‘ON TURNING WEAKNESS INTO STRENGTH’ By Anne Gathoni

Weakness: the state or condition of lacking strength, usually a quality often regarded as a disadvantage. (According to Google) So as far...


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Weakness: the state or condition of lacking strength, usually a quality often regarded as a disadvantage. (According to Google)

So as far as this definition goes, weaknesses are a part of us that we so often wish we could rip off, of ourselves. That built in self-destruct button that each of us has, manifesting itself in different traits; different attributes.

It is only human nature that we wish we could get rid of these parts of ourselves; essentially not have anything that could hinder us from being the best versions of ourselves. And most cases, it is virtually impossible to get rid of completely. We simply learn to live with them, and maybe even become good at covering it/ them, up. And so this leads me to a story that I came across about a child who was taught to embrace and live with his weakness, and was able to turn it into his greatest strength. 

There was a 10-year-old boy who decided to study judo despite the fact that he had lost his left arm in a devastating car accident. The boy began lessons with an old Japanese judo master. The boy was doing well, so he couldn’t understand why, after three months of training the master had taught him only one move.

“Sensei,” the boy finally said, “Shouldn’t I be learning more moves?”

“This is the only move you know, but this is the only move you’ll ever need to know,” the sensei replied.

Not quite understanding, but believing in his teacher, the boy kept training.

Several months later, the sensei took the boy to his first tournament. Surprising himself, the boy easily won his first two matches. The third match proved to be more difficult, but after some time, his opponent became impatient and charged; the boy deftly used his one move to win the match. Still amazed by his success, the boy was now in the finals.

This time, his opponent was bigger, stronger, and more experienced. For a while, the boy appeared to be overmatched. Concerned that the boy might get hurt, the referee called a time-out. He was about to stop the match when the sensei intervened.

“No,” the sensei insisted, “Let him continue.”

Soon after the match resumed, his opponent made a critical mistake: he dropped his guard. Instantly, the boy used his move to pin him. The boy had won the match and the tournament. He was the champion.

On the way home, the boy and sensei reviewed every move in each and every match. Then the boy summoned the courage to ask what was really on his mind.

“Sensei, how did I win the tournament with only one move?”

“You won for two reasons,” the sensei answered. “First, you’ve almost mastered one of the most difficult throws in all of judo. And second, the only known defense for that move is for your opponent to grip your left arm.”

So in learning to embrace his greatest weakness, he was able to be all the stronger for it. To read more posts by Anne, click HERE

Photo Credit: nerdbot.com  

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