If I was recruited to fill in for the Easter Bunny, I’d basically be dressed just like this…
I’d be hippity-hoppity, and happily chopity, looking for some delicious eggs to eat!
This think-like-a-champion mindset is the kind of approach that always works. You may not always have the answers, nor the most skill. You may not have the most experience, nor be (even remotely) the most brave. . . But when you adopt a “I’m not going to lose” attitude, you will come out on top no matter what.
In Ninpo, we teach the children to “love to lose” – when we ask them WHY they love to lose, they say “WE LEARN!!!” And that’s 1,000% true.
When I read “I don’t know how I’m going to win, but just know I’m not going to lose” I see words that express…“I may not win, but that doesn’t mean failure.” To me it isn’t as much about dominating the battle and coming out on top – it’s more that, in this semantic case, the “lose” part isn’t an end-all-be-all defeat. There will be something gained from the experience and in that way, the warrior wins no matter the physical outcome.
For us in Ninpo, we want to tie the word “lose” specifically to “learn” for the kids – that association, the notion that losing is not a negative, needs to be strong and firm in their minds.
But another layer to this – and what I also read in the quotation – is the idea of “walking on the floor like a champion.” It is the way I took the ice as a figure skater, the way I walked to the center of the mat when testing in Martial Arts, and the way I took the ballroom floor in dancing competition – you have to OWN it. You have to own yourself, and what you have to offer – even if you don’t have as much as the other competitors (PS: THEY don’t know that, only you do!) you need to act like you are on top.
If you walk out there with any self-doubt, it’s going to show, and it will leave room for someone else to sneak in. If, however, you raise that head high and own what you have got to give. . .you will astound yourself with how much you can achieve. Trust me, you can do that without the ego too – it’s about knowing you have what it takes and acting in accordance with the idea that you have already won.
I have to say, Mr. Rogers, you let me down!
The streets here are not exactly tame, depending on the block – happy-go-lucky mindlessness and handing out “hi, neighbor!”s is a surefire way to get in (possibly serious) trouble.
When I began Martial Arts, it wasn’t because I wanted to be “badass” or that I thought I’d need to fend of a gaggle of muggers, necessarily. I was a lifetime athlete – primarily a performing one (ballroom dancing, figure skating, ballet, and the like) – and I wanted to up the ante. I wanted more power, newness, and something that combined athleticism with artistry (which figure skating, for one, manages by default.)
That said, I was enamored of Martial Arts in general from an incredibly young age. It had nothing to do with being a female, by the way – I’ve never felt that I couldn’t achieve the same thing the “boys” did, and in sports the men were more my idols than the women. The grace and fluidity were something my body already knew how to create inherently, but the power and strength of male athletes inspired me on a whole other level.
Martial Arts movies were common enough in our household – older brother = badassery. And watching them, in and of themselves, made me feel empowered – imagine being able to do those things, and hold my own, for myself?!
I didn’t start (Taekwondo, Hapkido, dabble of Kumdo) until the third decade of Life, but I still don’t think that was “too late.” My current Arts are Ninjutsu / Ninpo, and Brazilian Gracie Jui-Jitsu. I feel that the combination of the former, and being in a new, and much tougher city than those I’ve lived in before, has prompted me to develop and even stronger situational awareness. I notice my surroundings, but also am more attuned to the details – how someone is walking, if they are carrying something, if they look in shape and strong, or less able. . . It’s sort of just “there” and it makes me feel even more thankful for my training.
I can’t say whether or not my muscle memories would kick in – I certainly hope so – but I definitely know I am far more prepared than the average person, and have some chance of submitting, escaping, keeping my life. I’m also more aware in general, a direct result training with people, so I can possibly be more proactive.
It may not always be a “beautiful day in the neighborhood” much that my happy-empath spirit would like it to be. Mr. Rogers let a little me down but I picked up the slack and have trained my ass off in the last ten years just in case a “hi, neighbor” leans a little too hostile for my taste!
What I love about Doug is that he has a sense of overwhelming positivity – he manages to infuse so much of his content with the passion to learn, to grow, to challenge oneself…and to look for what’s good (in our training, in life…everywhere.) Even when having to present flaws in someone’s design on the aforementioned show, he finds a way to frame the criticism so the contestant learns, but doesn’t feel totally horrendous about their work. I’ve found that approach with coaches to make ALL the difference in Martial Arts (frankly, in school or work just as much.)
I really enjoyed this “Morning Coffee” post today (today is St. Patty’s, March 17th, but I may schedule this for later! That’s the date if you want check it out, though!)
Life is definitely NOT peaches and cream all the time – it can get rough and tumble, and there are days where you feel like not only losing it, but throwing in the towel altogether. DON’T LOSE HEART.
I’ve learned a little bit about how painful experiences can be stored in the body, how the brain can then tell your physiology that it’s being directly assaulted, and why that “feeling” registers as “this is going to last forever.” Which, despite the very real visceral reactions, it isn’t.
People say “time heals” – when you are in the throes of the difficulty (whatever that may be – illness, work, relationship etc…) that’s often the last thing you want to hear.
BUT…to Doug’s point, making an effort to see the best in everything CAN make a marked difference. What isn’t mentioned here is the science behind what the brain does in response to the change in attitude and perspective – it’s pretty remarkable and, in its own way, real life “magic.”
Challenge yourself to change your attitude about what’s dragging you down – even if the problem is still there, and might be for some time, the “seeing the good” approach will give YOU – your mind AND body – a break from the (again, very real) effects of doldrums city.
LOVED Doug’s post and hope it brings a little positivity to YOUR day too!