There’s a famous Japanese saying that teaches, “The early horse drinks the clean water.” As a proverb, it’s great, but perhaps it’s not so accurate. Drop off your kid four hours early at the door of the daycare, for example, and you’ll disagree with the saying. And so will your kid.
More than being early, the great challenge lies in being punctual — a rare quality that could earn you a job or a promotion or, alternatively, could cost you your job.
Look around, in your office or in your family, and think how many people really prize punctuality but simply cannot incorporate it into their routine, fight as they might.
“Fight” is the right word too. After more than 50 years of jiu-jitsu, Master Rickson Gracie has been reflecting on how training, concepts and philosophies he found on the mats have helped him master these simple but key habits in personal and professional relationships.
The Greeks even have a word for this: Kairos, who in Greek mythology was the god of opportune time, whereas Cronus was the god of linear time, the time that passes.
“When we study jiu-jitsu consistently, we learn how timing is important for defending. If you raise your guard a second later, it’s over,” he sums up. “If you perform the technique too soon or too late, it’s worthless, because timing is key to repelling a punch, avoiding a mount, to all that matters.”
And he concludes: “When you learn that timing is key to repelling an aggression, when you learn that no one negotiates with time, you start respecting time. And that becomes a part of you. After realizing this, early in life, I was never late to an airport again, I never lost another important flight, for example.”
So don’t be late for the next class by Rickson Gracie. Check the schedule, and don’t miss another lesson that may change your BJJ — and your life.