#212 Showing up is easy

To reach such a peak, there is no particular set of skills required (a guide may be advised lol) but rather that you bring yourself and your best, be present and put one foot in front of the other. While that seems easy enough, too many are unfamiliar with this idea. You will see this in Jiu Jitsu, in people’s lives and New Years resolution and só on.

We all know that life is hard and filled with struggle as is the journey. To reach the peak of the Matterhorn is no easy feat, but the views are astounding to say the least. All that work however, to watch a sun rise or set behind those mountains may seem like an unreasonable thing to many. Yet those who have made the trek understand fully and would do it again and again.

As an instructor, before encouraging a student to push themselves harder I look to help them understand the value of showing up daily (relative to their schedule and goals) whether or not they even work hard during that time. You may be surprised by what I am about to tell you but %99 of people, even some of the most gifted athletes do not demonstrate the ability to execute this single and simple task. So do yourself a favor, in order to reap the rewards, don’t stop midway. Show up and watch your efforts be compounded into something magical in a few years’ time. You along with many of the great achievers will be glad you did!

#211 Technique and f*** it!

Everyone at some level or another learns that there is a level of technique needed to be proficient in any given discipline. There also comes the time when you need to say fuck it and just “GO!”. As much as there is a need to be precise and calculated, the day will come where it results in you being late. Learn to balance both sides so that you can be a calm ocean and one moment and a devastating force at another.

#208 You aren’t lazy, you suck at learning…

We all have something we want to be good at. Cooking, school, sports, health, etc. We all personally know a good amount of people struggling to accomplish even the most simple of goals like lose weight. One of the fortunes of my profession is that it allows me to be surrounded by highly motivated and successful people who have been gracious enough to share some of their insights. I have put them below in no meaningful order.

Time – One of the most unappreciated aspects of any endeavor is the amount of time it takes to achieve competence. Part of this is due to the fast nature of the modern world via technology and how quickly our whims can be satisfied. Nonetheless it has had little effect towards the process of mastery. If you want to be good at archery, the internet definitely has some great resources at your disposal, you can have John Dudley or Cameron Hanes teach you tips on hunting elk or shooting a bow but at the end of the day, you’re going to have to put in the time and practice for years and even decades.

Process – Many people are under the impression that learning is easy. A clear example of this is unaccomplished people who criticize hard working people that have accumulated wealth, even portraying them as bad or malevolent individuals who reached their status by means of manipulation. In reality most of these people learned skills over a long period of time that enabled them to provide a quality service which led to their fortune. Scott Adams who wrote the book Loserthink would probably appreciate me calling that “loser talk”.

Consistency – One of the things you must be quick to learn in your pursuit of mastery, is that every single day you can get better or make a small improvement in the skill you so desire. Also known in the business world as Kaizen. Too often students take an aggressive approach that is often unsustainable and leads to failure. Believe it or not, health is a skill and those who have mastered it have continually exercised habits which incrementally led to their performance and physique. If you can’t do it every day or damn near, maybe it’s not for you.

Frustration – This is something often experienced by beginners in any field. What you must come to understand is that life simply boils down to overcoming struggles, if you are not experiencing challenge there is a good chance you are also not experiencing growth. Learn to view difficulty as not only a good thing but the entire reason you are there, in its absence you should start to sense something needs to change. “Frustration means you think the path is easy”.

Study – When you know a lot about something, not only does it give you a significant advantage over your competition, but it becomes much harder to turn away. As a white belt my lack of knowledge on the subject of Jiu Jitsu could have easily turned me elsewhere had it not been for the captivating idea of learning to dominate and submit a larger and stronger human. From the lower belts on I learned to study on YouTube, dvds (before BJJ Fanatics 😁), watching matches, blogs, forums, but most of all, tournaments. Having an arsenal of knowledge and the practice to go with it, becomes a double edged sword, too much of one and the other side becomes full. Successful people STUDY ALL THE TIME. If you can’t, perhaps you are lazy 😉

Putting it all together – Ultimately for you to be good at anything and experience success it is going to be fucking hard. The people you see with the body, the money, skill, or relationships you want work very hard for a long period of time until they reach their goals. It means embracing a lifestyle of education and discipline where you can always look back at yourself one or two years ago and say “Wow, I was garbage back then”. The alternative is to be comfortable and stay where you are while continuing to make excuses for why your diet didn’t work, why you lost, why someone else got the promotion while you got laid off. For you to be rewarded like the few who do, you will have to work really hard for a long time and be relentlessly obsessed with whatever it is you pursue. Only then can you look back with pride of what you’ve accomplished versus trying to dull your memory with gluttony, drugs and alcohol.

#207 The Good, The Bad and The Mature.

From the beginning stages of my development as a Jiu Jitsu practitioner to the more advanced stages I found myself viewing things in Jiu Jitsu as good or bad.

