I was watching the Karate Kid trilogy this week (whilst working) and was struck by how powerful the messages are to this day.
On the surface its a series of feel-good, coming-of-age teen movies... But the fact that I think it was actually like Rocky for pre-teens.
A young lad moves to a new town, struggles to fit in, get's bullied, learns Karate, teaches bullies a lesson, wins a big trophy and get's a bangin' girlfriend... Just like all our lives really.
But what made this film resonate for so many is the mentor who Daniel (the main character) had to guide him on his journey.
Even if you haven't seen the films, you've probably heard of Mr Miyagi.
He's a mystical old Okinawan who prunes bonsai trees and works as a maintenance man in Daniel's apartment block.
But oh yeh, and he's skilled up in martial arts like Bruce Lee.
So, while he's training Daniel, Miyagi delivers some Zen-type wisdom that can be applied to all our lives.
Below is a list of my three favourite Miyagi knowledge-bombs:
1. Man who catch fly with chopstick accomplish anything.
This isn't about catching flies. It's about is about focus.
It's about time alone, trying over and over and over again.
What separates experts from beginners is that the expert has failed more times and hasn't given up.
2. Lesson not just karate only. Lesson for whole life. Whole life have a balance. Everything better.
This one hits hard for me at the moment. I'm struggling to make time for health and family, but it's something I know I need to work on.
Life isn't just business and money. It can't be. We survived as a species long before these abstract concepts.
The real power in this lesson though is that when you learn something important in one aspect of your life, it's likely that the idea can be transferred to other areas too.
Think bigger picture. Think about your goal, where you are heading and what you are doing 'in the moment' to achieve that.
3. It’s ok lose to opponent. Must not lose to fear!
This scene gives me goosebumps to this day... I'm a 33 year old boy at heart.
But how amazing is the message?
Life will kick you in the groin, knee you in the ribs and punch you on the nose.
But don't let it stop you.
Find your centre. Follow your path and trust what you know to be true.
I don't know about you but I'm fired up to go do some kata now!