Louis Pasteur quote: Let me tell you the secret that has led me to my goal...

Our Powerful Word this month is TENACITY, one of my favorites, going back to childhood.

My uncle was a professional hairstylist, so whenever we needed a haircut, my siblings and I would hop in the car and drive to his home, where he would cut our hair in his kitchen. Invariably, he did so while watching sports, be it football basketball, baseball, hockey, etc.

Whatever was on, he was into.

As I would sit in the chair listening to the scissors snipping around my ears, I would hear him exclaim, “Tenacious D!” when the defense would make a phenomenal play, stifling the offense to prevent a score or to steal the ball.

Whenever he would get excited and yell at the TV I cringed, afraid he was going to jab me in the neck with his scissors (which he never did).

I heard that word, tenacious, again and again, and I soon realized that it meant that the defense was playing at their highest level. And I associated the word tenacious, and by association, tenacity, as a very positive trait to have.

I began to associate another word I knew with tenacity as I was learning what tenacity meant. That word was, relentless.

I played lots of sports at the time and I wanted to be like those sports stars, so I specifically worked on cultivating my own tenacity on the field because it seemed like that’s what made for a great player.

When it came to defense, and later, learning self-defense, never quitting, fighting until the end, and giving all I had, being relentless until I achieved my goal, is what the word tenacity came to mean to me.

I discovered that having relentless determination and grit was more critical to my long-term success than talent or IQ because I inevitably met people who were bigger, stronger, faster, more skilled and just as smart I was, if not smarter.

One of my teachers asked me this profound question,”how do you beat someone who just won’t quit, no matter what? How do you beat a man who keeps getting back up?”

I decided to become that man.

Tenacity is a Critical Lifeskill

Tenacity has served me well throughout my entire life, on the field, on the mats, and far beyond.

Tenacity and being tenacious, was such a motivating force for me that whenever anyone complained of something being hard, I came to think,”of course it’s hard that’s why you have tenacity,” and tenacity is what’s going to get you past it.

As result, I didn’t shy away from things just because they became difficult or too hard to do. I had the answer. I knew what to do when things became hard, to become tenacious.

When things became hard it was just an opportunity to pull out your tenacity.

Tenacity became my secret weapon, like a mental talisman that drove away doubt and spurred me on to continue to face any challenge, and the simplest answer to dealing with life when it became too difficult.

Why am I still here and going strong after 40 years in the martial arts, and loving every minute of it?


When others threw in the towel because they gave in to negative feelings, got discouraged, felt bored, felt like things became too difficult, lost hope, and made excuses to make themselves feel better, I pulled out my #1 secret weapon.