Shoka Magazine June 2023 – Pay the Price to Become Valuable

Sensei Smilling

Marty Callahan

8th Degree Black Belt

“Your life is going to be hard. It will be hard because you decided not to pay the price to become  valuable and you’re left with limited options. Or it will be hard because you paid the price to become  valuable. Paying the price is hard but then your options become unlimited.” 

– Bill Crawford, U.S. Air Force Stealth Pilot, 2016 TEDx Talk

The young people here tonight are the future. We’re here for them. They have a long hard road in front of  them and our job is to prepare them in the best way possible. They are on a Great Journey to become  valuable. Through their hard work they are paying the price to become valuable.

At some point, your child will be deciding what direction they want their life to take. They might attend  college, develop a technical skill, go directly into the workforce, become an entrepreneur, start their own  business, or go on a great adventure. Whatever it might be, they will meet other people who will want to  know who they are, what they are like, how they handle everyday things, how they handle themselves in  a crisis, and more. These people, whether they be college admissions officers, employers, venture  capitalists or whoever, will be taking on chance on them, and they want to choose wisely.

Seeing that your child has earned a black belt will show them that they have developed mastery of  something that requires perseverance over a long period of time. That they have done this on their own.  That their mom didn’t do it. That their dad didn’t do it. That they did it. These people will be even more impressed when they discover that your child has leadership skills and has mentored and helped others.

In seeing this, they will know that your child won’t take NO for an answer. That their attitude is that they  will find a way or they will make a way. That if there’s one chance then there’s a chance. That when  they lead, they will give credit to their team when things go right and they will take the blame when things  go wrong. They will know that your child will learn from their mistakes, and behave in private the same  way they behave in public. They will know that your child will keep high standards and stay confident and  self-assured no matter how hard things get. They will know that your child understands that the worst  thing they can do is try to be something for everyone. They will know that your child is not just interested  in winning but more importantly that they are interested in giving people hope. And in the end, they know  that your child will make them proud and be someone they can brag about.

Your child’s Great Journey to Black Belt is not going to be easy. They will be many times along the way  when giving up seems to be the best option. Your child may want to give up and you don’t know what to  say to them, so you let them. Or it might be that you want to give up and your child senses this, and  knows that this is an opportunity to get out of doing the hard work of making themselves valuable and so  they tell you they want to give up, and feeling relieved… you let them. We know how hard parenting is.  Part of your own great journey to make yourself valuable, is to raise a child who will become valuable.  This is a noble effort and, in time, your child will thank you for it. We’ve helped thousands of parents  navigate this terrain. We can help you. Talk to us.

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