Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Invest in the Process

Q. Why do we train?
“To be able to lead safer lives”

Q. Why do we want that?
“So we can do the things we want without fear or threats, or at least, with an understanding and an ability to deal with these threats”

Q. What is the benefit of this?
“So we can be happy”


Q. Why do we train?
“So we can get good at something we enjoy”

Q. Why do we want that?
“So we can become great at something and excel”

Q. What is the benefit of this?
“So we can be happy”


Q. Why do we train?
“So we can compete and test ourselves”

Q. Why do we want to do that?
“So we can massage our ego and gain more confidence in ourselves”

Q. What is the benefit of this?
“So we can be happy”

I would guess that, whatever your reason for wanting to study martial arts, your ultimate goal is to be happy.
Regardless of whether you want to be able to protect yourself, be great at a fighting art, win competitions, gather skills to a level where you can share this with others and teach, get fit so you can have more energy and enjoy a full life, join you’re your children in a hobby you can all share, etc etc, all of these reasons ultimately lead you back to wanting to be happy.
And it doesn’t have to be Martial Arts, I would suggest you can apply these same questions and direction of thought to anything you do, or choose to do.
We all want to be happy; the key is understanding what it is that makes us happy, or rather, what it is we should focus on to make us happy.

This article has been inspired by the following clip by Srikumar S. Rao, and this gentleman explains it far more eloquently and intelligently than I ever could, so please invest the next 10 minutes and enjoy this clip.

In this clip, Srikumar explains that we should invest in the Process and not the outcome. It’s about enjoying the journey rather than the destination, something I wrote about a long time ago – linked here…
For me, this mirrors directly back to my martial arts and the journey I have gone through and still continue to go through.
The destination is merely something to give a general direction and goal to instil ambition. But it’s the journey and the process that delivers the instant rewards, the fun and the ingredients for happiness.

This works at whatever level you want to look.
If we consider the overall picture of studying martial arts and the journey of studying different arts, gaining skills, learning new processes and principals, discovering new things, the end goal is achieving a high level of proficiency in those arts, but the process is the learning and practising and drilling of techniques on a daily basis.

If you have fun drilling techniques, if you enjoy training each day, hitting the bag or rolling with a friend, your ultimate success in the arts doesn’t really matter, because you’re having fun anyway.

If we consider the other end of the spectrum where we take it down to a single fight with an opponent on the mat. The end goal and destination being the victory in the fight, but the process, the fun bit, being each and every move at any moment in time. Again, if we find fun in the process of rolling from one technique to the next or pitting our skills at any moment in time against a resisting opponent, we don’t really care about the end result of the fight as we’ve had fun along the way.
We write a lot about being in the Now, investing in the moment or the particular move and position at this exact time. Not looking too far ahead into the future or wasting time reviewing what just happened in the previous move.

By being in the Now, you can enjoy exactly what you are currently doing.

By enjoying the process and gaining pleasure from performing each single move to your best ability, you will never have to worry about the result of the fight. Win or lose you will have had fun along the way as you hadn’t invested in the outcome, just the process.

The real twist here though, is that when you invest in the process; when you spend your time enjoying and having fun in each single move or position or technique, you will start to find a lot more end results go in your favour too.

As a friend of mine recently said, "there are only winners and learners", so enjoy the moment, invest in the process and you’ll have a better recipe for fun and happiness, which is always our ultimate goal.

Thank you for reading
Stay Safe and Have Fun

Al x

1 comment:

  1. You're exactly right.

    I do train so that I can be happy.

    Never quite thought of it like that - thanks!