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Old 04-21-2006, 06:14 AM   #1
Pauliina Lievonen
 
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How do I attempt to change that?

I hope Ron and Ian won't mind me quoting them from another thread. Just to get the discussion going...
Ian Upstone said:
Quote:
In an attempt to get back on topic, David's initial posts really made a lot of sense to me and has made me rethink my attitude and concept of myself that I have to admit If I am being honest: My concerns really are "surface level" in my training, despite how serious it is to me.

The next step for me personally, is "How do I attempt to change that?", or again, being more honest, "Do I really want to change that?" But that's another thread I guess...
and Ron Tisdale said:
Quote:
My challenges to my commitment are partly physical, partly something else. I am trying to address the physical by training outside of aikido to improve my overall physical ability to stay on the mat injury free. ...SNIP...

Another problem is my smoking. It has to stop. It amazes me that I can do some many different things, and yet this stupid weed is still messing with my head.

These are just some of the things I have let stand between myself and commitment to another level of my training. I am slowly addressing them...but it does take hard work.
Anyway, I was wondering what kind of concrete things people are doing in order to be more committed to their training, training more, that sort of things? What is stopping you and if you have found ways to address this, what have you done?

My problem is an enviable one of having too much time and being in reasonable health. Basically I have NO exuse for not training more than I do. Even saying "why would you train more if you don't want to?" doesn't apply because I really do want to!

I started typing more about why I think I don't, and realized that it feels a bit too personal for me to put it out there. So I have to apologize for asking others to share when I don't dare to myself...

One interesting thing that happened this week though was that I haven't been late to any appointments! That's surprising because I'm usually always balancing on the brink of being late for everything. I think it's a direct consequence of looking at my commitment to different things more this week.

kvaak
Pauliina
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Old 04-21-2006, 07:14 AM   #2
Dennis Good
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Re: How do I attempt to change that?

I've been thinking about this lately due to topics that have come up in recent threads. I will use an analogy that a lot of people can relate to. I'm the king of analogies by the way. Now to the meat of the post. Weight loss, this is something that I've had to deal with and many other people as well. I WANT to lose weight, I want to be 210 pounds of solid rippling Greek god-like muscle. That is my IDEAL. Unfortunately I am not there yet. I have the muscle I want, it's just covered up. Why is that? Because from time to time and more often than not I want that piece of cake or that ice cream. I have definitely made progress toward my Ideal but not there yet. Only when I make my Ideal want more important than all the other little wants will I achieve my goal. What I've found is you can say you WANT something, but until you make the decision to achieve it and follow through, you will be doing nothing but saying you want it. Making that decision is something that must come from inside us. No external force can make us stick with the path towards our goal. Only when we are truly ready will it happen. I hope that helps and gives you something to think about even though its not an answer to your problem.
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Old 04-21-2006, 07:38 AM   #3
Lnr
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Re: How do I attempt to change that?

I think I'm a pretty lazy person, it's a problem i have with myself. I'll always find reasons to sit down till the feeling passes, you know?
so I've stopped giving myself a choice. I find that if I have a chance to discuss the situation with myself then i find excuses not to train, or do loads of other things for that matter so i just don't entertain the idea. If training is on then i must go that is all there is no more, even eating will come second most of the time. However there is the problem that now that I've got that habit down i feel really guilty missing a session and it's hard to give myself the permission to take a break so there is good and bad. Also i get run down and beaten up more then i would like ideally... Self motivation is one of those hard things, i just have to stand behind myself with a cattle prod. It works though.

Lnr
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Old 04-21-2006, 08:23 AM   #4
dps
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Re: How do I attempt to change that?

I also like to procrastinate about doing the things that I should. When I discuss the reasons why and why not with myself I find vivid reasons for the pro side. For example; I have high blood sugar and If I am not careful I could become a diabetic. My motivation for controlling my eating and blood sugar levels is a person I know that did not control it and is now in a wheelchair with no legs and one arm. The image is shocking and gruesome but wins the discussion more times than not.
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Old 04-21-2006, 08:51 AM   #5
Psufencer
 
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Re: How do I attempt to change that?

Yeah, I've got to chime in on this one. I have always had problems getting up and doing what needs to be done, whether it's work, school, or training in whatever sport I've gotten myself into. I am not blessed with a great deal of initiative or self-starting power. But a lot has happened in the last few years to prod me into changing my ways, and now I think it's finally happening. To some degree, it's just that I'm tired of not being what I know I could be, only because I'm lazy. The regret I feel over that alone is enough to spur me on a bit. But I also have health concerns. I am not overweight or unhealthy, but my father's entire family line has had adult-onset diabetes and I know that unless I watch it, I'm next. So I've begun making changes--whether it's something as simple as giving up soda and (as I'm doing right now) only putting cinnamon in my oatmeal instead of butter and sugar, or as difficult as talking myself into training regularly. Furthermore, I'm getting married in less than two months and that, more than anything, makes me understand that I've got to get on the ball. The thought of that is always enough to get me up for class, and to work hard at whatever I'm doing--because to make that work, I need to become, and keep becoming, a better person.

