Each new belt rank is a milestone on your journey. This is a well-mapped path from Novice to Kung Fu Master, but it is always a unique challenge for each person who travels it. While others may walk it with you, no one can walk it for you. Others can and, I’m sure, will congratulate you, but only you can truly enjoy that very particular sense of achievement.

Whether you are receiving your yellow belt or Tiger Rank, you are on the same path. The direction and momentum are far more important than the particular point on the path you have reached. Don’t spend too long gazing at the end, somewhere in the hazy distance, that can be demotivating. Don’t get arrogant about how far from the start you have reached or get hung up on comparing yourself to others, those ahead have come this way and those behind, will. Look instead to the next step and maintain the momentum and direction. It is almost always the journey that is most significant compared to the destination. Each step we take offers a new perspective and causes subtle but indelible changes to the person we are. Don’t mistake the milestone for the actual distance traveled.

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