How you do anything is how you do everything
An old friend of mine, Shaun (not his real name), who was a 3-time national champion wrestler and was training at the Olympic training center, told me a story once about the famous wrestler Tom Brands. One day, Toms car was in the shop for repairs so he needed a ride to get to an afternoon training session at the Olympic Training Center so he asked my friend, Shaun, if he could help him out for a couple of days. They weren’t that close of friends but Tom said he would give him some extra attention and help him out a little more with his wrestling in exchange for giving him rides, so of course he agreed. Tom Brands is a legend and the chance to learn one on one from him is priceless.
When it came time to pick up Tom, my friend Shaun, as usual, was cutting it close with time and ended up being about five minutes late. That was the beginning of the end, but it got worse when coach Tom got in the car and he saw the mess of empty water bottles, gum wrappers, chewing tobacco cans, etc. all over the passenger floor and he could smell the dirty clothes in the back of the car. Reluctantly, Tom got in the car anyway. My friend could see the intense look on Toms face and feel the tension but chalked it up to coach Tom getting mentally prepared for the practice. As they took off, Shaun asked Tom “What are we going to work on today?” He was expecting him to reply with whatever technique he felt was lacking and they would head straight to the training center and focus on that. Tom surprised him when he replied begrudgingly with “Your life! How can you expect to be a champion when you live like this? Your life is a mess! This is not the life of a champion! Go to the laundromat and the car wash!” Shaun was taken off guard. He had mentally prepped himself for an intense, hard day of training that was the norm at this level and with these coaches, but coach just told him to go to the fucking car wash? They spent the day cleaning the car, clothes, and Shaun’s apartment.
The lesson here is pretty straightforward but is easily forgotten and more easily dismissed. How you do anything is how you do everything. Tom Brands understood this. If you want to achieve great things you must understand this also.
Many people including ceo’s, authors, musicians, surgeons, and athletes succeed in achieving greatness (at least what is considered by the onlooker as greatness) IN SPITE of the life they live, not BECAUSE of the life they live. Remember that you have the power to design your life and that everything you do is of your design. You always have a choice and choosing a life of order and harmony will carry over in to all other aspects and allow you to reach a higher state of consciousness in life.
The state of flow, also known as optimal experience or a state of self-actualization, is realized when the mind is liberated from the chains of natural instincts, evolutionary survival patterns and when the conscious is in clear order. Having reachable, clearly defined goals is one of the most important aspects to achieving this state.
Clear goals are without question one large part of reaching the highest levels of experience and performance, but we must also clear a path in our mind for the goal to take center stage and take precedence in the conscious. Our minds are very hard to control, it takes years of practice and proper habits to form deep neural pathways strong enough to react naturally without question.
When in a situation that requires instant reactions, especially combat, but in many life events also, this is when the deepest neural habits you have formed over your lifetime come to fruition. If you’re doing it in front of people, like fighting in a cage, everyone will have an insight in to the abyss of your subconscious patterns that YOU have developed over the years.
Considering that we are able to train for a maximum of about 1/3 of the day (8 hours, and that is a very high reaching max), most train around 4-6 hours per day at the highest level and that is even a high number for some depending on the cycle of preparation, that leaves anywhere from 16-20 hours a day on average that you will not be training in a gym and working on specific motor pattern recruitment and improvement of skills. What we are doing with the remaining time is the true key to unlocking our potential.
In the future writings on this page I will go over many key aspects of breaking through barriers, kicking down doors, climbing obstacles, smashing through limiting beliefs, and destroying the “Thieves of Progress.” The lessons learned through walking in to a cage in front of millions of people putting your life on the line are real lessons that can be applied to all aspects of your life. Let’s take this journey together bring each other up together. As the adage goes “When the tide rises, all ships come up.”