My $.02. Cheers...
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Old 04-21-2006, 09:08 AM   #6
SeiserL
 
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Re: How do I attempt to change that?

IMHO, we change it by (1) moving it from simply something we do to being some part of who we are (integrate it into identity), (2) attach it to a high priority criteria or value, (3) see the big picture benefits, (4) stop accepting explanation as excuse (not give yourself permission not to train), (5) realize a balance in life so you don't have to give up something important to you to train, and (6) enjoy the process of training more.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 04-21-2006, 10:01 AM   #7
MaryKaye
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Re: How do I attempt to change that?

I have had good success with defining the four weekly classes as "something I do every week, barring emergencies." I was becoming exhausted deciding whether or not to train each night, so I redefined it as not a decision, and that was much easier. (Like another poster, I now feel bad if I don't go, which is not so good.)

But I'm at the point where I have to do something more than going to class or I will not have the endurance to get through my next test. I went to the gym with my dad twice a week for about six months, but it got more and more boring and when I had occasion not to go for a few weeks, I fell off the wagon.

It is so easy to take the bus, or walk slowly, or avoid a hill even though I know that what I really need is to push myself harder. Being tired *hurts*. I'm still looking for a workable long-term strategy here. (I don't have a car, so I can't give up driving!)

Mary Kaye
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Old 04-21-2006, 02:39 PM   #8
Nick Pagnucco
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Re: How do I attempt to change that?

I've had many problems, so I sympathize.

I overheard one of my senior students in my dojo saying once that one thing he gets out of aikido is its teaching him how to harness and focus his aggression, as opposed to just unleashing it and trying to knock down anything in his path.

I've had the exact opposite problem / solution: aikido is teaching me how to be more assertive. Aikido is teaching me to relax in conflict, etc, etc, etc... many good but stock budo phrases. Unfortunately, its also a problem that actively resists its own correction. I need to reach out for help & assistance, something I have a very hard time doing. Its more natural for me to just try to avoid making any major mistakes publicly.

most of my problems in aikido come back to this, which I think is a version of fear. I'm better than I was when I started, but I need to get much better. As I go up in kyu ranks, there's an expectation that I can handle stronger throws and do technique better. Unless I want to stagnate, I need to become more assertive, both in my technique and in my behavior in the dojo.

My major help in this has been personal connections to others in the dojo. There are people I know and trust, and that makes it easier to reach out for help. The more I learn, the less I worry about screwing up or what I dont know. I'm still waiting for it to hit critical mass, though, where finding help and reaching out becames my natural tendency, rather than a struggle.
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Old 04-21-2006, 02:40 PM   #9
Michael O'Brien
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Re: How do I attempt to change that?

Quote:
Lynn Seiser wrote:
IMHO, we change it by (1) moving it from simply something we do to being some part of who we are (integrate it into identity), (2) attach it to a high priority criteria or value, (3) see the big picture benefits, (4) stop accepting explanation as excuse (not give yourself permission not to train), (5) realize a balance in life so you don't have to give up something important to you to train, and (6) enjoy the process of training more.
Lynn,
If you could perhaps give your thoughts on this in regards to say weight loss? Like another poster, I am merely trying to shed a few pounds and for me diet is the big issue.

I love to exercise and work out and for years I always joked that I exercised so I could eat whatever I want. When I was younger that definitely worked for me. Now I have that "eat whatever I want" mentality and am having a hard time reprogramming that. At 38 I still look 28 and can run circles around most guys half my age, but I definitely could afford to drop 15 or so pounds now.

Harmony does not mean that there are no conflicts,
for the dynamic spiral of existence embraces both extremes.
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Old 04-21-2006, 04:12 PM   #10
cck
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Re: How do I attempt to change that?

I have been doing the weight loss thing for a while.
For me, it took two weeks of enormous self-control; I lost weight, and from then on it was the result that kept me going - slowly, but steadily. I learned how to eat so I enjoyed it, wasn't hungry, got way healthier than I've probably ever been, and I feel GREAT. I do not want to ever lose that again. So I guess I've gone from being miserable about my inability to make myself lose weight to being a happy and healthy individual who wants to nurture that existence. Anima sana in corpore sano.
When I was at my heaviest, I felt so uncomfortable in my skin. I always told myself that "one day"... Well, no one but I could make a difference, I knew that all along. I guess I just finally reached critical mass (literally!) Nothing in particular made the difference, I just decided to do it. There are no short cuts. It can be hard. It's so worth it. After all, what is a relatively short period of discomfort in the big picture of better health (and for me, attitude).

It's so weird how you can be the biggest stumbling block to yourself. It's kinda schizophrenic, really. Here "I" am, trying to make "me" do something that "I" want but can't seem to get "myself" to do.

Aikido - to me - is one long lesson in the value of patience and balance. The result-orientation that makes the weight loss effort less of a big deal can definitely get in the way during practice. I tend to focus on getting the things (I think) I have to do done first, otherwise I find it difficult to relax ("where's the throw in this technique?!?"). However, my kid wants to play when she sees me, so never mind the dishes; they still have to get done, just not now.

