The Ultimate Black Belt Test has a No Quitting Policy
There are things we should indeed quit, without a second thought, like smoking for example.
But the Ultimate Black Belt Test, being that most of the people who participate are "high ranking" black belts (and thus, we presume, imbued with more self-discipline than your average Schmo), has an absolute requirement that no matter what, with the exception of death (the participant), is quitting of the program allowed.
If quitting is even a remote possibility, for you, when the project gets tough, lonely, confusing, empty, difficult, torturous, stifling, obtuse, and or void of all possible value, substance, and meaning --then don't join. You see, the process is supposed to be one of the most difficult things you ever put yourself thru --and in the spirit of that --every single thing that makes you want to stop, want to disconnect, and want to give up --are the very things that become your "test."
You see, this is a "test" specifically meant for everyone but you. It's meant for your students, as if you genuinely spend a year working on yourself, at the highest levels, physically, mentally, spiritually, socially, and so on ---If you play "team" as you could if you put yourself to it --you won't be telling them how to "do it," you'll be showing them. You'll show them too, what to do when one hits the wall, as you will most certainly hit the wall (and more than once). It's also for your community, to show them we're not, really, all talk, crafty ads, and full of claims of expertise.
Tell all your students what you intend to do, about the test you're putting yourself thru --then actually do it --and see what happens to your school, your students, and their belief, trust, and admiration of you and your work.
Is that easy? No, it might be one of the most challenging things you ever do.
You see, this is a "test" for the entire international martial arts community, as a lot of people all over the world will be watching ---and ---if you're able to set a fantastic example of personal transformation (as in no bullshit, but genuine growth), you just might "launch 1000 other ships" for people who see you do it and get inspired to do it (or something like it) too. If you're able to conjure up some real genius or magic, you stand a chance to influence lots and lots of other people. If you generate ideas, tackle great subjects, and do for others, well...people will see it --and they may model the same behaviors or adopt similar practices for themselves and/or their students.
And, if you truly struggle, that is, with your weight, your ability to write and make films, with your commitment, with your self-discipline, motivation, and drive, if you struggle to make something out of this big fat nothing --and better yet, if you fail to get what you hoped to get, but adjust and turn whatever you DO get into something powerful and important, well hell, the good you stand to do for others, other people who also struggle, could be, literally, immeasurable.
No, for this particular program, at this place and time, and for all it's supposed to represent, there is no quitting. None. Zip. Never.
There is adjustment, there is re-starting, there is fall on your fricking face, there is struggle and pain and confusion and everything that comes along with things you set out to do that seem impossible, but there's no quitting.
Go ahead, let it be hard, as it reveals what we're made of, under our facade.
I think it's best if we just start the whole damn thing that way.