After 7 long years, of literally blood sweat and tears. I did it! I completed my black belt grading in Ninjitsu. The year was 1999 and I had just turned 17. The final grading test after a full two days of combat training and sparing was to take on 7 attackers at once, who were ordered to... How would my Sensei put it; "Make sure you break something." (My Sensei always had a flare for the dramatic).
Without a doubt it was the most intense physical exertion I have had to endure. I remember limping (OK, hobbling) home with two friends under each arm holding me up because my legs had pretty much cramped so bad that they had all but given up on me. It took me days to recover. But it was worth it and I was proud to have made it through that grueling test.
So please understand, when I make the comparison of martial arts to anything; I don't take it lightly. And the mental gymnastics that is required to achieve any level of mastery in any craft is something I respect greatly.
Nobody comes out of their mothers womb walking and talking (That would have just been weird... cue Stewie Griffin) but yet we expect to get things right on the first try. That's totally unrealistic and why we need a safe place to practice, fail and eventually get things right. A blog allows you to express yourself and your art in a forgiving environment where you have total control like a lab or a dojo.
With that said; these are the 5 reasons why I think blogging is like the ultimate digital dojo for writers and small businesses.
Writing is a skill. Knowing how to make words dance on a page is an art. So like any art, it requires discipline and practice (more on practice in just a bit). Discipline, is a difficult skill to acquire but it is absolutely fundamental in your development as a professional in any craft. You don't become a professional athlete if you only practice when you feel like it. You have to show up and keep showing up in order to improve. If done correctly blogging helps you to develop your discipline muscle.
Whatever your craft is. Be it music, cooking, marketing, painting, photography, etc. you need a place to practice your craft. With a blog platform you now have the space to hone your skills, create your art and put it on display. How you want, when you want and as often as you want. Like a dojo, you need to feel comfortable yet ready to stretch yourself beyond your personal best. And with more practice comes the chance to practice having more patience. Because nothing worthwhile comes easily or quickly.
Having a dedicated space allows you to focus on your craft. When you have the necessary equipment and the tools for the job at your disposal it simplifies the process and allows you to focus on the task at hand. Not getting bogged down in the unnecessary is just as important as knowing what you need to focus on. Having a platform allows you to quickly evaluate if you are still focused or not.
One of the hardest things to do, yet probably the most important. To remain consistent. Day in and day out to keep at it. And I like to think of it like this; would you open a store on a busy street and perfect location and never show up to it? Or could you imagine turning on your TV and switching to CNN and there was no news?
That's why it's so important to develop that level of consistency. (Total disclaimer - I struggle with that too)
5. Teaching Others
While rising up the ranks in the dojo I always thought it was interesting that part of our training involved training others. In fact, at certain points in our grading we were measured quite strictly on our ability to teach what we had learned. What is cool about a blog is the fact that you can keep a record of what you are doing so that people can actively learn from your learning experience. Sharing your knowledge instantly and allowing those who are interested to access that knowledge is built into a blogging platform. Which makes it a great way to connect, and empower others.
Still the best way to learn more about yourself
What do you think about blogging? Leave a comment below