Success is just around the corner from failure

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The other night I noticed how hard a student of mine was working on their Taekwondo pattern. He's made significant progress and the complex sequence of movements has not been easy for him to execute. Even though he didn't realize it, I wouldn't let him "stripe," or advance. It's not that he did such a poor job, it's that I expected more from him. With young children, getting a reward can sometimes be counterproductive to real achievement. For instance, an easy "A" in school will make them think they are so smart that they don't have to study or do homework. In my way of thinking, I would rather have the young person strive a little more for that stripe if only so that they don't rest assured of themselves. On the other hand, I encouraged him that next time I saw him that I expected him to be ready to achieve his stripe. In the end, I want a benchmark of success to mean something, not defeat its purpose.

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