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Earning a black belt is the first major step of the martial arts journey. Continuing the journey leads to more revelations and lessons essential to our everyday lives. Since earning my black belt, I have learned quite a bit, both in martial arts and in life.

One major theme apparent in life is failure, since everyone will face it at some point in their life. While many attribute their failures to the wrongs committed by another, they forget to look at themselves. They forget to see what factors they affected to put them in that position. If the event has to do with a goal or objective. The more difficult part is accepting that you failed. Only after accepting failure can one move ahead in correcting whatever event or factor allowed the situation to conclude that way and try again.

The quality of resiliency, or the ability to bounce back from a failed or negative situation, is a very important trait to acquire and one equally hard to master. One failure does not signify that everything is over, but that there is a better way to approach the situation. When another opportunity arises to attempt a similar situation, it is important to apply whatever lesson was learned from the previous failed attempt.

Another important trait to acquire is persistence, or perseverance. This means that regardless how many failed attempts there are and how difficult the situation may be, it does not prevent trying again. This becomes more difficult as certain opportunities are limited by time and prevent several attempts from being able to take place.

Some people, when faced with a challenge or opportunity choose to not accept it because of the consequences and the chance for failure. I think it is important to at least try. Attempt it, even if failure is a viable option. Whether one fails or succeeds depends on whether they accept the challenge or not. If they do not accept it, they do not know if they will fail or be successful.

There was one time for my engineering and robotics class where I had to work with my partner to program a Mindstorms robot to complete various tasks based on a Mars mission theme. One task included retrieving a few rings from the right side of the map, and another included moving a ball to a designated location without allowing to roll off the mat. The last task included triggering a catapult mechanism to get a mineral to the start position. My friend and I coded programs for the robot to complete these tasks. Many attempts lead to failure and prompted us to try again to adjust the robot for success. In the allotted time for trial and error, we were able to complete all tasks except the mineral one with a lot of consistency. Unfortunately, on the day where we show off the robot, a bug in the program rose up and we were unable to fix it, since my computer had a glitch. In the end, we ended up completing only one task and failed the rest because of the bug. Since it was for a class, we were unable to attempt the final run again.
Even though we failed, I learned a lot from that experience. Resiliency and perseverance allowed us to complete many of the tasks during testing and a limited opportunity allowed for the glitch to allow for us to fail. The most important thing is that we tried.