"If my opponents train twice as hard then I will train three times as hard." - Masahiko Kimura
It is easy to take the day off or put something off until tomorrow. It is only human nature to choose pleasure over purpose.
A martial artist is not a typical person. We are seekers. Thus as seekers we are people who purposefully choose the path not well traveled. On this path we encounter some of life's greatest challenges. It is in these challenges that our mettle is tested and our character is forged.
It is true that adversity builds character. Building character is a layering process where each episode becomes the stepping stone to the next level. When we are confronted with adversity we draw upon those past experiences to make ourselves stronger and to persevere in order to succeed.
One way to summon this strength is to san bai do ryoku or to "triple one's effort."
Furuya Sensei used to talk about the famous Judoka named Masahiko Kimura. He was the pinnacle of Judo in the 1930 and is said to be the greatest Judoka ever. There is a saying in judo, "Before Kimura there was no Kimura and there will be none after." Kimura Sensei used this idea of san bai do ryoku to become the greatest Judoka ever. His dedication and drive was impossible to beat and supposedly even in his retirement he still trained eight hours a day and did 1000 pushups. Inspired by this, Sensei used to say things like, "If my opponents train for one hour, I should train three." or "If they do 100 suburi, I will do 1000."
The only secret to getting good at anything, albeit in business or in the martial arts, is to do it consistently and constantly. How hard are you working?