The Success Lesson I Learned Watching Anime With My Teen Daughter
It’s all about RESULTS: Great wisdom from an unexpected source.
I was a Sci-Fi geek growing up. I watched every episode of Star Trek, watched every science fiction movie, and read every book in the science fiction section of my local library. I read a lot of fantasy too. The possibilities of the world as it could be fascinate me. Science fiction and fantasy.
Like a real ‘Murican family, we eat lunch or dinner on the couch watching TV when the meal is amenable. With my geek background, we connect watching fantasy cartoons as we scarf down sandwiches from Jimmy John’s. Even my wife has warmed to some of the shows; she actually watched Assassination Classroom.
One of the shows I watch with my daughter is Black Clover. The main character, Asta, has zero magic ability in a world where everyone has at least some minor magic. He has one, singular, laser-focused goal, to be the Wizard King, the most powerful mage in the land. Obviously, everyone laughs at him.
When Asta comes of age and gets his magical grimoire, he still doesn’t get any magical ability, but he gets a couple of cool magical swords to fight with. Despite his handicap, he is relentlessly positive, driving and training himself.
Against all odds he tries out the Magic Knights, elite and powerful mages that serve and protect the kingdom, and predictably gets picked up by the squad of outcasts and misfits.
As we watch Asta work through his adventures, there are tons of positive messages. Never give up. Take responsibility for your mistakes. Don’t dwell on what you can’t change. You can’t fix the past but you can move forward and do better. Push past your limits.
Eventually the main character and his foster brother and rival, Yuno, have a chance to talk to the leader of the Magic Knights and ask career advice.
“How can I become the Wizard King?” ask Asta and Yuno.
Klaus, a more senior Magic Knight, starts to answer, “You two must realize how rude it is to ask a question like that so directly. Now listen, the Wizard King must be of noble heart and have the implicit trust of all of his…”
“No Klaus,” the Wizard King interrupts. “It’s about RESULTS. A noble heart alone cannot protect anyone, and the trust of the people is earned, not granted. You want to know what you need to do to gain the title of Wizard King? Get RESULTS. Prove that you are the strongest. Do what it takes, devote yourself to getting RESULTS, that’s all there is. Anyone who’s not capable of that cannot hope to stand at the summit.”
Putting it Together
This is a profound and powerful observation that I didn’t expect in a kid’s cartoon. I think back to every time I’ve been successful in life, and it’s been because somewhere beforehand I provided results.
I was accepted at the college of my choice because I had a good GPA, a great SAT, had been senior class president, and was an Eagle Scout. I was promoted in the Air Force because I finished the schools I needed to finish, earned a Master’s degree, and performed well in the jobs that I had.
Poor political and people skills might get you fired, but a demonstrated track record of success is what gets you hired. Results are the price of entry. If you want to get promoted, if you want to be a Director or VP in your company, if you want to be the CEO someday, focus on your job and produce the most of the best quality of whatever it is that you do.
Even if you want to be a great writer, poet, or musician, you have to focus on your writing, your poetry, or your music. All that matters is how good your product is, you result. You won’t get a book deal or a record deal without a good product. Thousands of Twitter followers won’t help.
Even if your goal is to be an Instagram influencer, you have a result; it doesn’t matter how many cool vacations you go on or how great your pictures are if you don’t have followers or clicks.
Like the Wizard King said, “It’s about RESULTS.”
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