So as far as training is concerned... I would do things incrementally. I would make a commitment (to myself!) that I would increase training by one day per week for one month, and then it would be a done deal. I would go that extra day all month. Hopefully, I would have some results to reflect on to reinforce the decision - or it might even have become habit.

But that's me. And I unfortunately am not in Pauliina's indeed enviable situation so it's all hypothetical...
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Old 04-21-2006, 05:10 PM   #11
Pauliina Lievonen
 
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Re: How do I attempt to change that?

Quote:
Camilla Kieliger wrote:
It's so weird how you can be the biggest stumbling block to yourself. It's kinda schizophrenic, really. Here "I" am, trying to make "me" do something that "I" want but can't seem to get "myself" to do.
This is so true.

It's great to read about others being in the same boat, thanks guys. I don't have anything to say really, obviously i haven't got any solutions yet...

kvaak
Pauliina
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Old 04-22-2006, 05:37 AM   #12
dps
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Re: How do I attempt to change that?

Please let us know what works for you.
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Old 04-22-2006, 12:55 PM   #13
Man of Aiki
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Re: How do I attempt to change that?

Find a physical activity that is fun for you to do and do it during the times you used to sit in front of a computer or TV.

I like to practice Aikido movements and bokken movements in front of my TV in the living room while watching sports.

I also have a heavy punching bag hanging in my garage, and how much time does it really take for me step out there and go for a 3 minute round with it?

As far as just Aikido training goes, I have found when I get up earlier before it's time to go to work, find a TV program I like to watch, and then do Aikido exercises in front of the TV for about 20 minutes, I move more freely and am moving more economically during the day.

Any time you are sitting down in front of a TV by yourself watching a program, just think to yourself, I could be moving while I'm watching this.
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Old 04-23-2006, 06:49 AM   #14
Kevin Leavitt
 
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Re: How do I attempt to change that?

I don't know if this is what you guys are looking for, but these are the thoughts that come to my mind mainly based on some of the philosophy I am studying based on the writings of Krishnamurti and Ayn Rand.

I think we become dissatisfied with ourselves when we compare ourselves against others, ideals, values, dogma and all that good stuff.

When we don't "measure up", we create conflict within ourselves.

so to the crux of the matter, how do we resolve that conflict? we either come to the realization that we are who we are and internalize that and move on, or we take the steps that Lynn outlines above.

The key to it is to balance the desire to be something we are not against our happiness. It is not an easy thing to do sometimes!

I like Paulina's opening example, it cuts to the core. Most of us have many obstacles that get in the way of our aikido training. We'd like to train more, but say "I can't, because of my job". It may be a reality, or it may be the excuse. But because the obstacle is there, we don't take the time to figure out the etiology of the reason we can't train more.

Then one day, maybe that obstacle is removed. You retire, or what. You, as Paulina, have all the time in the world to train. Now you are forced to confront the excuse for not training more. Is it because you don't have the time or is it somethng else?

Sometimes I think we'd like to think we'd like to train more, that somehow if we train twice has much that we'd get to the endstate twice as fast, or be twice as good! In reality though, we deep down know that there is more to this than that, but we don't really want to explore the answer for fear of what we may discover! Really I think it is a fear of the unknown, or we might find out it wasn't what we thought!

Anyway, desire is a tricky subject. To desire nothing would not be good as it would mean you would cease to exist, to desire something leads to want, need, which creates conflict. So, how do you find the middle ground!

That is what I am struggling with!
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Old 04-23-2006, 03:12 PM   #15
Pauliina Lievonen
 
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Re: How do I attempt to change that?

Quote:
Kevin Leavitt wrote:
Sometimes I think we'd like to think we'd like to train more, that somehow if we train twice has much that we'd get to the endstate twice as fast, or be twice as good! In reality though, we deep down know that there is more to this than that, but we don't really want to explore the answer for fear of what we may discover! Really I think it is a fear of the unknown, or we might find out it wasn't what we thought!
Fear of the unknown is right on the money!

One aikido teacher that I know once said that if people trained often enough, they inevitably changed, because the energy in the dojo took them with it...(knowing this particular teacher's teaching style I can believe it) and people who didn't want to change "regulated" this by training just often enough -but not too often- to not have the necessity to change.

I think it's also possible, perhaps, to keep going on at a comfortable pace of, say, three-four classes a week where there is progress but the whole process isn't too intense. That's not enough for me anymore, at least right now.

Two things that have helped me this week (for the poster who asked): The thought that changing habits and routines is going to be uncomfortable, and that feeling uncomfortable shouldn't make me shy away from changing my habits.

And the thought that if I want to push myself and challenge myself I can't expect to enjoy every minute of it.

Something else I've just realized is that in order to train more, I need to not only count the extra training hours, but also extra recovery hours, doing other stuff that will keep me healthy enough to train more! Otherwise I'm not going to be able to keep it up!

On to week 2 of Pauliina's new and improved training regime....

kvaak
Pauliina
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Old 04-23-2006, 05:14 PM   #16
dps
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Re: How do I attempt to change that?

The older I get the more recovery hours I need.
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