Hit The Center Of The Bull’s Eye
by Kevin Seaman
What pushes you to achieve greatness? What creates that drive you need in order push forward, regardless of obstacles, to accomplish the goals you hold in your heart? What is the motivation? The word motivation comes from the Latin phrase “to move forward” or reason to move forward. So, what is it that motivates you, moves you forward? As we have hit the end of 2010 and begin a new year, we should think about our GOALS and what we will accomplish as we move forward in the future as a fighter or coach, and in every area of our life!
In this issue’s Winning Mind Set column, I would like to discuss the approach to goal attainment that has worked for me. Take 5 minutes to read this and take the action in your life and you will never, ever be the same.
In The Cross Hairs
What is a Goal? A goal is like a target really. If you currently have clear, written goals to lead you forward, you are part of a very unique and elite group. You are aiming at the center of the bull’s eye of your target. You are in the top 3% of people who have high aspirations about their personal achievement.
It’s true, according to the experts less than 3% of North Americans have written, specific, detailed goals. Not only that, about 10% have goals committed to memory. This would be like aiming at the outside rim of your target. Committing goals to memory is not an adequate way to clearly focus on your objective. What about the remaining 87%? Well, they have no goals at all. But, why are goals so important in the first place?
My all time favorite coach Brian Tracy once told me, “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there!” Most people don’t really know which road to take, simply because they don’t have a clear picture of their destination. Without a destination, it’s so easy for us to fall into the trap of complacency. To be content, just getting by day to day, without pushing to achieve the things we really want to change in our lives or succeed at. We may rationalize why we can’t succeed by using negative self-communication, telling ourselves we don’t have the skills, resources, knowledge, and education or time it takes to achieve what we want.
First, it’s not knowledge and education that makes people succeed. The world is full of skilled, educated, knowledgeable failures. People who succeed at anything have some very specific methods they utilize to accomplish their objective. But, first and foremost, you must know your objective or goal. People who succeed are those who…
1) Know specifically what they want! They have a specific goal or set of goals they want to achieve. So, write your goals down and be specific; the more detailed, the better. Something truly amazing happens when you write down your goals. It’s as if they are beginning to actually process in your mind the moment your pen hits the page. Designate a target date or time period to accomplish those goals; place your written goals where you can see them daily.
2) Have developed the ability to take consistent action. In other words, they will consistently do what it takes to succeed. Self-discipline, attitude, personal beliefs and values all play a major role in motivating us to take action toward our achievements. It is not your intentions, but rather it is your actions that will allow you to succeed. To quote a famous slogan, Just Do It!
3) Have persistence. They don’t give up! Every person you see who has achieved greatness has failed over and over to finally succeed. There are few unrealistic goals, only unrealistic time frames to accomplish them. Losers quit when they’re tired; winners quit when they’ve succeeded.
4) Learn from the end-results. If the approach they took didn’t work, they adjust their approach again and again until they get the results they want. Let me use an analogy to expand this idea. When I lived near the ocean, I used to sail whenever I had the opportunity. When a sailboat leaves a harbor in pursuit of a destination, it sets its compass in the direction of its objective. But, as the boat is challenged by the currents, the wind, and the weather the captain will need to change the boat’s direction and adjust the approach in order to succeed and reach his destination. Be flexible in your approach. You are the captain of your destination.
The law of harvest is to reap more than you sow. Sow an act, and you reap a habit. Sow a habit and you reap a character. Sow a character and you reap a destiny. -James Allen
Develop The Muscle
One of the best ways to begin with goal setting as a habit is to work from a list on a daily basis. Here are a few tips on using a list to increase your productivity and develop your goal setting muscles.
1) Work from a list every day. Update your list for the next day the night before or first thing in the morning. Write it down! Something amazing will happen when you materialize your thoughts on to paper.
2) Hold fast to your “standard procedure” of working from your list, refusing to do anything that is not on the list. This is accomplished by updating your list as you work through your day.
3) Evaluate tasks by deadline. Whenever possible work on your largest or most difficult, least favorite task first. This will ensure it gets done, not ending up on the next day’s list. If you insist on completing the smaller tasks first you will make little headway. Small tasks will continue to appear as your day unfolds.
4) Evaluate your tasks for value and return. Which task will bring you the most return on your effort? One whale is worth a thousand buckets of minnows!
5) By working from a list everyday you will accomplish more in a week than most people do in months or even years.
6) Remember there is no such thing as unreasonable goals, just unreasonable time frames.
I just want to be known as the best ever, is that too much to ask?
I write my goals in a small hardbound journal. Use what you feel is best for you.
1) What do you want?
Write it down clearly and in complete detail. This is the “What” pertaining to your goals.
