A life lesson from One Punch Man

My latest obsession is One Punch Man. It's about Saitama, a hero who can finish any enemy in just one punch. He's the most powerful man in the world but only few people know it. He's even often seen as a villain by the public because of the damage he causes in some of his battles and the perception that he's cheating. It's a super funny show! You have to watch it and then read the manga if you're into the genre.

There's a lot of things to love about Wanpanman, but one scene stuck with me. It's when Genos (Saitama's android disciple) has only 33 seconds left to destroy a meteor headed for their city.  In the little time he has, he questions the wisdom of destroying the meteor and then having pieces of it decimate the city. He wonders if he has enough time and fire power to destroy the meteor hurtling right towards him.

Suddenly, an older hero, Bang, appears. He says, "Well calm down. I see your mind is clouded. You are far too young to be considering failure, son. It's best if you don't think too much and just do it. Especially in last minute situations. The outcome will be the same anyway."



The outcome will be the same anyway. It's the same in tennis. The best tennis players act on reflexes and instinct, which are honed by hundreds of hours of practice. When the ball is hurtling towards you, you can't think about whether you can hit it or not. Your goal is to be in position as fast as you can and take your best swing. The outcome (failure) may not change, but that isn't an excuse to stay paralyzed. In fact it should make you even more determined to do whatever you can because there's nothing to lose when you're pressed for time.

In other words: if you're in a situation where action and inaction will result in the same outcome, the choice should be obvious. 


 "Irene" by Liz Lanuzo / Watercolor and sumi ink

"Irene" by Liz Lanuzo / Watercolor and sumi ink

Wanna share a great read before I go! Words to Paint By by Irwin Greenberg contains some sage advice about how to improve yourself. It's about painting but it can also apply to other aspects of life. My favorite bits are:

  • Don’t say “I haven’t the time.” You have as much time everyday as the great masters.
  • When you’re in trouble, study the lives of those who’ve done great things. “Poor me” is no help at all.
  • Don’t look for gimmicks to give your work style. You might be stuck with them for life. Or, worse yet, you might have to change your “style” every few years.
  • No struggle, no progress.

Have a great week! Keep your chin up.