From Negative to Positive

Imagine if you had the ability to only remember the positive things that have happened to you. What if your brain was conditioned to magnify all positive information, and shrink the negative stuff.

Guess what?

You do have that ability.

The choice about where to focus is yours. It is totally up to you to decide which things you prefer to absorb and experience. When you choose to absorb the positive, you’ll find yourself in a better, more positive mood more of the time.

And as a bonus, you’ll be in a more productive state of mind.

Screen Shot 2016-07-19 at 3.27.52 PMOn the other hand…

If you choose to absorb the negative, you’ll probably tend to have a negative attitude. You’ll be more primed to notice and pay attention to the negative stuff, so your overall actions and appearance will attract more negatives into your life.


You can choose to have a positive and optimistic view of the world and people in general, or you can take the negative and pessimistic route.

Spending time with negative people or doing negative things rarely raises you up.

On the other hand, if you choose to associate with positive people who are inspiring to you, you’ll find that it’s much easier to connect with the exciting, motivating opportunities that show up daily in your life.

By choosing the positive, you automatically shrink the negatives.

If you’re wondering how to do it, here’s a good place to start: Surround yourself with other positive people and stay involved with positive activities. It’s much easier to think and act like a positive, proactive, evolution-minded person if you’ve got support.

That’s why we believe that a solid routine of responsible Martial Arts training will keep you traveling in a positive and progressive direction. It brings you into contact with motivated, focused, proactive people who share some of the same goals, and gives positive support during challenging times.

So start small. Emphasize the positive. Shrink the negative. Train hard. Start now!

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Lessons for Difficult Times

Sometimes life throws us something completely unexpected, and we lose all sense of where we are.

It can be a moment of tragedy – like when somebody dies, you lose a job, you get into a car accident – or just a creeping sense of hopelessness shows up from out of nowhere.

So what does the Martial Arts teach us about these moments?

Which “classroom lessons” do we look to when the world around us seems to be falling apart?

In my experience, the moments when everything is collapsing are the most fertile ground for our practice, provided we draw on the right resources. We’ve actually been preparing for this by training ourselves during the non-traumatic times.

Finding your center once you’ve been knocked out of your orbit happens in stages. Here are a few of the ways you can manage times like this:

• Look for your strengths: Identify the things you love, and the things you love to do, and reconnect with them. Those times when we feel weakest and most out of sync are a chance to revisit what we know well.

In both Jiu-Jitsu and Thai Boxing, when you’re off balance, you have to recompose your guard before anything else. Returning to your strengths can mean focusing in on the positive habits that are a part of your life, or seeking out the support of those who’ve provided you with strength and counsel in the past.

• Stay focused on high-value activities: Avoid the temptation to get caught up in low-value activities that lead you to the lowest common denominator. What are the most effective principles?

The more time you can spend in areas in which you feel productive, effective and meaningful, the faster you can return to your baseline. Sure, there are time when you’ve got to just “cope”, but once that period is through, it’s time to return your attention to the things you care most about.

• Revisit your model: Seeking out a mentor or a model during challenging times can be a way of reorienting ourselves. If there’s a road that’s already paved, it helps to get on it and stay on it, especially if your car feels like it’s just idling.

Just like in the dojo classroom, we often need that commonsense advice when our thinking becomes cloudy. With some mindfulness we can expand outwards in moments of difficulty, instead of withdrawing inwards.

When things are crumbling, the decision to face ourselves can be difficult, but the training we do has embedded answers in us. When we’re willing to deal with our pain, challenge, struggle head-on we actually have a chance of overcoming it.

Read more about our cooperative method at The Martial Arts Mind.

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