This is a weekly series of posts detailing my experiences as a participant in Niyi Sobo’s 12 week, 12 person Mental Training group.
Week 6 of Niyi Sobo’s “Lucky 12” mental training group is all about steady gains. That’s basically the kind of stuff you can do every single day in order to inch toward your goal. Some stuff is big, like scaling a rock wall or machete-hacking through a jungle to press forward, but a lot of a journey is just walking. One foot in front of the other: that’s steady gains.
I’m focusing on elbows and southpaw right now, so my steady gains are the consistent focus on elbows in all aspects of my training and going southpaw as often and regularly as I can. Watching southpaw fighters, standing southpaw at the sink when I brush my teeth. But it’s really, really small stuff. Like with staying hydrated, or taking supplements at the right times, constant good habits produce big changes. It’s the tiny things that add up to bigger things.
The assignment for the week is to re-write our “perfect day,” which we did in week 2, I think. Kevin played Ice Cube’s “It Was a Good Day” for me last night, which helped, especially because Niyi wants us to basically be able to “freestyle” over a track with the content of our perfect day. Like, you should feel pumped about it and be able to say it confidently and with ambition. The first time around, I didn’t really do it right. My perfect day was really similar to my average day right now, just with a better attitude. But that wasn’t the assignment. The assignment was to think without limits and write this epically perfect day, where you wake up in your mansion next to your perfect spouse, go to work and high-five everyone because you just closed some 10 million dollar deal, etc. Like, just full-on dreaming. The idea of course is to trick yourself into expressing your values through the things you desire and aspire to. Maybe your car represents a kind of status, the house on the beach vs. the house in the woods lets you know how close to social interaction you want to be, etc. So my day being pretty close to my current day shows that I’m already living my values pretty closely, but I’m supposed to dream bigger – so, like my student loans are paid off and Kevin and I own a house in Pattaya and a house in Chiang Mai, which we can comfortably go between. Those things would be pretty mind-blowing and good. On my perfect day having a fight at Rajadamnern (where women aren’t allowed to fight) would be about as big a dream as these dudes in the group who want to be multi-millionaires with private jets and such. Not impossible, but a lot of work.
So this week is rewriting that, but closer to what I wrote the first time, incidentally. We’re supposed to write our perfect day in honor of our grander vision. So if you want the multi-million dollar house and model girlfriend, what are the things you can do every day to make each and every day perfect and also striving toward your goal. Steady gains; what does one foot in front of the other look like on a daily basis? So for me it’s assembling these weaknesses that I have in my Muay like I’m collecting Infinity Stones. Get my elbows nice, get my kick so it comes out all day, make myself the kind of performer that I love to watch the same fights of over and over again. I have to think about how to work on those things every day, so that I’m a little bit better and a little bit closer every single day. I’m way more motivated by this draft of the “perfect day” than I was on the first one, even though I get the purpose of the first. Actually, when I hear other people read their perfect day I get pumped myself, even if they don’t say a single thing that I would personally want. But it’s like a dream, like practicing your Oscar acceptance speech in the bathroom mirror even though you’ve never gone on an audition in your life but then this version, this week, is the process of going to every single audition you can and working on the tone inflections of your monologue; making sure you pluck your eyebrows so you look good on camera. Small stuff.
I’m a very process-oriented and driven person. Outcomes kind of intimidate me, or I even have a blind spot to them. But being able to fit those pieces together is the master plan, for me, in this mental training group. Part of this is reminding myself every day, multiple times per day, what my ultimate goal is or my prime vision. By thinking about it all the time and being reminded of it in a positive way all the time, it’s pretty impossible not to be working on it.
My other posts in the series: