The Ferrari Philosophy
So, what do Ferrari's have to do with the martial arts?
Well, unfortunately I don't own one but, investigate the company and you will see that a Ferrari is in many ways mobile art on four tires. It is the culmination of Enzo Ferrari’s philosophy on mastery. A Ferrari in so many ways is a reminder to us all about what world-class stands for. What I really want you to think about and take note is this: did you know that every year Ferrari only produces 7,000 Ferraris? The point of this wisdom is, why go superficially wide when you can be singularly deep? All great performers go really, really deep on one or two things, and that’s how they rise to iconic levels.
We live in a world of superficiality, addicted to distraction, afflicted by interruptions. We take the three qualities that most affect our performance, i.e. our mental focus, our physical energy, and our willpower, and we diffuse them, we disperse them, around thousands of projects, lots of little things. So, I want you to think of the 7,000 Ferrari philosophy. They are world class in terms of producing iconic cars, but they don’t want to appeal to everyone. They don’t produce hundreds of thousands of vehicles. They want to do a few products, they want to bring out a few things, but do them really, really well. That’s the craftsman mindset. That’s how craftsmen think. It’s do a few things, but do them really, really well.
So as a martial artist, prepare, practice, study deeply a few key principles. make them applicable in a multitude of situations. Train, so that when you do that one move, many students see it and can feel it, but very few can do it, unless they study it properly and have the right teacher to guide them. Knowing only a few techniques and principles in depth is far superior to knowing lots and lots of different techniques that can only be used in minimal cases. There is too much room for error, confusion and they are just not practical in use.
Related to this, is that you are an artist. My urge is for you to produce poetry, in terms of work, that the world perceives as mastery. That is really all about your depth of study revealing itself. It’s not about doing a lot of things, it’s about doing one thing well because the secret is not in complexity, the secret of genius is simplicity. You look at any genius athlete, they’re not doing five sports, they’re doing one sport incredibly well and then putting in the training time to be single mindedly focused so that they become brilliant at their one thing.
What I am suggesting then is this: think about the Ferrari's philosophy. Whether you are an entrepreneur, a professional athlete, or a martial arts student. What are the few things that you could actually do in your work so that you take all of your mental focus, your physical energy, and the willpower that you wake up with every single day, and you really focus on the few things, the few projects, or techniques that, when consistently iterated and improved every day, over time will allow you to reach a place where it appears so simple, but others will call you genius.
Apply this and you will excel.