Reaching a state of Flow

We’ve all heard the term ‘Flow’ used before. “Going with the flow” is a phrase often associated with an ability to move, or transition easily between tasks.

Reaching a state of Flow can feel almost transcendent; it’s that feeling of being ‘in the zone’, having that perfect training session or a highly productive period of creativity. Often we stumble across this state by luck, or the perfect combination of factors that we may be unaware of. With a bit of understanding of the concept of Flow, can we reach this state frequently and intentionally to maximize our enjoyment of our chosen disciplines?

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Presence of mind: Being a conscientious learner

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Your mind is like a garden and how it grows is up to you.

Most of the time we don’t reflect on the learning process; we physically arrive for a class or seminar, workshop or tutorial and then try to focus mentally on what is being taught in that session. As a teacher (and a student), one thing I have realized is that the learning process is far more complex than this. Successful learners are not simply those that show up regularly, or even those who work the hardest. It seems to be the case that the most successful learner is the one who is most present in their moments of learning.

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Developing healthy habits: The foundation of success

In any endeavor, be it mental or physical, we are ruled by the semi automatic responses we have developed to certain situation; subconscious responses that we have either allowed to develop innately or developed intentionally. These are what we call habits. Habits, whether they are constructive or destructive, will undoubtedly shape you and your journey on the path to success.  Continue reading

Effort vs Efficiency

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Sometimes it’s better to choose the hammock over the hammer.

“I don’t understand… I gave it everything I had. I guess it wasn’t enough.” Have you ever had this conversation with yourself? Has someone ever had it with you?

I’m my biggest critic. The amount of times I have run this narrative through my mind is more than I’d care to admit. “Why didn’t I give that more effort? Why was all your effort not enough?” Recently I’ve been thinking: what if it was less a question of Effort and more a question of efficiency? Continue reading

Lessons from Japan

20161003_093535I still consider the two weeks I spent in Japan in 2016 some of the most formative in my  martial arts (and indeed life) journey to date. I decided to purchase some flights, contact Axis Jiu Jitsu Academy HQ in Tokyo and book a room at the closest hotel I could find. Over those two weeks, I spent roughly 6 hours a day on the mats, watched the All Japan Open, did some exploring and a lot of introspection. Continue reading