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The Importance of Finding a Passion

As of late I’ve started really looking back and analyzing everything Jiu Jitsu has taught me. The good, the bad and the ugly. Like any passion, once you dive in with heart you’re consumed and you inevitably carry lessons with you even outside of the mat. For example, I’ve noticed how much more tolerant I am, how I’m more willing to listen and absorb. How hyper aware I am of others around me and how I analyze situations in my work life and even my private one.

If you ever find a sport (or an activity) that makes almost tangible your own process of maturing and growth – I say stick to it. So here are the things that jiu jitsu has taught me up until now that I use 24/7:

Patience – I’ve been impulsive my whole life and like any other impulsive person will tell you – most of the time it bites you in the ass. I’ve learned that when you give yourself time to recognize that urge to jump into situations or conclusions you can calm down and think things through. Be patient in what your next steps will be. Most of the times the answer is right in front of us (spoiler: it’s usually in the small details) but we’re so caught up and impatient that we don’t get to see it, just like in jiu jitsu.

I’m not special and that’s ok – In a culture where we’re all taught that we can achieve anything if we put our minds to it we’ve cultivated a society of entitlement. Well, there’s no room for that in jiu jitsu and once you accept that you’re not a walking piece of gold you’ll start progressing. See, in real life it also applies! If we’re constantly thinking we have the answer to everything, then how do we progress? Why are you still stuck where you are? Because you think you’re above learning. Let that go and you will succeed.

Mental resilience – I cannot tell you how many times I’ve gotten my ass handed to me and when it all ends my eyes are teary with frustration because I’m unwilling to accept the fact that I was bested. Once I understood that sometimes losing teaches you more than winning, you start seeing how much you can mentally handle.

Properly setting up goals – Jiu jitsu has taught me how to be realistic in my goals and how to prioritize them. This gives me hope because my goals are many but they’re now in the realistic spectrum. I set myself goals I can achieve in short term and then I have fewer long term goals that take years to achieve. This lets me have many small victories that fuel more goals and propel me forward. Shift this into your real life or career and you can find yourself progressing and being aware of your wins.

Trust and listening to my body – In a grappling sport where your opponent is essentially trying to submit you you need to be incredibly aware of your body and it’s limitations. This is to avoid injuries or worse. Thanks to this I now understand better what my body wants/needs and I can find ways to provide them.

How to strategize – When you start analyzing the game you unintentionally start to strategize. Before you know it, you’ve entered the realm of thinking 2 steps ahead and forming answers before the question even arises. You start seeing multiple possibilities and start trying to work towards them.

I’m a believer that anything you do will provide you with lessons, we all just need to sit down and analyse what they are. If they’re positive, bring them over to your everyday life. If they’re negative, try to find a way to fix it and turn it into something positive that you can use. Hope this helps you be more open!