Great Expectations – MKMMA Week 16

I am here for a purpose and that purpose is to grow into a mountain, not shrink to a grain of sand. -Og Mandino

My teacher once told me a story of an old martial arts master who was looking for a student to train in his art. There were three young men who wanted to train with him so one day he met with the three young men and told them, “This is your first lesson.” With that, he stood in a stance and demonstrated a straight punch. After demonstrating the technique several times the teacher simply said, “I will return in one year.” and with that he left.

One year later the teacher returned and met with the young men. The first man was asked to demonstrate the technique. It was obvious that he had not spent time practicing because his technique was no better than the day the teacher demonstrated it.

Next, the second man came forward. He took a stance and performed the punch exactly as the teacher had demonstrated. Such was his power and skill that the teacher was impressed with his effort.

Gordon.jpgFinally the third student came forward. He took his stance and also performed the technique with supreme skill. Again the teacher was impressed. The teacher started to consider which of the two students he would train but then the third student spoke up, “But teacher, I found that you can also do the punch while stepping forward. And you can also do the punch while stepping backward or to the side. You can use it to strike high or you can use it to strike low. You can even use it to defend against an attack.” As the young man spoke he demonstrated the different variations of the one simple technique. Upon seeing this the teacher’s decision was simple. The first two students were dismissed and the third was trained.

I have always liked that story. I guess the reason why is that it has nothing to do with the punch. It has to do with expectation. It has to do with the standards that we set for ourselves. Each student had a standard that he held himself to regarding the work that he had been given.

The first student demanded only a minimal effort of himself. This can take many forms and usually comes with an array of justifications, excuses and blame. At the end of the day, though, we each have to face that guy or gal in the glass and we know the truth…

The second student rose to the standard that the teacher seemed to expect. He did what he was told and he did it well. This seemed very reasonable. The third student, however, surpassed what was expected of him because what he demanded of himself was higher than anybody’s expectations of him. Plain and simply… he was unreasonable.

Rudy-Movie.jpgA few weeks ago I wrote a post based on the movie “Rudy”. The post discussed perseverance and how belief, faith and hope are really at its core. If you don’t know the story of Rudy or if you missed the post I invite you to check it out here. One of my favorite elements in the movie was an ideal that Rudy seemed consumed with. “Have I done all that I can?”, he would ask himself. Rudy’s expectation of himself was very simple… Do absolutely everything he could possibly do. It was an expectation that seemed, to everybody else, totally unreasonable and yet he held himself to it… even though nobody else would.

So I ask the question, which of the students do you identify with as you study how to be the best version of yourself? Are you trying to just ‘get by’? Be careful… This one costs a great price in terms of integrity and self-image. Are you meeting the minimum…? Meeting the expectation that others have of you? Or are you reaching for your maximum potential? Are you earnestly asking, “Have I done all that I can?”

Study. Readings. Time in meditation. Providing service to others. Being a conduit for kindness. Supporting other class members. Freeing yourself from opinions. Linking. Staying true to the mental diet. Working your plan of action. Being the observer. “Have I done all that I can?” Your behavior will ultimately rise or sink to the expectation that you have of yourself. The standard you hold yourself to.

Every day, it’s time… It’s time to ask if you you have done all that you can. Every day it’s time to remember that you are nature’s greatest miracle. And finally, every day it’s time to strain your potential until it cries for mercy. Now go… and be amazing.

~Daniel Hanscom

mountain-i_will.jpg

 

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21 thoughts on “Great Expectations – MKMMA Week 16

  1. masterkeyday

    Okay, this one is my favorite of all your posts! Almost had me crying, and had to go look in the mirror and ask myself that most important question! Thanks so much for taking the time to put this gem together and sharing it. I sincerely appreciate it.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Daniel Hanscom Post author

      Thanks for stopping by and for commenting, Michael. Always happy to be the bearer of a gut check! It’s so much better to examine our expectations of ourselves than regret not having done so.

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    1. Daniel Hanscom Post author

      Thanks, Marilyn, for the comment. If the post calls you to challenge yourself and put forth your very best efforts, then I’ll call that mission accomplished. šŸ™‚ Great job living with the question!

      Liked by 1 person

      Reply
  2. MKMMAwendyht

    You are BRILLIANT, Daniel. I love reading your blogs! You’ve given so much thought into the composition of your blogs, so you’re always inspiring to others. I feel blessed that you are on this same MKMMA journey. Wishing you a luminous week. yours in Grantitude, Light & Love wendyht

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Daniel Hanscom Post author

      What a kind thing to say, Wendy! I am so happy to know that you enjoy the posts. It really does make it worthwhile to know that others benefit from them. It is my privilege to be a part of this amazing class with you. Thank you so much for stopping by and for your feedback.

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  3. The Bruce

    Yikes!!! You have so eloquently had me face the Guy in the Glass and he hasn’t been going all out. Came at a good time becaue I changed my Franklin Makover this morning from Courage to Decisiveness. Have to decide on what first otherwise where would I apply courage.
    Thanks as always. Looking forward to your next enlightment.

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Daniel Hanscom Post author

      Thanks for commenting, Bruce. You made me chuckle. Always great to face the guy in the glass. Besides, he’s a nice guy; patient and compassionate. I’m sure you two will work it out just fine. Thanks again for stopping by.

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  4. Deanna

    As I was reading your blog, I had a memory from childhood. I remember I was instinctively one of those who wanted to do more. I was very unreasonable. And I remember being labeled a know-it-all and feeling guilty for being a fast learner. Our teachers were always telling us their job was to teach us to think for ourselves, but they really meant was as long as we thought what they wanted us to think we were “free” to discover it on our own. After years of being slowed down in order to stay with the rest of the class, I gave up trying to excel and began to believe I’d be happier and more successful if I was more like everyone else. 30 years later, here I am…

    Liked by 1 person

    Reply
    1. Daniel Hanscom Post author

      I think that we probably all have people, looking back, that encouraged us to back off and fit in. As well, we all have those that encouraged us to rise up and be spectacular in a way that only we can. Who we listen to and what we do about it… well, that’s up to us. So pleased that we are all here learning to become more and more spectacular in our own unique ways. Thanks for sharing!

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  5. Pingback: Looking Back – MKMMA Week 23 | LivingTheMasterKey

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