We’ve all heard it before, we may even have done it ourselves: “It’s all because of x” or “If only I had done x instead…” hindsight has a way of playing with us that is neither constructive nor positive. It can drag us into a mire of regret and essentially confirm a narrative in our mind that reinforces the fixed mindset, rather than allowing us to move on and develop a growth mindset. Continue reading
“Never leave a job half done.” My grandfather told me that as a boy. I haven’t forgotten those words, even if at times I have failed to act on them. He had been sitting, watching me finish a simple drawing one afternoon before I had decided to wander off before it was complete. In his way, he didn’t say anything at the time, but waited instead until I came back to sit down with him for lunch.
“You know that drawing you were doing before?” In my mind I was anticipating some sort of compliment or critique.
“You didn’t finish it…” He stated objectively. “Never leave a job half done.”
As a boy I didn’t think much about it until after his passing. Today, the more I reflect on the sentiment of his words, the more profoundly his advice affects me.
The more I think about it, the more it seems like everything he said to me had some intentionally deeper meaning he had planned and percolated on before he brought his words, or actions, into the world.
We, as individuals, are not just responsible for our choices or the paths we decide to walk down, but also for making sure we finish what we start.
Jiu-Jitsu puts you completely in the moment, where you must have complete focus on finding a solution to a problem. This trains the mind to build that focus, to increase you awareness, your capacity to solve problems.
This week I have been thinking a lot about how we learn. Often we leave school or formal education thinking that we already know everything we will need to get by. The reality of things is so far from this. My greatest experiences of learning have mainly occurred in the years since I left formal education.
More specifically, most of my learning experiences have involved Brazilian Jiu Jitsu; through that lens I have learnt more about myself, others and the nature of the world. I am mainly a kinesthetic learner: meaning I learn in a tactile way, by doing and physically working on something rather than listening. I can work out details, understand techniques and grasp concepts far quicker by doing them or have them done to me. I have tried to extend my ability to learn in other ways, as it is sometimes not enough just to rely on the one dimension of learning to carry me through (especially if mastery of the art is the goal). I have focused on developing my ability to Listen. Continue reading
I’ve heard many of my own students, and indeed adults, say things along the lines of “I haven’t learnt anything from x” or “I don’t feel like I learn anything here.”. Until recently I hadn’t reflected on this at all, but I found myself feeling confused whilst discussing this with an adult. We had been discussing their training; they circled unconvincingly around their apparent dissatisfaction at their current training and began to explain how they felt they weren’t learning anything. It left me thinking; isn’t our learning our responsibility? Continue reading
There are an infinite amount of bite sized inspirational quotes about failure that are recycled in the void of the internet and meeting room posters around the world. Regardless of how we experience or perceive failure, it’s never any easier. The adversity and obstacles we face on our journey is what makes the journey what it is, but we cannot deny the soul crushing weight of failure. So why do we fail? Here are 3 reasons why. Continue reading
Sometimes, we simply don’t know what we don’t know and that’s okay. Pretending like we know what’s going on when we don’t will often lead to disaster rather than do anything except save face.
So how can we go from knowing nothing at all to acquiring and expressing knowledge? Continue reading
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?
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.