crushed by two fellow skiers. At the very start of his race, he fell to last place with 29 kilometers left to go.

Many people would have allowed this seeming sense of defeat to dominate their thoughts, but Krüger spent the next 22 kilometers passing racer after racer until he found himself at fifth place, fourth place, third, and second. When he reached first place, there was still time to spare, so he kept going, soaring forward until he had so much of a lead that the other racers could barely be seen behind him. He glided through the finish line, ultimately winning gold when it seemed there was no chance he would even finish the race amongst the top ten.

But there won’t always be other racers. Sometimes we must compete against ourselves in order to persevere to greatness. Much like success in school requires rigorous study for the betterment of our minds, Karate encourages us to see the stronger person within and to reach for it, even when at times it seems impossible.


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