This morning as I was cleaning the sky went dark before the rains came pouring down. It was just before my lunch break, and I was doing some serious dragging even though I love my job.
I would imagine even the most passionate of people about their craft find those times when their craft is the last thing they want to be doing.
I checked out a book from the Green Hills Library called Body Mind Mastery: Creating Success In Sport And Life. Dan Milliman is the author. It was originally published as The Inner Athlete in 1994, and a revised edition was published as Body Mind Mastery in 1999. It’s very similar to Kay Porter and Judy Foster’s 1986 work called The Mental Athlete, and Kay Porter wrote a completely new book in 2003 by the same title.
You do not have to be an athlete to learn from these books. Many of the same principles apply to all of life. Whether you study, write, play an instrument, cook, clean, care for children or have a job you enjoy you exercise self-discipline and focus in practicing your craft.
You will benefit in reading Body Mind Mastery and The Mental Athlete. You can purchase them on Amazon, or as I mentioned above you can check them out at your local library.
When I was more involved in competitive sports I remember hearing them talk about the zone Michael Jordan would get in when he would seem to run through defenses like a knife through butter. As I watched him on tv I would remark that no one could stop him. His mental focus was such that he really was unstoppable. I’ve experienced that on the basketball court and in life. You become so enamored with your goal that you lose yourself in the moment(s). I would liken it to an adrenaline rush that is a conscious choice to perform even if it’s something mundane as washing the dishes. Millman writes about that several times in Body Mind Mastery.
This kind of focus in the arena of running is called second wind, and I suspect a student who pulls an all-nighter for a final experiences some of this even though she may be glued to a chair, desk and cup of coffee. Obviously she’s not running.
That’s not the ideal because when you get along in years you can’t abuse your body that way. You have to plan ahead for the same kind of results, and I think Millman and Porter would agree. Age is a number, but it does create limitations that we have to be sensitive too.
Last night I came in from guitar practice wanting to work on this post, but I knew I needed to go to bed, and as a result I’m must fresher now at 8:40am than I would have been at 11pm.
I like it when I hear someone say life is a marathon because if you don’t pace yourself, whether you are young or old eventually hunger, fatigue or frustration will knock on your door unless your Superman. And he had to deal with Kryptonite, so even Superman wasn’t omnipotent.
The answer to any endeavor is tradeoffs. Focus, concentration and the ability to make a decision without regretting all the other options are necessary in being successful in any discipline.
Business, education, athletics, music and your involvement with family all require this kind of thinking.
Do yourself and your circle of influence a favor by reading Body Mind Mastery by Dan Millman.
You’ll be glad you did.