The Other Day at Kung Fu

Posted on March 21, 2011 by Susanne

I went to the Kung Fu studio on Friday in need of a good workout. The night before I had pressed “Send,” and Carry a Paintbrush soared through the ether on its way to the printer. That night I didn’t sleep well, and the next day figured a good session of Kung Fu sparring was going to do me a world of good.

I met Sebastian, a master’s student in writing at Boston College, when I first started practicing Kung Fu. In the Fall of 2010 when I began writing the book , I enlisted Sebastian (and his plentiful talent) to intern with me on the project. The deal was that I was going to pay him a little cash and a lot of coaching as compensation for helping me with researching and editing parts of the book.

So when I arrived at the studio Friday, I couldn’t wait to tell him the news–the book was at the printer.

Sebastian’s reaction wasn’t quite what I expected. Yes, he hugged me and said congrats. But when we parted from the embrace he had a puzzled look on his face.

“What?” I asked him.

“I don’t know,” he said. “This is just all a little surreal.”

“Which part?”

“Well, know I’ve always believed in you… and I have. I just thought, well, so she said she wanted to write a book. But then, I mean, really, like you actually wrote a book.”

I just smiled. Then I went on to tell him about the colleges where my team and I had lined up speaking gigs for graduation season, and some of the press and media that I was going to be doing. Again, he looked at me with the funny face.

“What?” I implored once again.

“I don’t know. I mean it’s just surreal that you had this idea and all of this stuff is unfolding around it. I’m just kind of blown away!”

I turned to him with a smirk, “Did you actually read the book you helped me write?”

Sebastian’s reaction is something that I run into a lot. And to each and every one of you, I say the same thing.

It is your choice to make things happen. It is your decision to work hard and figure things out. It is your option to get excited about what you’re doing and turn that excitement into real, tangible things in your life.

As class began, I turned to Sebastian and said these words.

“This is possible for you too. You just haven’t Claimed Your Career As Your Own yet.”

Or in his case, he hadn’t claimed his life as his own. This is all about choice. And I’m going to keep coaching Sebastian until he too sees his true potential. The first step, is to stand up and make the pledge to Claim Your Career, which you can do on the Pledge page of the site.