If you’re a fan of the TV series The Apprentice you’ll be very familiar with a certain, popular phrase. No, not "you're fired!". The other one:
“I need everyone to put in 150% on this task”.
(Normally said by the project manager to inspire their team members before a task. This is ensure victory and avoid one of the team being later told by Alan Sugar, "you're fired!").
While I understand the sentiment, essentially "I want everyone to work really hard", the phrase always makes me smile; surely, if you put in 100% effort, commitment or concentration to a given task, you’ve already put in all you have. 100% is everything, or so I always thought. So where are you going find an additional 50% of yourself?
To put in 100% simply isn’t enough anymore. In fact, nowadays it seems that if you were to say that you were “putting in 150%”, your level of commitment may well be questioned. Why are you not putting in 200%?
Which is why I’m often intrigued when I notice students in class giving what appears to be far less than 100%.
Time is priceless.
We all know that if we were not at class, there are at least 10 other things that we could be doing, eg.
Homework or assignments
Still at work
Working at home
Playing games or other sports and hobbies
Chatting on the phone
Spending time with family/friends/partners/children etc.
Clearing up the house
The list is endless and you get the idea: if you’ve made the decision to come to class, then why not try and make it worthwhile and put in the effort?
Yes...you’ll have to force yourself, but that’s the basis for developing self discipline: to force yourself to do things whether you want to or not.
Yes...we all have those days in class when our minds are distracted by a variety of things (see list above for starters), but sometimes the class creates a positive distraction to help take your mind away from the items in the list for an hour. Adult students often say that the class gives them a chance to ‘focus on themselves’, which I completely understand.
Similarly, yes...you can only get out what you put in. If you’re putting in 100% only then can you begin to really gain and appreciate the host of benefits that Choi Kwang-Do martial art training provides. You might even perspire - your own evidence of hard work!
For the record, I’m happy if you’re striving to give ‘just’ 100% effort, commitment or concentration in each and every class, as the majority of you do. Moveover, your efforts help to motivate others to do the same by making high levels of effort the class norm. If you haven't already, make the decision now to become a member of the '100 club' - martial arts students who strive to give 100% each and every class. Or maybe the '150 club' if you're applying for next series of The Apprentice...
Jason Wright is a 5th Degree Black Belt and Master Instructor in the martial art Choi Kwang-Do. For further information on Choi Kwang-Do classes in Ealing, West London visit www.TheMartialArtForLife.com