Does it pay to Be Relentless? A lesson from the Sensei.

shutterstock_185118125(1)Over the past few months, I have been sharing My 5 Be’s to Healthy Living.  If you missed Parts 1 & 2, you can catch up below.

The 5 Be’s to Healthy Living – Part 1
Did Curiosity Really Kill the Cat? The 5 Be’s to Healthy Living Part 2

The third BE in this series is to Be RELENTLESS.

This might seem a bit strange because typically if someone is relentless they are unyielding, strict, inflexible or harsh.  Not the most desirable trait right?  But it is desirable, even necessary when it comes to your health. It doesn’t mean you are selfish – you simply understand that nothing is more important than YOU optimizing and protecting your health.  No one can do this for you.  So being relentless in this area of your life will serve you well.

I think about the Moms out there.  You are relentless when it comes to your children.  You will go to great lengths to ensure they eat properly, exercise and get good quality sleep.  You owe that same relentlessness to yourself.

I came across a story to illustrate my point.

The Parable of the Black Belt

A young martial artist kneels before the Master Sensei in a ceremony to receive a hard-earned black belt.  After years of relentless training, the student has finally reached a pinnacle of achievement in the discipline.

“Before granting the belt, you must pass one more test,” says the Sensei.  “I am ready,” responds the student expecting perhaps one final round of sparring.  “You must answer the essential question: What is the true meaning of the black belt?”

“The end of my journey.  A well-deserved reward for all my hard work,” says the student.  The Sensei waits for more.  Clearly, he is not satisfied.  Finally the Sensei speaks.  “You are not ready for the black belt. Return in one year.”

A year later, the student kneels again in front of the Sensei.  “What is the true meaning of the black belt?” asks the Sensei.

“A symbol of distinction and the highest achievement in our art,” says the student.  The Sensei says nothing for several minutes, waiting.  Clearly, he is not satisfied.  Finally, he speaks.  “You are still not ready for the black belt.  Return in one year.”

A year later, the student kneels once again in front of the Sensei.  And again, the Sensei asks, “What is the true meaning of the black belt?”

“The black belt represents the beginning – the start of a never- ending journey of discipline, work, and pursuit of an ever-higher standard,” says the student.  The Sensei is satisfied.  “Yes.  You are now ready to receive the black belt and begin your work.”

The pursuit of health and happiness is a never-ending journey.  And it takes a good amount of relentlessness to stay the course.  But it is worth it…..YOU are worth it.

BE RELENTLESS.