A few years back a past student of ours at the Academy of Ving Tsun Kung Fu inquired about starting his training back up with us. After a 3 year hiatus due to his own reasons (read excuses) he wanted to know if he would be accepted back as a student. During our discussion, I asked him to do a simple exercise for me. I asked him to simply imagine how good he would be by now if he never quit three years ago.
Now at first glance, this question might seem rough. However, I wanted him to confirm his commitment to his training if he were to return to the areas best Wing Chun school to himself, and no one else. I wanted him to understand that he had committed one of the ‘greatest sins’ one can commit against themselves, and that was the wasting of time. I wanted him to understand that he should take his training much more serious than previous years and be willing to stick with it to see it through.
After reflecting on this question for a few moments, he responded that he would be much better by now and after a quick visit to our school again, he noticed that his peers from three years ago were now reaching an expert level of skill. He was somewhat saddened by seeing what he could have accomplished in that time frame, and completely shocked by what the others had learned, were able to apply, explain and understand. He suddenly realized that he had so much in front of him, but was unable to see it.
Needless to say that was enough for him. He joined back up and has been full steam ahead ever since. I asked him some time later what was the tipping point for him to become so re-engaged in his training, and he responded, ‘I never want to have to wonder how good I would be if I had never quit.’