“Just keep training, bro.”

Before you give up on whatever it is you’re ready to give up on, (and we all have something we’re ready to give up on) take a step back, take a moment, take to appreciating the unparalleled values of patience and persistence.

As a fresh Brazilian Jui Jitsu white belt practitioner, you will find the initial overload of information incredibly overwhelming. Remembering all the steps or the basics will seem like some impossibility. Frustration will show itself. In the heat of the roll, your mind will present you with minimal technique. You will feel like nothing is sinking in, like progress is not being made. You may observe the highly skilled blue belts, purple belts, brown belts and black belts with a sinking feeling that you cannot learn what they have learned.

Raise any manner of these concerns with your trainer, the head of the dojo, though, and likely it is that you will heed the response: “just keep training, bro [/sis].”

Your initial though may be “that vague answer doesn’t solve my current problem.. Help me with x, y, z!

But, if you just keep training, all you have learned begins to intertwine, to interlink, to create a web of knowledge, skill and persistence, born from patience. You get your 1st stripe, 2nd stripe, 3rd stripe, 4th stripe. You just keep training. You get your blue belt. You become skilled enough to help others embarking on the same journey as you (though all are unique). You get your purple belt. You just keep training. You get your brown belt. You keep training. Your confidence builds with your skill and technique, combined with effortlessness and joy to just keep training.

You get your black belt, and still, you just keep training.

When we arrive at the mental stage in which we wish to quit something we are trying to achieve, it proves beneficial to actively ponder upon and remember the reason for which we started that thing — it’s usually something small and progressive with a long-term goal, like eating those 5 daily pieces of fruit and veg, exercising more, sleeping an extra hour or an hour less, splurging less on impulse shopping, investing income, spending less time mindlessly scrolling through social feeds, daily cold showers, displaying more empathy and controlling negative emotions, quitting smoking, quitting drinking, focusing more time on friends and family, focusing more time on work, being kinder, continually showing up, etcetera etcetera.

We get these urges to quit because we don’t see immediate results, or it’s difficult, or other people are judging us, or we “don’t have enough time”, or money, or self-discipline, or this, or that. The truth is that there are a million reasons to quit, but if we constantly remind ourselves of the purpose, why it is we’re doing what we’re doing, and we are patient and just keep training… The painful process of persistence becomes that of a joyful process. Now we just keep training because we want to, because it makes us feel good, because we’re making an improvement to our lives each time we show up.

So next time we feel like harmlessly skipping on our positive new habit or activity, or on omitting a bad habit or activity, we should first ask ourselves: “why did I decide to do this in the first place?”

The answer you find will more than likely provoke a thought, a feeling in your gut.

Just keep training, bro.