Do your part.

Many of life’s successes will be reliant on the work of you and your team. Naturally you will encounter difficulties and times where things don’t go according to plan. While human nature is to put the blame on the weaker links, a leader’s sign of strength is to take accountability for the unit’s failure while doing their part.

Realize this, it is unnatural to assume blame for the failures of others and it is painful to accept responsibility for their errors. Once you acknowledge this and begin to incorporate it into your method of leading will you see your team begin to thrive.

#175 Rest easy

Why is a fighter filled with relief as soon as the bout is done? Because regardless of the emotional reactions that come with losing, there is a sliver of peace that accompanies the end of a fight. A moment of presence where there is little concern about past or future. The worries of cutting weight, what your opponent will do, and all the stresses that come beyond your comfort zone all disappear. While uncomfortable in the moment, it will always be followed by a moment of bliss, just like a night of good sleep and a satisfying meal to punctuate a hard and long week of work.

#174 You never know

It’s 6:25AM in the Atlanta airport as I stand in a never ending line to go through the TSA checkpoint before boarding my flight to LAX.

My flight just began boarding and at the rate this line is moving, I’m starting to worry I’ll miss my flight.

I stop thinking about myself for a second and start scanning the faces of people around who are in the same situation or worse, which reminds me how you can never really know what others are going through.

As a Martial Arts academy it is routine for an instructor to award students push ups for tardiness. One day I did and then asked the student why he was late. He had come from his aunt’s funeral… Oops.. Did I learn a lesson that day.

With Thanksgiving around the corner, let’s exercise kindness and understanding for others. You never know how far it will go.

#174 You never know

It’s 6:25AM in the Atlanta airport as I stand in a never ending line to go through the TSA checkpoint before boarding my flight to LAX where I’ll drive the two hours back to my home in the Coachella Valley.

My flight just began boarding and at the rate this line is moving, I’m starting to worry I’ll miss my flight.

I stop thinking about myself for a second and start scanning the faces of people around who could be in the same situation or much worse, which reminds me of the fact that you can never know what someone else is going through.

As a Martial Arts academy it is routine for an instructor to award students push ups for tardiness. One day I did and then asked the student why he was late. He had come from his aunt’s funeral… Imagine the remorse you would feel being the person to dole out punishment.

This Monday, with Thanksgiving around the corner, let’s exercise kindness and understanding for others. You never know how far it will go.

#173 Tired is good

One of my favorite things, as a person who is is usually up before 5am, is to use Sunday to sleep as long as I can with no alarm to wake me up. The past couple months, however, I haven’t had the time, spending nearly every weekend in an airport or driving somewhere. You should know, that although I love my sleep very very much, I am much more content with the satisfaction that comes from those sleepless nights knowing that I am working towards my goals while experiencing all that life has to offer.

#172 The Anniversary

One year ago today marked one of the most significant milestones of my life as an athlete, a teacher and as a person. A day that I would cry like a little girl in front of many of the people I admire and love.

Roughly 12 years ago I began the journey of a lifetime under the guidance of my brother Steve Hargett, a combat veteran who was training at the time to be a professional Mixed Martial Arts fighter. On November 21 of 2019, he would award me my black belt inside the academy we built together. I still get goosebumps reliving that moment.

From hot and humid Muay Thai gyms in the streets of Bangkok to Portugal in the winter time for the IBJJF European championships, this roller coaster of a ride has taken me from the highest of highs to absolute tears. Ultimately I became stronger through it all and learned about myself in ways only fighting can teach. I learned that success is for dreamers who are willing to pay the price and that limitations are for quitters with no imagination. You can always pick yourself back up and keep going no matter what, one day it will be worth it all.

Something I never predicted was that this road would lead me to be surrounded by people of great character who would change me for the better. The influence of these amazing and selfless people led to Team Hargett and Six Blades Jiu Jitsu La Quinta two programs started in the Coachella Valley that share the aim of uniting strong men and women to build stronger communities all over the world.

As a young man I desired all the fame and fortune that the world would give me. But the day I received my black belt came the understanding that no money in the world could buy what Jiu Jitsu has taught me or replace the people that are in my life because of this beautiful and deadly art. There is so much to life and this world but it is all meaningless if you don’t care for others. The fulfillment and meaning that comes with serving a purpose greater than yourself will be rife with challenge while simultaneously filled with endless joy as you will share the successes of many others. While the journey will be lonely at times, just know that lonely champions do not exist!

