“We don’t like thinking that someone is better than us.  Or that we have a lot left to learn.  We want to be done.  We want to be ready.  We’re busy and overburdened.  For this reason, updating your appraisal of your talents in a downward direction is one of the most difficult things to do in life – but it is almost always a component of mastery.  The pretense of knowledge is our most dangerous vice, because it prevents us from getting any better.  Studious self-assessment is the antidote.” ~ Ryan Holiday, Ego is the Enemy

“Self-mastery and the consistent care of one’s mind, body, and soul are essential to finding one’s highest self and living the life of one’s dreams.  How can you care for others if you cannot even care for yourself?  How can you do good if you don’t even feel good?  I can’t love you if I cannot love myself.” ~ Robin S. Sharma, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari

The Four Seasons of Mastery; How Swimming is the Mother of All the Arts.

The Four Seasons of Mastery

The following is an excerpt from Budo Secrets – Teachings of the Martial Arts Masters by John Stevens

—— —— ——

Water is the source of wisdom; swimming is the mother of all the arts.

Children should be introduced to the sea as early as possible.  Rather than being strictly “taught” how to float and swim, they should be unobtrusively guided at first in order to allow them to gradually acquaint themselves with the mystery of water.

Body and mind must remain flexible.  A calm mind is the single most important element of successful training.  A swimmer must avoid struggling against the water, against him- or herself, or against others.  A trainee must strive to harmonize him- or herself with the waves, becoming one with the body of water, be it a pond, lake, river, or ocean.  Ride the waves with your mind as well as your body.

There are four levels of mastery, symbolized by the four seasons.  In spring, the raw swimmer, bursting with energy and eager to compete, needs discipline and hard physical training.  In summer, the experienced swimmer, now at his or her physical peak, should explore the full dimensions of the art.  In autumn, the mature swimmer can relax a bit, sporting more freely in the water, and reflect on past experiences.  By winter, a true swimmer  has become a wise old master, beyond the limits of victory or defeat, in perfect harmony with the sea, sky, and shore.

Swimming teaches us how to live properly.  There is no way a solitary swimmer can impose his or her selfish will on the water.  Swimming against the current will ultimately result in disaster.  Swim with the flow without strain, resistance, confusion, or unnatural movement.

—— —— ——

Budo Secrets - Teachings of the Martial Arts Masters

Buy from Amazon!

More:  The Nine Views – Traditional Form of Meditation Taught to Samurai  ///  Relax Your Mind; Flow Like A River – A Short Zen Story

We cannot master everything.

We cannot master everything

Picture Quote Text:

“We cannot master everything, taste everything, understand everything, drain every experience to its last dregs.  But if we have the courage to let almost everything else go, we will probably be able to retain the one thing necessary for us – whatever it may be.  If we are too eager to have everything, we will almost certainly miss even the one thing we need.” ~ Thomas Merton, Monk

“It is well known that expert meditators develop the capacity to see life in slow motion, observing objects (including their own thoughts) in minute detail, as if seeing every individual frame of a movie.  It turns out that masters in every field develop the same capacity.  Master baseball players, for example, when at bat, see the ball coming at them as if in slow motion – even though the ball is actually traveling 90 miles an hour.  Not only can the master batter see the ball in ‘individual frame’ detail, but he can at the same time see the meaning of those details.  How low is the ball to the ground?  Over what quadrant of the plate will it pass?  Is it spinning?  In what direction?  How will all of this detail influence my decision about how and where I want to hit the ball?  This is mastery.” ~ Stephen Cope, The Great Work of Your Life

What Are You Thinking About While You Practice? …It Could Change Everything.

Quality Reps vs Blind Reps

This article is an elaboration from my previous article, What Rep Club Are You In?  If you haven’t already, read that one first.

—— —— ——

If the biggest distinguishing factor between a beginner and a master is repetitions, what then, is the biggest distinguishing factor between a ‘good’ master and a ‘great’ master?

I have certainly seen masters that are really sharp and knowledgable and others that are… well… not so much.

Why is that?

Well, if repetition is the mother of all teachers then quality repetition is the mother of all mothers.

What does that even mean?

In other words, quality counts – just as much as the number of reps.

I look at there being two types of reps: quality reps’ and blind reps.’ Continue reading

Don’t Get Frustrated, Get Better.

Don't Get Frustrated, Get Better.

Being a Martial Arts competitor and coach for Martial Arts athletes, I am oh so familiar with the feeling of frustration, and regularly experience it with athletes during training.

Frustration is the feeling you get when you try, try again; yet fail, fail again.

And what do most people do when faced with ‘fail, fail again?


They stop trying to do whatever move or skill that was outside of their comfort zone and move onto something else.

…Something else that is most likely back inside of their comfort zone so that they can succeed and feel good again.

But that’s the amazing part.

…Did you catch that? Continue reading

The Rise: Creativity, the Gift of Failure, and the Search for Mastery

The Rise by Sarah Lewis

By: Sarah Lewis

Book Overview:  The gift of failure is a riddle. Like the number zero, it will always be both a void and the start of infinite possibility. The Rise—a soulful celebration of the determination and courage of the human spirit—makes the case that many of our greatest triumphs come from understanding the importance of this mystery.

Post(s) Inspired by this Book:  Could a ‘Near Win’ be Better Than The Win?  /// Julie Moss’s Inspirational Near-Win in the 1982 Ironman

Quotes from Book! Buy from Amazon!

Don't Let the Motivation Stop There...!

Join our newsletter and get the BEST of what we post every week. Here's an example. Like? Sign up.
Get the FREE eBook...
Enter your email address and click on the Get Instant Access button.
No spam—Just motivation. Promise.
MoveMe Newsletter
Every week we send out a newsletter featuring our BEST content. It's free and designed to keep you focused on moving forward—the ONLY direction! Simply enter your email below and click, "I'm In!" to join.
Get the FREE eBook...
Enter your email address and click on the Get Instant Access button.
No spam—Just motivation. Promise.