I learned something new this morning about what makes diamonds so valuable. The numbers are mind-blowing.

* Start with a basic ingredient: carbon. Not so rare. It is the building block of all life. In fact, we are about 18% carbon.
* Travel underground between 83 and 155 miles. You are getting warmer. About 2200 degrees Fahrenheit.
* Apply about 725,000 pounds of pressure per square inch.
* Wait about 3 billion years. (So that ring on your finger started out before people existed).

What we see is a shiny (and expensive) rock. What is not so obvious is what it had to go through to get here. That’s the value.

I tell you this because we all live in a world where we want instant gratification. It’s all our kids have known. Social media says, “Success is easy and if I can’t do it right away, then I stink . . .(and quit).”

The most successful people didn’t just appear on Instagram that way. They failed, a LOT. They didn’t post the failures and hours and hours of practice. I want our kids to understand this more than anything we teach. I truly believe that the keys to success are found in our 5 tenets. Perseverance and Indomitable Spirit can be applied to everything we do in life and is the “X” factor of success far more so than talent.

To our students and their families, remind yourselves (and your children if you have them) to embrace their setbacks. Fake diamonds are shiny, and can be made fast in machines. They are worth very little. They didn’t EARN their value like the real thing.

For those of you whom we haven’t met, we’d like the opportunity to show you how we incorporate these principles into martial arts training to build skills like focus, control, and confidence. Go to unitedsportstkd.net and go to “Get Started” for a 6-week trial (12 classes) for just $69. We teach from age 4.5 through adult.

Diamonds are nice but come at a price and they are replaceable. Time is not. It is a priceless commodity. No matter what you do to “become the best version of yourself” now is the time to begin. Make this your best year so far!