The Importance Of The Mind
In our last blog we talked about how your mind and your ego can affect your body, your strength, and your capabilities. We’re going to continue on that idea, and today we’ll discuss some ways that we can optimize our thought patterns, reduce our negative egos, and build up good habits to ensure responsive and effective physical reactions.
Let’s start with how we train our minds – our conscious choices to align our thoughts to certain ways of thinking, and to focus on where we want to be with our mindsets. Just like any other skill, it takes practice and commitment and dedication, but eventually it leads to high mental endurance, which is something that greatly benefits us throughout our lives (just like control of our muscles, our breathing, our emotions, etc). The more you do it, the better at it you’ll become. And what’s one of the best ways to practice these methods? Martial arts! Kung fu helps focus your attention and avoid distractions, cultivating a higher threshold of mental ability. This means better control over every situation and a refreshingly calm approach to any of the many encounters – both positive and negative – that you may have on any day. This kind of control is why it’s often said that the greatest martial artists learn the discipline so that they don’t have to use it. The focus on mental strength is so high that physical violence is a last resort.
So what are some ways to “pre-program” your mind for dealing with stressful situations? And how does that lead to physical results?
Think of it this way: no matter what people who are always trying to be constantly positive say, adversity is unavoidable in life. There are instances when you’ll have to deal with not being the winner, and not getting everything that you want. But rather than disheartening you, that should simply allow you to tell yourself that it’s okay! This is how we grow. Nobody is perfect 100% of the time. And furthermore, not doing 100% of something all at once doesn’t mean that you’ve failed. It means that you’re learning – that you’re training. Allowing this, and embracing it, is where the true strength of your mind lies.
Use this strength to develop a proper mindset in training. Off the bat, know that you can do anything you’re determined to – if, and only if, you’re willing to work to get a little closer to it every day. It’s not all-or-nothing; and just because you didn’t become a kung fu master overnight doesn’t mean you should spend the next week on the couch watching TV. Every big success is rooted in many more small ones, and those are the victories that you should aim for and celebrate. Each one sharpens your skills and gives you a little more control over your mind and body.
Start with small things. Whether it’s doing ten push-ups a day, or not checking Facebook while you’re at work, or committing to eating less fast food, everything big is manageable by breaking it down into smaller pieces. The details don’t matter as much as the fact that you make a goal and stick to it. When you reach those goals, the next ones – the slightly bigger ones every time – don’t seem so bad, and before you know it you’ve done something you never thought you could.
In a few weeks, join us again when we dive deeper into how to train our minds, and what the results and benefits can be. Remember, kung fu is as much about how you think as it is about how you move. Understanding this is lesson #1!
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