So what is a blue belt life? In Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, there are 5 belt classes: white, blue, purple, brown, and black. Each successive belt represents a significant advancement over the previous one. Blue is the second belt in the progression and indicates a skill level much higher than white. And yet still there lies a long and arduous road of study and practice—hours of learning techniques and using them in a competitive setting—before one achieves the coveted black belt level. Even then, the learning continues. We apply this perspective to any learning pursuit. We realize that even if we achieve great skill in a subject, there is always further to go. And we take the humility of the blue belt with us wherever we go, to remind us of this, and to motivate us to continue learning, and keep reaching for the next level.
“I do a bit of everything, and it brings me great happiness” – Ido Portal
We can take the analogy deeper, and apply it to life as a whole. Who among us but the most foolhardy would say they are a black belt at life, a master of existence? The BJJ black belt, the chess grandmaster, the rock star—those who master a particular area, do so at the expense of other skills. They have a black belt in one and white belts in the rest. Even the “master’s” life averages down to a blue belt—in life, blue is the highest level.
We see two ways of getting there. One is the specialist’s route, the act of devoting most of one’s time to learning one skill and mastering it. This is a virtuous path, and surely provides great happiness to those who can achieve it. But such narrow focus and dedication are not for everyone. This site is about the other route, the generalist’s route. This is the act of developing a range of skills of varying levels, and in doing so, achieving the satisfaction of a blue belt life.
With the concept hopefully a bit clearer, let’s get down to what is actually on this site. To start with, it is a portal into one attempt at a blue belt life. Through articles, videos, and song I will share with you my generalist’s approach. My particular areas of interest are music, yoga, investing, and healthy living. There are separate pages devoted to each subject, a section on life in Tokyo, and a main page with the most recent content. This is about more than one person’s journey, though—it is an approach to living well, and a community of people dedicated to that goal. Since my interests cover only a fraction of the great knowledge this universe has to offer, I would love to hear about your skills and experience as well. Already a number of people work together to bring this content to life. Please reach out to us if you would like to contribute, as we are always looking to expand our sphere of learning. I hope we can bring a fresh perspective to life, share valuable skills and lessons, and continue our own learning through the gift of teaching.
Thanks for stopping by!