I could have been a black belt, I would have been the same level as you, I should have what you have… crap, crap and crap.

This is a story that I have heard a thousand times and it puts me to sleep as soon as I hear it spewing from somebody’s mouth. The fact is, you couldn’t, you wouldn’t and you shouldn’t. That goes for everybody out there, including me, that has changed direction or chosen a certain path at any point in life.

We all are where we are because of what we chose, and choose to be our priorities. It is our own choices and decisions that have placed us in the position we find ourselves in, good or bad. Ifs and buts can never come into the equation.

I dropped accounting as a school subject at the end of grade 9. I don’t tell every accountant I meet that I could’ve, would’ve or should’ve been in their position had I not given it up. Just because I did something when I was a lot younger doesn’t entitle me to claim some sort of right to it at a later age.

Black BeltAny person, in any position has made hard decisions, sacrificed and worked hard to be where they are, even bums. Certain choices have led us all to where we find ourselves and chances are that nobody on the planet could, would or should be where we find ourselves on any given day. A choice made 20 years ago could affect something in our lives tomorrow.

Anybody who sits around thinking that they could’ve, would’ve or should’ve is living with regret. If you do live in a world of what could’ve, would’ve or should’ve been, there is light at the end of the tunnel. You can still do it. It is never too late, although that is the excuse many will use.

So, if you want to be a martial arts black belt, make the decision, set your priorities, make the sacrifices and work hard. It will turn into a story of can, will and are.