#171 It doesn’t have to be fun..

Over time, we discover that much of life boils down to finding your balance. While discovering your passion and committing fully to it is something enjoyable, it will mean knuckling down on days where you don’t want to.

Example: I and many others who have discovered the beauty and empowerment of mastering your strength, enjoy going to the gym and exercising. In any case, the day will come where your interest has dwindled. Perhaps you are tired and unmotivated, or it’s your least favorite group of exercises etc.

The key to remember is why you are even doing it in the first place. Sometimes we can fall into doing only what satisfies us at that moment, a reason that many people cannot follow a diet or exercise plan. By reminding ourselves of what we have to gain (good appearance, quality of life, confidence, etc) it’s easier to motivate ourselves to get it done.

Another consideration is that not everything in your life has to be fun. In fact, the vast majority of your training or nutrition will hardly be memorable. Think of a basketball player who practices free throws daily, shooting thousands of shots over the course of a given week. It’s not enjoyable work but it is well known that free throws make the difference in key moments of a game.

#171 Commitment

One of the most valuable skills that we can all learn and apply daily is commitment. There’s not a person you can name who has achieved great success without living and breathing what they do.

We can learn from the average laborer who has dedicated his life to his craft as a metal worker or a mechanic. By simply “keeping on” their craft provides them a means of fulfillment and even a living.

There were so many things I wanted to do from chess, to music, to art to Kung Fu but I lacked the persistence that Jiu Jitsu gave me. Receiving my black belt from my brother was a massive eye opener to the fact that I never committed to anything before that. With my knowledge now I can see, that just like the right person, giving your all to something is an experience you will seldom regret.

#170 “My kid needs to be tougher!”

Those of us who have been in the Martial Arts or physical fitness scene for some time have likely encountered the parent who requests that you teach their child about toughness.

While the act of teaching a child or teen what toughness is and why it is fundamentally important is a worthwhile endeavor, it begs the question, “if your child is not learning toughness from you, what makes you think they will learn it from me?”.

What many of these parents who may altruistically wish for their kids to have the capacity to overcome challenges in life fail to recognize, is the fact that children typically imitate the behaviors that surround them. Example: If a parent is clinically overweight (over 35% body fat) and all their friends and relatives are, how would a child know that being overweight is unhealthy?

I’ll give you another example. Some parents request that their child exercise daily, and rightfully so, while failing to demonstrate the same habits. In this scenario can you really expect the kid to believe exercise will benefit them? Contrast this example with the farmer who learns they have to get up early and do chores? Not only do their parents lead by example but they quickly learn the sweat equity that is required to have a chance at surviving on a farm.

I’ll give one more example, since they are really endless. A parent comes in to learn Jiu Jitsu and due to the difficult nature of it physically, emotionally and psychologically, quits. Yet this same person vocalizes frustration when their 4 year old fails to demonstrate “killer instinct” on the mats.

Children often observe much more than they listen and behave in a way that is reflective of the culture that surrounds them. If their environment is fun, they will likely exude happiness. Whereas if their environment is disciplined they will likely act in a more reserved manner. For those who wish that little Jack or Jane becomes tougher, it might not hurt to swallow a pill of your own medicine first.

#169 The discipline muscle

Discipline, like many of the most important muscles in our body which are not flashy, is one of the quintessential components of any great achievement. Just because the muscles responsible for keeping our spine attached to our hips will never be seen, does not mean they are not important to work.

As a human, fundamentally our life is the product of our labor. Without discipline our emotions become the taskmaster of our lives, letting us eat what we want when we want, giving up when things get hard and essentially anything that falls into the category of instant gratification. Lack of discipline is a real life-ruiner.

All organisms are subject to the law of adaptation. In order to adapt, they must be stressed. Like a bicep in the gym it has to pushed to its limits frequently, consistently and for some time. A good way to strengthen your discipline muscle comes down to THREE EASY STEPS.

1. Have a goal.

2. Make a plan.

3. Follow the plan

It is literally as simple as that IF YOU DO THE WORK. The problem is that most people are lazy, so they won’t, hence the “lose 50 lbs in 3 weeks culture” versus a sustainable and healthy solution where the prerequisite is simply self control. So before you expect any long term change, make sure you’ve spent the time flexing your discipline muscle first.