I believe the best use of one’s finite life is to cultivate our unique strengths so that others may benefit.
“How can I contribute?” is a noble question. How can I best contribute?, is nobler still.
My relationship to Jiu Jitsu is no different. The sum total of all practitioners comprise the Jiu Jitsu community, and each of us serves a distinct purpose. Garry Tonon and Gordon Ryan further the progression of this art, Ricardo Almeida has spread Jiu Jitsu across America, and my role is simply to communicate its value.
We tend to look at the Garrys and Gordons of the world and feel worse about our own path due to the spotlight on theirs. But our proximity to greatness disguises its rarity and blinds us to its specificity. The Jiu Jitsu community needs students, teachers, school owners, and ambassadors just as much as it needs the competitive greats.
The sooner we define our role, the greater the likelihood of its fulfillment.
We must remember our personal achievements mean nothing in a vacuum. Our worth is measured by how worthwhile we are to others. Whatever you are fashioned to be, you must become that. Becoming a second-rate version of someone else serves no one; the world already has that gift in the form of he, who you, by genetic inheritance, opportunity, and chance, fall short.
What are you designed to do better than the rest of humanity? Do that.
There is no task too small, each is of equal value in the context of the whole. The heart is no more important than the lungs. Each organ works in unison to constitute the whole organism. The value of the organ is found in relation to, and conjunction with, all the others. Our humanity is no different.
Whatever you are fashioned to be, whether an engineer, a salesman, a mom, or a florist, if you can bring beauty into the world through this medium, do that. It is the best thing you can do for yourself and the best thing you can do for the whole.
There is equal honor in every endeavor; each of our efforts compose humanity’s progress. Humanity improves in proportion as each individual improves himself.
You want to change the world? Become what only you can be.