Example: I will compete in five Pro MMA events in 2010, being in the best shape of my life and performing to the best of my ability. I will develop my MMA skills by continuous, regimented daily training in the following areas: Stand up- footwork, individual striking w/ all tools, combination skills in Muay Thai. Transition/ground- positioning/angling, clinch, takedowns, submission, escapes/counters, G&P. Attribute qualities- timing, power, strength, flexibility, focus cardio and muscular stamina, dietary discipline, and mental training.
2) Make an “Action Plan” of everything you need to do to over the next few days, weeks, months get you closer to your goal. This is the “How”.
3) Organize your list in terms of activities pertaining to time and priority. What’s first, what’s most important? Next you need to set your deadlines and several sub-deadlines. This is the “When”
4) Why is this important to you? What would it mean to you? In order to be successful we must create a meaning for what we do. How would accomplishing these goals affect your life and your future? It is usually who we become while accomplishing our goals that is most important. This is the “Why”.
5) Take action toward your goal and begin immediately to do something to move you in the direction of your goal. What are you committed to do to take your first step forward?
Direct 100% total commitment toward the accomplishment of your goal. Flexibility is absolutely crucial; if what you’re doing isn’t working, change your approach, if that doesn’t work, change your approach again until you succeed.
“It is my opinion that developing a mindset of having clear, distinct, written GOALS and working toward these goals, daily and incrementally is the single most significant thing that will determine your ultimate success and absolute happiness in your life!”
Tapping Into Your Sub-Conscious
Any person who wants to be successful in anything, regardless of what it is, he or she will fail far more times than they will succeed. Riding a bike, we all fell down far more times than we succeeded in staying up at first. Learning to walk, did you ever see a baby walk on his first try? Conversely, did you ever see a baby get so frustrated and angry because he didn’t walk perfectly that he quit? So frustrated that he gave up and never tried again because he hadn’t gotten it yet? Of course not! But have you ever seen non-babies do that? Not you personally, but maybe people you know? Many people value success, but they also want to avoid feelings of failure (or feeling like a failure). The problem comes when a person’s fear or avoidance of failing prevents him from taking action and trying, or going through the necessary repetition of trial and error that it takes to master something. Remember, we all move toward pleasure and away from pain. Some of us are driven more by moving toward pleasure, some more by away from pain. Many times people set goals that have very little to do with what they truly value in life, or they set goals that do not take into account what they want to avoid. Then they wonder why they aren’t following through, and label themselves as lazy or undisciplined, that’s rarely the case. Usually, the problem is that people’s goals have nothing to do with their value system or how they like to be reinforced.
There is a unique cycle that occurs when we predicate goals that are in alignment with our values. As we work toward our value driven objective we feel totally natural in our pursuit and once this goal is achieved, our values are satisfied and supported by our accomplishment. Therefore our goals support our values and our values in turn support us in the direction of our goals. At this point you may say,”That’s great, Kevin”…but
How can I use this?
Here’s how! Get some leverage. Think of the goal or objective you wish to achieve, but have had difficulty completing. Make a clear picture of this goal in your head. Now, think of how great you would feel, when this goal was completed. Think of all the benefits you would gain and the feeling of total satisfaction knowing that you have accomplished this. Visualize yourself with a huge smile on your face, as you finish. Got that picture clear and complete in your mind’s eye. GOOD! Now, think of the negative emotions associated with not completing this same task. Think of the frustration you’ve experienced now and before as this goal once again slips away from your grasp. Think of how you will feel in the future as you embrace the loss of satisfaction and negative drain these emotions have, as you face the reality that you failed only because you have given up! Run these two mental videos over and over in your head. These visions are the carrot and the stick. Now, write “The Carrot and the Stick” on a small note pad and put the note somewhere conspicuous, somewhere you will see it daily for at least one week. When you see it run your mental video. In a short time you will begin to change your association to this goal and connect your emotional content via your values and the principle of pain and pleasure. I’ve had amazing results with this, and if you believe it, and try it, so will you.
You’ll never get where you want to be by focusing on what you fear. Instead focus on where you want to be. Have a great new year and the best of success in your near future!
“I have missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games. On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game-winning shot… and I missed. I have failed over and over and over again in my life. And that’s precisely why I succeed.” – Michael Jordan
Each issue I will help you add another facet to your Mental Toolbox and guide you to develop your Mind Game. I look forward to hearing your results and feedback.
© Copyright 2011 all rights reserved, Kevin Seaman
Sifu Kevin Seaman has been involved in martial arts and martial athletics as a practitioner, competitor and trainer for nearly 40 years. He currently holds instructor rank certification in seven martial arts systems, is a certified boxing coach and performance specialist, having trained thousands of athletes. Sifu currently assists the training of several Pro MMA fighters, and teaches Muay Thai and Filipino Kali at Tai Kai Monday and Wednesday nights. He has contributed to several magazines, currently writes a column for Authority MMA Magazine, and authored two books.
