On Patience - "Try Softer"

We have been speaking throughout January about Patience as our word of the month.  One thing that we never do in the Martial Arts (and especially at the IKS) is ask the question "When am I going up for my next rank?"  The below story captures the reason for this:

A young boy traveled across Japan to the school of a famous martial artist.  When he arrived at the dojo (Training hall), he was given an audience by the Sensei (Teacher).  "What do you wish from me", the master asked.  The boy replied, "I wish to be your student and become the finest Karate practitioner in the land.  How long must I study?"  "Ten Years at least", the master answered.  

The boy then said, "Wow...Ten years is a long time.  What if I studied twice as hard as all your other students?"  The master's reply... "Twenty Years".

Confused, the boy replied "Twenty???... what if I practice day and night with all my effort?"  The master's reply... "Thirty Years"

Still confused, the boy asked the master "Why is it that each time I say I will work harder, you tell me that it will take longer?"  Immediately, the master told him, "The answer is clear.  When one eye is fixed upon your destination, there is only one eye left with which to find the Way"