I posted an image earlier this week to the Instagram page for The Kamiwaza Podcast that had a caterpillar and a butterfly drinking coffee at a table.
The caterpillar tells the butterfly “You’ve changed”
The butterfly responds “We’re supposed to.”
In life, we’re supposed to adapt, and change, and move on to new things. This doesn’t mean you’re scattered or unfocused or not commited, it simply means as we grow and we gain more experience, it is best to learn from those experiences and take new paths.
I had an introductory self defense session with a brand new student yesterday. I’ve done countless intro sessions over the last eleven years. Private sessions, semi-private sessions, large groups…you name it and I have done it.
Yet, this session was completely different than any session I have done before. I approached it differently than I had in the past and I left the session feeling really great about the connection I made with the student and his level of understanding in what it is I wanted him to get from the session.
It’s a great feeling.
But the fun thing is, I have had that feeling before. Numerous times in fact.
I can’t tell you how many times I walked away from a session and thought to myself “That was the best formula for a one hour session…hell yes…internal self high five!”
The thing is, looking back now, with the experience I have at this moment in my life, I wouldn’t feel the same way about those sessions from years past. I would argue that I said some very inaccurate things. I would venture to say I didn’t say some very important things.
But it doesn’t mean I sucked, or those sessions were a waste. It simply means I have changed.
I know way more now than I did back then. I have had countless more hours of experience teaching and working with students than I did back then.
All too often we view change as scary or even sometimes bad. We don’t realize that it is ok to grow out of old habits or routines and even grow apart from previous relationships.
In the same breath we often look back at those previous experiences, now through this new lens, and criticize them. Or even just look down on them. We fail to realize that those past experiences that we’ve now grown past or “above” are the exact reason that we are where we are now.
Life is a process. Dare I say an Endeavor? (shameless promotion)
We should be moving forward and to do so, that means we have to leave things behind and change.
In my industry (self defense and fitness) if you’re teaching the same things you taught 2+ years ago, that’s not a testament to your methods, that’s a direct reflection of your inability to grow.
The core values and concepts may hold true, but the methods, cues, approaches, drills, experience…that should be ever evolving.
The greatest minds are always seeking out ways to improve.
Do not be stagnant because you fear change or feel pressure from people to stay who you are…or worse you believe you’ve already ‘made it’ and you can’t possibly improve.
Change your story.
Cut the bullshit.
Learn. Try new things. Fail. Grow.
Along the way appreciate where you have been and how it brought you to where you are, but keep moving forward.
Be good, train hard, stay safe