When Sempai Shelly was 12 she was threatened by the mean girl.
The mean girl said: “Meet me on Sunday at 2pm at Wells Street park!"
Everyone was watching.
She threw back her shoulders and said: “I’ll be there - just make sure you show up!”
“God” she thought; “What have I just done? That girls gonna KILL me!”
She worried about it all weekend. Finally Sunday came but she decided not to go. She was terrified of what everyone was going to say.
Later Sunday night she told her Dad about what was bothering her.
Dad told her what to do: “Get to school early tomorrow. Wait until the girl that challenged you is around a bunch of friends. You march right up to her, look her in the eye and say… WHERE WERE YOU SUNDAY AT 2PM!!!?”
Sempai Shelly: “But dad... do you think that will work?”
Dad: “It always works.”
Sure enough the next morning Sempai saw the other girl leaning up against a tree talking with her friends. Sempai walked up and with as much volume as she could muster shouted: “WHERE WERE YOU!!!?”. “I waited you never showed up!”
The mean girl stammered. She tried to make up an excuse. Her friends rolled their eyes. Then they looked away.
Sempai never got picked on again.
Everyone is acting a part.
Stay in character and you’ll get more success.
One of my spiritual teachers says that the way you think about yourself has a huge impact on your results. But what other people think of you has an impact too.
I don’t like the “other people” part; but it’s true.
When other people believe in you your life will change because of the energy their belief gives you.
I’ve seen it hundreds of times. A kid is struggling at the dojo and they need confidence. The easiest way to give them confidence is to let them lead. Something happens to them when they notice others looking up to them. Something powerful.
Each of us is giving off a certain energy. The energy is directed based on what we believe. Like Henry Ford said: “Think you can, think you can’t. Either way you're right.”
But if our thoughts have power then we have to accept that the thoughts of others have power too. Like the sun; this power falls on everyone equally. It doesn’t just go where we want it to go. It always flows in the direction of our beliefs.
When you learn to act like you’ve got confidence you become like a solar reflector. You begin to gather the positive power of the beliefs of others. You add that power to your own and it helps you achieve your goals.
The more you achieve the more people believe in you. The more power you recruit from both your belief and theirs.
I wrote a book. Actually I wrote TWO books.
They took me six months and hundreds of hours of work. For that six month period I sat in silence writing. I told no one about my writing. Not even my closest family and friends.
Because I was new at writing. I wasn’t sure if I could complete my goal. I knew even one negative word or opinion would shake my already weak confidence.
After I completed my first hundred pages or so I began to think: “I”ve written over a hundred pages. Not many people can say that. Maybe I can be a writer.”
Eventually I got to the point where I started to believe in myself. After my first book was finished I started sharing my project with other people. They would say: “Wow; he’s written an entire book - I had no idea he could write.”
So their opinion (because I had COMPLETED the work) supported me.
People enroll to be a student at our dojo. Usually I tell them it’s not a good idea to share what you’re doing with others. (I know - bad for business - but it’s true).
When you begin something your belief is fragile. The negative opinions of others can really hurt you. Better to wait. Get a good solid six months behind you. Get your first rank or two. Learn to spar and roll.
Then when other people see you do something they will say: “Wow! I had no idea.”
We are all wearing masks. Don’t spent too much energy trying to remove your mask. Don't try and show your “real” face.
Because even what you think is your “real” face is a mask too. Removing your mask is like trying to peel an onion.
Instead decide who you want to be. Wear that mask with pride.
Enlightenment is not taking off your mask. Enlightenment is remembering that we’re all wearing one.
You have the power to pick the one you like best.