This past Saturday, I helped with a black belt test at my dojo. This is a day-long series of challenges that culminates in receiving this special rank. The moment the belt is placed around the waist is incredibly emotional–it’s the official signification of a long journey’s completion.
It took me a while in my own martial arts journey to realize that achieving new belts is not the overall point. Belts are a piece of cloth. Sure, they symbolize another step, but the more important part is the growth, the deepening of knowledge, the increase of the Four Cs.
Belts are the material measurement. But the bigger part is the journey.
I experience this in my writing sometimes as well. I love to write…it’s a passion and it brings me joy. But at times I get so caught up in how many books I’ve sold or how many views my posts get, and it eclipses my delight.
Material measurement can bring satisfaction or a sense of achievement. It can also cause us to focus on the wrong thing, and ruin our passion and joy.