Wax on, Wax off [ARCHIVE]

by Isaac Sanders

Today I watched the 1984 version of The Karate Kid for the first time. In the movie, the hero Daniel Larusso, does many tasks for his mentor, Mr Miyagi. The tasks seem to hold no benefit to Danny’s karate skills. The are repetitive and strenuous. He confronts his mentor to teach him karate. Miyagi shows him the tasks’ specific movements have ingrained a muscle memory in Danny that would allow him to block many attacks, an important part of karate. The contextless recipes that Miyagi had for Danny is what took him to the next level to win in the tournament, which was his goal.

Upon digestion and reflection of the past two weeks, I have seen that the tasks my mentor has given me have value in running a business and in development, two of my goals. The tasks have taught me how to hunt for a point of contact with someone, or a specific piece of documentation to solve a larger problem. They have taught me to absorb, digest, reflect, and share new ideas. I am learning skills for life that a 17-year-old will not normally get a chance to learn.

I do not need an “empty cup”. I need to have no “cup” at all. Having a “cup” means that I may not be able to appreciate or accept the type of information that I am presented with. It means that I walk in with expectations that may be founded in fiction, instead I need to expect only to learn, and not be bound to the topic of the things that I am learning. The topic does not matter. It is the context that I see it in that affects how the information applies in a given situation. Being frustrated because I am not learning “karate” is understandable, but I am also expected to reflect on what I have learned and see what I need is actually there.

Wax on, Wax off, Daniel-san.

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