Hard Work's a Good Distraction
If we asked our students to hold a push-up at the top for one full second and at the bottom for one full second most students would find that extremely easy to do. With the exercise being the push-up and the duration so minimal it would not cause a lot of stress for the student.
Now if we asked them to hold the push-up at the top for a full five seconds and at the bottom for a full five seconds, it would certainly increase the difficulty. With the additional time some students may or may not be able to do it at this point. If we took it a step further and increased the duration to 10 full seconds, then 60 full seconds, 10 minutes, 1 hour and so on it would get to the point where it becomes unbearable. The stress on one’s muscles as well as the mental fatigue would break even the strongest student at some point in time.
Letting go is a skill like any other skill that martial artists need to master. When faced with negativity and self-doubt it is easy to push it aside when you are in a busy state and moving in the right direction. Now let us take Covid, some extra time on your hands, home all day and all the sudden those worries you used to push aside start to linger in your head. Just like the push-up it can get to the point where it becomes unbearable if you do not train yourself to let it go.
So how do we deal with negative energy and not let it consume you to the point where you become paralyzed with fear of deciding. The easiest way is to stay busy and distract yourself. Although being busy can become a bit of a stress, how you decide to be busy can keep your thoughts off things that may consume you if you have too much thinking time on your hands. So many times, I have seen students extremely nervous to start their first karate class only to see that nervous energy dissipate the minute they do their first jumping jack or bow in on the mat. All the time they spent thinking about their fear suddenly evaporates the minute the student starts moving. This instant distraction is a gift that we as adults could use time and time again.
Children seem to do it so easily yet as adults we often forget this innate ability that we had at a younger age. If we could only hone into this skill repeatedly our lives would be so much easier and little issues would never become big issues. One thing that martial arts teaches us is to handle our emotions with self-control. When you first started your journey at First Choice Martial Arts you were asked to memorize the student oath. That first line, I will keep my thoughts positive because my thoughts become my words is designed to create a foundation for a positive mindset. This is the true nature of what our school is all about and we must continue to use this mantra as we take on challenges outside the dojo.
I am sure you have heard 1 million times before to concentrate on what you are doing for better results. Although this is true 99% of the time, sometimes it might be necessary to focus on something different than what is in front of you. An example might be your Black Belt test and at the end you are asked to do a difficult movement to perform. Although you may be completely fatigued and exhausted you may need to focus on the result and put your mind elsewhere to get through immediate circumstance. This does not show a lack of concentration, it shows a maturity and better grasp over your physical and mental emotions. Having an ability to take your mind outside of a stressful situation and move forward when everybody else is paralyzed and unable to do anything is a true gift that takes a long time to master.
So next time that negative energy starts to creep in, do not hesitate, get up out of that chair and move. Go for a walk, pick up a book and find a way to deal with it in a more productive way. Letting it fester is not going to serve you nor is it going to help you achieve your next success.
You have done it before so do it again!