What you must come to understand is that all positions have their inherent values, strengths and weaknesses. By doing so you remove such limits from your progress and allow yourself to see what the position, move or technique is for and when it could be most suitable rather than labeling it as wrong.

I used to think cross chokes only worked at the beginner stages, until Xande Ribeiro awakened me to the fact that it is one of the most under utilized and highly effective mid and close range attacks when performed properly and at the right time.

#206 The gift of hard work

Today friend reminded me of the benefits that accompany coming home physically and mentally exhausted after a long day of work. Instantly I could recall the times I had been injured and unable to fully participate in my regular routine of lifting and Jiu Jitsu (sometimes twice a day) which led to difficulty sleeping.

Now, don’t get it twisted, I have NO trouble when it comes to sleep. I am simply pointing out that it is noticeably more difficult the less I train. It is also appropriate to mention that the night before I watched The Social Dilemma which touched on the effects of social media on our youth’s anxiety, depression, etc… Who would’ve thought staring at screens more and being less physically active could have a negative impact!? Levity aside, I encourage those who haven’t seen to watch the film. It is informative and well done to say the least.

While I do not profess to be qualified to advise those dealing with such issues, there is something to be said physically, spiritually and emotionally for the reward of a hard days work, and a hot shower after a good meal. “Our perception is our reality after all” and when your eyes are glued to a screen and the world within, is it possible that one begins to lose touch with their own tangible world?

#205 Travel light

In many circumstances, speed is not only of the essence, it is critical. It’s only superior being is timing.

As I move my belongings from one home to another I am reminded of this fact. My possessions are few outside of a bed, a tv, a bookshelf along with clothing and a few miscellaneous items (BJJ medals, guns, ammo, etc).

Too often we hold on to that which is not necessary to the degree that we miss the ease that accompanies minimalism. My travels only reinforce this fact as I carefully pack a uniform and a few days clothes/essentials, allowing me to zip through airports and get to my destination in a timely fashion.

Despite our advances as a human race, some things will never change. Such as the simple beauty of the fact that “less really is more”.

#204 Time waits for no one

Today marks the one year anniversary of my decision to stop drinking and smoking (cannabis). If I started at the date of my choice however, January 1st would mark one year rather than December 26th. What is the significance of a mere few days you might ask?

It is our natural tendency to procrastinate. How many times have you heard or said the words “I’m going to start Monday” or “next month I’m going to start my diet”? You’ll be quick to recognize it is actually a fairly common human trait. Sadly, many who claim “they will” don’t. In sales when a customer says “let me think about it and get back to you” this, in a majority of cases, means they will not make a purchase.

One year ago exactly, I remember vocalizing my plan to my brother Steve, who responded with “Why start January 1st and not now?” Fair question because there was no reason.

If you want to lose weight, why wait another day or month if it is really what you want? As humans, we like to put things off, failing to recognize the power of immediate action. In combat, being first is one of the biggest advantages one can have. So too with our goals, why wait when you can have time on your side with a few days, weeks or months head start.

As we head into the new year, I wish you all a successful year in regards to the goals you set for yourself and urge you not to wait. Rather, start right fucking now, and when you do reach your goal you will have added the additional skill of immediate action which will be carried into every facet of your life and work.

#203 In Jiu Jitsu, it’s not what you know.

One of the best things about Jiu Jitsu, as with many things in life, is that you must go further than speculation. A frustration with today’s world are those who live their lives in a world of theory. While theory is necessary for generating ideas, they cannot be allowed to trump what actually has worked. This sounds like a means of stifling any form of progress or creativity in Jiu Jitsu but in fact produces the opposite effect. The reality is that all ideas are welcome, as long as they can be proved. This results in a level of pragmatism that is necessary for true progress. If you’re a boxer, you don’t want a coach who has watched a lot of Rocky Balboa and thinks he knows what to do. He’s going to get you killed in the ring, literally. When you operate off of this understanding that “it’s not what you know, but what you can prove” you will begin to take a different lens on many of life’s endeavors which will likely result in much more success.

#202 Lessons from cleaning

Nothing will teach you the importance of every task like cleaning. Dusting, mopping, sweeping are all created equally and necessary for the finished project. A good engine, after all is the sum of each of its parts. No detail can be spared or left out, everything must be accounted for to create a sparkling kitchen. So too in Jiu Jitsu, business, life and relationships must one learn to value the little things. Big things after all are often made up of many little things from the greatest skyscraper to the airplanes that tear across the skies.

#201 Get it done

Recently, I’ve been seeming to allow my blogs to pile up posting 2-3 at a time versus my regular daily post. This of course has me scrambling to post them and get them out. What is the significance of this? Sometimes when faced with challenge the perfectionist needs to take a backseat, because at the end of the day it’s not about look pretty. It’s about getting it done and moving the chains!