A 37 year old friend told me he’s in the best shape of his life because he has to be. At 31, though I have been a better athlete, I have never experienced better overall health. Like my friend, my age has forced me to be a better steward of my body.

Professor Almeida once told me an old Brazilian saying:

“Necessity grows the teeth.”

In a recent lecture, Jordan Peterson shares a study that showed first generation immigrants are more successful than second generation immigrants. The reason for this is not immediately apparent, as one would think the foundation of the first generation would allow the following generation to ascend toward greater heights.

The difference is necessity.

The first generation has no choice but to succeed; their survival demands it. Necessity grows the teeth. My greatest transformations have always grown out of the ashes of a failure which displaced me into unknown territory. I have only grown when I had to.

Necessity forces, and must always precede, growth. So we must not seek growth. We should seek necessity and growth will follow.

Set deadlines. Have accountability partners. Strive through weakness toward a chosen ideal.

My Attempt

This is one of the benefits of opening my own academy. I love Jiu Jitsu and want to serve others through this medium, but I also want to grow to the furthest extent I am capable. Running my own school creates the necessity which will force me to grow in the ways I most need.

Success is found by striving toward goals, governed by deadlines, which force our most optimal action toward a well-articulated aim.

When our environment does not force us to grow, we must create one which does: constantly placing ourselves in positions where we are weak so we may acquire strength.

Necessity grows the teeth.

Want to read more about Jiu Jitsu? Check out Chris’s new book, On Jiu Jitsu. Want to try Jiu Jitsu for yourself in the Florence/Burlington, NJ area? Sign up for our Introductory Special now!