Life is growth. Babies blossom into children. Seeds spring up as lush plants. Although both of those examples are physical, growth also manifests itself mentally and spiritually.
While physical growth occurs naturally with time, mental and spiritual growth rely on the individual and choices made in life. This is where vision comes into play. Vision, at its best, allows us to see into the future, beyond merely today and tomorrow. With thorough vision we can see what lies far ahead in life.
Let’s use a white belt, beginning martial arts student to illustrate the meaning and power of vision.
The white belt comes to training and sees other martial artists of higher rank performing difficult techniques with speed and precision. As a white belt, it’s simply not practical to expect yourself to walk into class and replicate a 360 roundhouse kick like a black belt; and here lies the crossroads where vision takes over. Someone with shallow vision views the difficult technique as out of reach. Maybe you can’t jump very high or stretch far enough. As a beginner, no one really can. So, you must let positive vision take over and frame the situation for your benefit. Those difficult techniques when seen from the proper perspective are not out of reach. They are simply in your future; not today, nor tomorrow, but ahead down the road. You must envision yourself with the black belt strapped around your waist or the 4th degree stripes on your belt. Use your imagination and paint that image strongly in your mind. See that the goal can become reality.
Now, you must find direction to bring forth successes you envision. In martial arts, you don’t need to look far. Your school’s curriculum, instructors’ guidance and belt testing all provide direction you need. Outside of martial arts, direction can be provided for you by family, friends and teachers. But in many cases, especially in young adulthood and beyond, you must find direction on your own. You must rely on your vision to discover a path for you. Do you want to improve in school? Start a business? Eat healthier? All of these choices are examples of directions that require dedication and are not attainable in one day. Discovering such choices for yourself, and being able to picture success, is a product of your vision.
The successful building contractor sees an empty lot and pictures a thriving shopping mall there. A doctor sees a sad, sick patient but envisions their path to recovery and complete health. And a winning martial artist looks down at his or her waist, sees a white belt, but mentally peers into the future and pictures a black belt tied across that same waist.
Moving forward is simply part of life. While we cannot stop the passage of time, or avoid aging, we can use vision to give us a clear path to worthy goals and a life of success and happiness.
Heroes are ordinary people who rise to the occasion in extraordinary circumstances. The potential to be a hero is present within each of us but whether or not you rise to the occasion when necessary depends on the strength in your mind and body. The body and mind must be unified for heroic strength to be built.
1. Physical Power: To develop strength you have to train under conditions where you work against another force. A fitness example of working at developing power would be lifting large amounts of weight in circuit training. Martial arts application: You can develop powerful side kicks by training with a partner holding a heavy bag as you perform your kicks.
2. Physical Endurance: To build endurance you have to perform a repeated action over a long length of time. A couple of typical examples for building endurance are jogging and aerobic exercises. Martial arts application: You can build endurance through extended sparring sessions, aerobic self-defense training and/or kick boxing classes.
1. Mental Focus: Gaining focus calls for concentrating the mind for extended periods of time. A common recreational example is reading a book. Martial arts application: You can build focus by performing standing, sitting or laying down meditation in which you have one thought that you concentrate on.
2. Mental Attitude: (Courage) Increasing courage results from facing difficult situations successfully. If you struggle with talking in front of an audience, then doing some public speaking will develop your courage. Martial arts application: Perform breaking techniques with actual boards and bricks to build courage with each successful break.
3. Mental Smarts: (Strategy) Improving your street smarts is the result of being open to more learning and experience. Playing the game Chess can help you to build strategy even beyond the game because it changes how you think. Martial arts application: Practicing applications against attacks that are not prearranged will help build mental smarts.
Heroic strength will naturally come out when you train to build your external and internal strength as you should in the martial arts. Gaining power, endurance, focus, courage and street smarts will prepare you for many of the uncertainties that life can bring so the hero in you can come out when necessary.
As a Martial arts instructor, is very important to me to coach my students in techniques and models that help them to develop effective and successful strategies. And also as I’ve studied successful people and come to see some consistent patterns of success.
Tony Robbins teaches that success in anything is 80% Mindset, 20% Mechanics. I tend to agree.
In this first part of the article we’ll talk about about the difference between having a fixed mindset vs a growth mindset.
Here are a list of examples of the mindset of individuals that either have a fixed mindset or a growth mindset. Obviously your goal should be the growth mindset
Fixed Mindset: “I’m either good at it or i’m not”
Growth Mindset: “I can learn anything I want to”
Fixed Mindset: “If I fail, i’m no good”
Growth Mindset: “I learn from my failures”
Fixed Mindset: “I don’t like to be challenged”
Growth Mindset: “I want to challenge myself”
Fixed Mindset: “I feel like feedback is personal”
Growth Mindset: “I feel like feedback is constructive”
Fixed Mindset: “If you succeed, I feel threatened”
Growth Mindset: “I’m inspired by the success of others”
Fixed Mindset: “My abilities determine everything”
Growth Mindset: “My effort and attitude determine everything”
I hope these examples get you thinking. One of the most valuable things you can do is take a good look at how you think on a day to day basis. Understand that YOU have total control over your thoughts AND your results.