Staying focused

staying motivated

Staying focused. I’m so bored.

Any exercise, whether it is martial arts, yoga or any other class, sooner or later there will be times when you are simply bored out of your mind. We crave constant stimulation and entertainment, constant ways to be ‘up’. We tend to do whatever we can to fill in the gaps in-order to avoid boredom. Then the moment we feel bored we move on. “I need to replace this now, I need to find the next stimulation”. It only gets worse, we keep moving, replacing a perfectly good situation with another, then another, never satisfied. It can be as simple as replacing one thought with another, or as complicated as replacing one partner with another, one job with another, where does it end.

Educators and trainers have recognised the need to keep you totally engaged so you never feel bored. If you feel bored you will eventually look for something more stimulating. At Northstar, excellence comes from training the movements and techniques over and over again. The self defence moves need to be a mindless response, ingrained in your blue print. But this is not easy as the repetition gets very boring. This is good. If you don’t immediately quit and work with your trainer, you have a huge opportunity to grow in many ways. Moving from the external to the internal is a major shift in your martial arts.

Boredom is simply the ego screaming out for attention, “please don’t forget me”, you are not giving Me enough attention; when you are totally engrossed and absorbed with what you are doing, who you are does not exist, only the situation. You are indulging fully and having fun. You love it, you can’t get enough, you are not attached to your thought patterns.

As part of your internal training, eventually we want you to feel bored, we want it fully, we want you to be bored out of your mind. Only then does the real training start: Using the physical martial arts as a working surface to observe your thinking and your internal environment. I often use the example of hitting the pads. Give the movement your full attention. Feel the pressure at the exact point of contact between the glove and the pad. If thoughts arise, don’t go off with them, stay on track and bring your attention back to the glove and the pad.

By doing this practice you are able to hear the chatter of thoughts but not be taken over by them. By seeing and believing that they do not necessarily have your best interest in mind, you are able to move through your work out with new enthusiasm regardless of what you are thinking. This of course is the basis of mindfulness so can be applied to all that you do.

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Author, teacher and mentor.The essence of Andy's teaching is correct martial arts training is a great method of personal growth. It can be studied on the surface to get fit and learn self-defense and it can also lead to incredible changes in self-confidence, self-esteem, self-discipline and self knowledge.

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