Martial arts legend Bruce Lee once remarked, “I fear not the man who has practiced 10,000 kicks once, but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times.” This adage resonates with me, not for the fear it instills, but for the wisdom it imparts about mastering a skill.
But what does it mean to be ‘good’? In my view, ‘good’ is a confluence of skill, learning from mistakes, and perseverance. However, as someone drawn to various fields—from design and programming to art and writing—I often find myself as the man Bruce Lee mentioned, practicing 10,000 different kicks once.
This approach has its advantages and disadvantages. It has sculpted me into a well-rounded individual, comfortable dabbling in diverse areas, yet it comes with sacrifices. As my design skills improved, my programming took a backseat. As my writing prowess grew, my drawing suffered. This give-and-take is an inevitable part of the learning process. After all, our brains can only juggle so much at once.
My life is sprinkled with more failures than successes, and each mistake has been a stepping stone towards improvement. Failure, I’ve learned, is not a roadblock, but a detour leading to a better route. I don’t let failures pull me down; instead, I rise above them, refusing to let the quest for perfection hamper my growth.
Indeed, I may not have achieved mastery in one field. I may not be an expert in all things. But as I navigate this multifaceted journey, constantly refining my 10,000 kicks, one thing remains unchanged—I’m happy. This sense of fulfillment, of finding joy in the process rather than the outcome, is my definition of greatness.
The featured illustration, created for Bryan Thao Worra‘s award-winning poem “Full Metal Hanuman,” serves as a visual testament to my journey. Just like Hanuman, who possessed diverse talents and skills, I believe in the power of embracing our multifaceted selves.
As we continue our individual journeys, let us remember that ‘good’ is not a destination but a process, one that requires continuous learning, resilience, and most importantly, joy. Whether we choose to practice one kick 10,000 times or 10,000 kicks once, let’s ensure we find happiness in every upward motion of a kick.