The only person you know best is yourself. You know your likes, dislikes; when you’re willing to stop studying for a “quick” snack break. Or, what you’re best at doing, say polytechnic stuff. I mean, that’s why a lot of you are here, at this school. But, do you truly know your limits?
Since I was a little kid, my dad would tell me to always give 110 percent; if you want to hit the sky, you’ve got to reach for the moon. And I took it to heart. If you’re smart about it, hard work will pay off. It’s why I’ve likened my mantra to The Karate Kid, the original, 1984 one. Nine times out of ten, you find in life that you find yourself going through the motions, through repetitive activities. “Ugh, why am I taking this hard class,” or “I practiced guitar yesterday, I don’t want to play today.” Whatever the case, I understand; we all experience it at some point. But you’ve always got to give it your all.
Daniel, from The Karate Kid, wanted to defend himself against Johnny Lawrence and the Cobra Kais, so Mr. Miyagi took him under his wing. For practice, Miyagi had Daniel perform seemingly meaningless tasks, such as that famous wax on, wax off regimen, painting, and sanding. And he worked his heart out, until he couldn’t take it anymore. As a result, Miyagi showed Daniel why he did all those tasks; Miyagi said, “Nothing is as it seems.” All of Daniel’s exercises had a similar sweeping motion, which honed his blocking techniques.
If Daniel hadn’t followed through, he wouldn’t have realized his final goal: his success over Johnny. That was his one time out of ten that he wasn’t doing some repetitive activity, and it was worth it. Daniel achieved what he sought for in the end. The other nine times out of ten that he was working on those repetitive exercises, he was building to that final confrontation.
I believe that you can always do better than what you’re doing now. I’ve even surprised myself on multiple occasions. The only way to hit the sky is to reach for the moon. The only way to hit the moon is to reach for the stars beyond. Consistently set the bar high to reach new heights. Now, let’s get back to the seemingly endless homework and challenging classes. They’ll train your brain to withstand even harder classes and foster a threshold for stress. It will prepare you for that one, non repetitive event. Maybe that one Chopin concerto that you perform at the recital or your college degree will be your one time out of ten. Maybe that one personal record you reach will be it. But remember to wax on and wax off through your limits, because once you’re past the moon, the sky’s a piece of cake.