Enhancing Your Vehicle's Performance (1)
Bruce Lee was committed in his quest to express the full potential of his body and mind and strove to improve himself both physically and mentally. In addition to his daily martial art training, Lee also engaged in supplemental training to improve such things as his strength, power, endurance, flexibility, coordination, mental attitude, etc. Regardless what you do, whether you are a martial artist, a writer, a tennis player, a doctor, a computer programmer, or whatever, your body (including your mind) is the vehicle or machine you use to express yourself. While performance skills are necessary and important, by themselves they do not guarantee success. You can work hard at what you do, but what about the underlying ingredients that lie behind what you do? There are numerous attributes or "essential qualities," both physical and mental, that can help move you beyond routine efficiency and enhance your vehicle's performance. In this blog we're going to look at the essential quality of "flexibility."
Martial art requires flexibility, not only of body, but also of mind. Lack of flexibility, be it physical or mental, can hinder a martial artist's performance. In the same way, flexibility is one of the key ingredients in helping us to achieve the highest levels of performance of which we are capable. In order for us to live our life to the fullest we need to develop and maintain both mental and emotional flexibility. Mental flexibility is a quality that will help us withstand the assaults of life, whether they are physical, mental, or emotional. If we are flexible we will be able to "roll with the punches," and our flexibility will give us the ability to adapt and change our approach as might be necessary when dealing with conflicts, overcoming obstacles, and solving problems. A flexible person can choose from a wide variety of altrnative solutions to problems and challenges, whereas an inflexible person will be limited in their thinking and/or acting. How can we develop our mental flexibility? The same way we develop physical flexibility, by stretching ourselves beyond our normal range of motion. For example, when you first come across a new idea or a new way of doing something, you may have to stretch our mind or our belief system in order to understand it. The discomfort that accompanies such stretching can be uncomfortable because your mind may put up resistance to the new idea or way of doing things. The more the idea or way of doing something contradicts your current belief system or way of doing things, the more discomfort we will feel. However, you need to recognize that this discomfort will only be temporary and is the price of improvement and eventual success. The best way to increase your mental flexibility is to get out into the world and experience life. Read, take classes, and educate yourself. Talk to others with different viewpoints about things you are facing. Get advice from people you trust. all of these things will help you develop a "greater range of motion" in your thinking and understanding.
Emotional flexibility deals with our resilience and ability to bounce back. Many times, when an unexpected situation arises, we will naturally resist it, because it hinders us, or makes us upset or angry, and that hurts. However, if we keep control of our emotions, remain flexible, and don't give up, we will find a way to overcome it.
Finally, keep in mind that flexibility, be it physical, mental, or emotional, is an on-going process rather than a static point of achievement. Refuse to allow stiffness or rigidity of any sort to restrict you. Find ways to increase your flexibility on a daily basis.