Today is another chance for me to have a bit of a ramble about Iaijutsu, with only three weeks (6 classes) left till the grading, motivation is the perfect thing to discuss.
You have all heard me talk about various aspects of the psychological side of Iai, but what about motivation?
Motivation is an interesting aspect of everything we do, we all know that person who starts something, buys the most expensive clubs/fishing rods/equipment etc then five months later they have moved onto something else.
Iai i s one of those martial arts that can suffer from this, to equip yourself is a real price tag, and the gains are measured over months and years, not days and weeks.
So how do we keep our motivation? and how can we apply it to our everyday life?
For me as i think about this, the answer is not a simple one it is complex (just like everything else with Iai!).
firstly i do not view that there is a completion point in Iai. As i strive for perfection i discover that i can be better, this pushes me to a higher ideal. In my everyday life, i take from this a mindset to attempt to complete everything that i do to the best of my ability, but be open to different ways to improve; giving me the ability to critically think.
Secondly understanding that improvement is gradual and not a level gain, i keep going understanding that familiarity and practice will reward me with the improvement i desire. My takeaway for my private life from this element is that patience and diligence will pay off.
Thirdly in our style of Iaijutsu we have a principle known as 'How to die well' this does not mean throwing your life away needlessly, rather it involves finding in your Iai a goal noble enough that you would die for it. From this i take away the mindset that when i start something i do not want to give up on it, i am serious about it and it is important enough that i would die for it if nesessary.
And lastly I focus upon the moment, when i enter the dojo i leave my problems outside, i take on something that i can control, and something where the parameters are easily measured, i can see my improvement over the months and years, releasing me from a need to answer to the man, and just enjoy that moment of my life. This is important to us all, if we cannot give ourselves some time off we burn out, in the modern world noone ever stops. Something we should all do.
In essence motivation is different for all of us, we are all individuals and different things motivate different people. But the gains are the same for all of us, less mental stress, piece of mind, the ability to think outside the box,relaxation and enjoyment....
They all count!!!
Have a great weekend everyone, i hope to see you all on sunday!!!