The Tale of The Two Pearl Farmers
As a white belt many years ago, our instructor related this story to us. He explained it much like this:
There was once two pearl farmers in Korea. They both lived in the same small village on the coast of Korea. The first farmer was a meager farmer with only but a limited number of strings from which hung his oysters with developing pearls in them. The total number of potential pearls amounted between 100-200. The second farmer had hundreds of strings of oysters amounting to a potential of thousands of pearls. Now after a time the pearls were ready to be harvested. The first farmer harvested all the oysters he owned and collected 100 or so pearls of quality to sell at market. The second farmer though he had such a large potential of pearls only harvested a very small number of his oysters resulting in 50 pearls. After the harvest they both went off to market and sold their bounty. The first farmer with his money paid off any outstanding debts he had and with the rest of his money he was able to live the rest of his life not extravagantly but comfortably until he passed a number of years later. The second farmer, with the little amount of money he made, lived out the rest of his days very poorly never bothering to ever harvest anymore pearls but rather save them for the future (which never came).
Which farmer was richer?
The first farmer, though with technically fewer pearls, used his potential and benefited fully from it. The second farmer though potentially much richer, did not use anywhere close to his potential and suffered greatly from this choice!
If we look at the word pearl and substitute it with the word talent, it is much like many in martial arts. Some have so much potential talent but never really use it. Others have very little potential talent yet use every little bit of talent they have! The choice is yours! Use every bit of your talents no matter how great or how small. It is what you do with what you have which truly counts!.