Check out his book at www.thewinningmindset.com/book.html and more Winning Mind Set performance principles in the Vault at www.thewinningmindset.com
Look for his new book collaboration with Phil Migliarese due this year called The Gracie Legend.
The guard is the salvation of the weak,” said Rilion Gracie in a GRACIEMAG interview in February 2009. Well today, after wins from stars Fabricio Werdum (in Strikeforce) and Anderson Silva (in the UFC), everyone seems to understand a little better just how important Jiu-Jitsu’s leg game is in a fight situations.
Whether you are an MMA fighter looking to avoid getting put through a family-sized wringer, a Jiu-Jitsu competitor or impassioned practitioner, you need to delve deeper into the concept of the guard to evolve in training.
Rickson Gracie always said you have the best guard of the family. What makes a guard good?
The guard has always been a way of evening the playing field in a fight between two people, bringing the fight to the ground, where a 60kg guy balances out the strength difference and even goes on to have better chances of surprising the 120kg guy.
When I got my black belt, 25 years ago, I weighed 59kgs. And I always had the winning spirit, understood my family’s Jiu-Jitsu to be an art of self-defense, but one with the objective of submitting the adversary. The same way these days we see hundreds of scrawny guys, with good guards for lack of other options, the same went for me. The guard is the salvation of the weak.
How did you go about developing your game?
Guided by Rolls, Carlinhos, Rickson, Crolin, professors who I mirrored, I realized I had to have a really good guard to face anyone, but a complete guard – I wasn’t interested in just holding out against opponents, defending myself without managing to do anything in the fight. But the first idea that clicked for me, at blue belt, was: if I can’t manage to neutralize the guy with the guard, with which I have millions of options of barriers, my legs and hands and all, if he passes I’m dead – I have to exert triple the force, and on top of that with the guy’s weight on my chest, squashing my neck, ears. So my first concern is not to lose.
And what would be the second stage?
At purple belt I was already real flexible, and with a guard famed for being unpassable, at the little championships. But it happens that I’d win because the guy on top would wear out, and ended up leaving openings for the triangle, or I’d end up on his back and such. So, I went on to the next stage, developed at brown: to reconcile defensive with attacking guard, incorporating a varied game of submissions from the guard, sweeps and taking the back. That’s when my Jiu-Jitsu started improving on all fronts, because I started landing on top of my adversary, and I had to make the most of the favorable situation. These days, I think I’m better on top than on the bottom. I prefer playing on top – my objective is to jump the fence and attack my adversary.
I specialized in leaving an opening for the guy to pass, as that is the moment he exerts force – and so he wears out and falls in a trap” Rilion
What other tricks do you have for making adversaries fall into traps in the guard?
One kind of guard is that where you grab onto the sleeves, tie up the guy’s arms, but you can’t do anything either, and it becomes an ugly fight. Another is the guard where you give the guy a little taste. He sees his chance to pass, exerts force but doesn’t pass. I specialized in that, in leaving openings for the guy to pass – and there he either exerts force and tires, or falls into some trap.
Because I don’t believe there are humans who don’t tire. The best prepared guy in the world, confronted with the right technique, executed to perfection, he will be forced to apply force, and at some point will wear out. Everyone has their limit, it’s up to you to find the method and path to pushing your adversary to it.
Which is your favorite guard?
Jiu-Jitsu to me is easy and effective. It’s that which you can teach any student who walks into your gym, otherwise they’ll pick up their things and never come back.
I look to play guard right at the guy, at least in my way of fighting. I try to keep the guy worried about getting submitted the whole time, fearing getting tapped out. Even if the guy knows how to defend, the worry will fatigue him, exhaust him. And when he makes a mistake, he gets caught. The better your adversary’s technique, the more you need to worry him.
So of course, I’ll even play half-guard, sometimes. But, if the adversary is really good, after I sweep him he will still put up a fight from the bottom. So then one gets a sweep here, the other gets one there, and then it becomes that fight we’re seeing in competition these days. Of course, you need to know your objective when playing guard. If it’s to sweep for points, perfect. But I don’t want my opponent only to be concerned with not getting swept. He has to feel threatened the whole time.
Is there any bad type of guard?
I respect all positions. If I teach a technique to ten different people, I know that, as much as I’d like it to be otherwise, each student will be more suited to one aspect and not the other. Jiu-Jitsu is an infinite art; a shorty won’t have the same game as someone with long legs. That’s why a master can’t go blindly labeling one guard bad and the other good. The secret is to make out the weaknesses and virtues of the position, never condemn, arrogantly. Now, the guy who wants to be a reference in the guard cannot just know one guard. He has to know other paths, for the day he encounters a rock in his way.
Jiu-Jitsu is sensibility” Rilion