Every Halloween, kids dress up and go door to door saying, “Trick or Treat” in hopes of getting a big bag of candy to take home.
But is it just about the candy?
If it was, there are easier and quicker ways of getting candy. They could just go to the store and buy a $10 bag of candy with a 100 different pieces to fulfill even the biggest glutton. It would certainly be less effort than walking door to door for hours on end.
If you just told a child they would have the choice of choosing to have a bag of candy or to go out trick or treating to get that same bag of candy, I would bet they would want to go trick or treating.
So while the candy is the goal of the evening, it’s not just about having the candy – it is the adventure of getting it. Going through dark streets, spooky decorations, haunted houses, funny hosts, and friends all joking around and having a good time.
The journey to get the candy is where all the fun is. By this point I’m sure you can see the obvious metaphor and how this ties into martial arts and all aspects of life.
Winning the tournament, getting the next belt, getting a promotion at work, are all just bags of candy. If you were just given the medal, the belt, or the job title without putting in the work, it would feel empty.
Hell, there are people that buy fake belts and diplomas and parade them around pretending to be the real thing – but deep down they are empty and hoping to fill the emptiness of their lives with fake experience – thinking that will give them happiness.
But happiness doesn’t come from trophies or belts – it comes from the experience of getting them. The trophy is just a memento to remind you of the experience. But without the experience, it only reminds you that you are a fraud.
Unfortunately, not all of us will get trophies, or belts. They are not needed to be happy – as we all have amazing journeys of our own. You don’t need to have these are the only milestones of your experience. Learning to define your journey on your terms will make it that much richer, whether you get the big bag of candy or not.
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