Think back to the last time you learned something new and practiced it over and over and over again.
I mean, really embodied it…by bringing in all of your senses to the best of your ability. Perhaps it was something like a new exercise or a dance move.
Did you feel confident in your performance? Probably not at first, but your ambition and focus worked together to guide you towards your goal.
Now think to a time where you learned something new, perhaps something you didn’t have a strong connection to or weren’t as interested in. Maybe it was a drill during a sports practice or a movement during an exercise class. You still went through the process of practicing it, but with a bit of disconnection or moreover, just to get it done and over with (even if it was good for you).
Which of these was more memorable and became a new skill you acquired or is something you still embody this day?
Likely the focused and well intended one, right? Now, we need not spend our precious time learning something we don’t care about with first order consequences, but if it’s being taught to us for a reason or if its important for our health and growth, then we must make a connection to the greater purpose of it. It’s when we can recognize that greater intention that we can practice with more clarity and directed energy.
Put simply - stop going through the motions. This is a complete waste of your time, and time is our most fleeting resource that we’ll never get back.
Instead, connect with your “why.” Why would this benefit you? Why would this benefit others around you?
Then, bring your awareness within. Sense what’s going on in your body while you’re doing it…your breath, the contraction of muscles in some areas and the relaxation of others. How does it make you feel? This is the best bang for your buck. This is what leads to stellar results. This is what provides you with 10X the return on your investments.
Consider this: Literally everything you do changes your brain. That’s why we have habits…what we repeatedly do and think gets easier to do and think (whether thats beneficial or not). When you dive into yourself and sense where you are and what you’re doing, you get better at doing just that with everything else that you do.
Being mindful is literally your superpower. Use that power responsibly.
Take Home Points:
Stop going through the motions. Live an intentional life.
Focus on your breath when you’re learning anything - is it restricted or moving freely? You’ll notice how holding your breath will lock up your ability to move. Big deadlifts are the exception 😃
Put the outside world on pause and sense how your body is responding to your intended actions. Do they line up? If not, what would it take for that to happen? Lining up the intention of the skill with your personal intended action is going to give you the best results. The greater the gap = the greater the waste of time and the weaker the results.
Bring your attention to different parts of your physical body as you practice. What’s happening in your head and neck? What about in your lower legs and feet? Where are your pelvis and ribs?
Be curious. How can you make this more challenging or simply easier? Where else in your life can you make this new skill applicable?
Tyler Wall, CSCS, FRCms | Rehab Manager | Greenlake Clinic