Today marks eleven months since I took my first class at 208 and joined the team.

It’s crazy to think that much time has passed. To that end I wanted to share something with you that my Coach, Shane Mount, shared recently on Facebook regarding his thoughts on “how to get better” and loving the art.

It is posted in its entirety below, with permission.

Enjoy, and as always, Pursue Mastery.

So often students ask me how to get better at Jiu Jitsu or Kickboxing, or “how do you make it look so easy”. Normally I ramble on about hard work, and putting in the time, and the rest works itself out. It’s the generic Coach answer from every sports movie and book out there.

Tonight, I’m restless and can’t sleep … as usual, so I set my mind to this question again, and here’s what I’ve come up with.

If I ever gave you the impression I didn’t work at this, or that it came easy to me – I’m sorry. That couldn’t be further from the truth. What you didn’t see was the losses, the failures, the tears, the blood, the injuries, the quit moments (and there were many), the self doubt, the self pity, the insecurity, the fear of letting everyone down. I’d try to kill all these doubts with more reps, more work, more sweat, more output, I was convinced this was the way forward. This only led to more failures, more tears, more blood, more injuries, more quit moments, more doubt, more pity, more insecurity, more fear. Trying to improve while only looking at the surface is a vicious cycle that never leads anywhere.

When I was finally able to change my mindset, and see the bigger picture, things started to turn around for me. Now at my most honest, this was how I did it.

The first secret is to love it, no matter what you do – you have to love it. If you’re a painter, or a wood worker, a doctor, a dog walker – whatever it is, you have to love it. It can’t just be something to you, it has to be EVERYTHING to you. It doesn’t matter what it is, or what you are, a cross fitter, a fighter, a tradesman, a chef, an artist, a teacher – you must LOVE that thing, if you don’t – don’t do it.

Second and maybe the biggest secret of them all; is you have to see the beauty in it. I can only speak on behalf of martial artist, so I’ll explore that topic deeper here but it translates to anything.

If you’re a fighter, you have to see more then just punches and kicks, take downs and submissions, blocks and parries, footwork and angles. Sure it’s a science, and you must study and fill your head with knowledge, but its an art too – and you must fill your mind, body, and spirit with that part. Hidden beneath the veneer of physical force and violence, are layers of intricate movement, balance, timing. Beneath those layers, you’ll find grace, harmony, and beauty in each movement.

Stop seeing it as a fight, start seeing it as a dance, the most beautiful dance, every movement timed and balanced and calculated, choreographed to perfection. When your mind, your body and your spirit are in tune, the things you can accomplish are astounding, we as human beings are astounding.

Whatever it is you do from the strokes of the painters brush, to the key strokes of a musicians piano, give yourself to it completely – and then find the beauty in it. Love the process, and the outcome will be less significant to you.

Love your life, love all things in your life, find the beauty in your life. If you can’t find beauty in your life, the fault is no ones but your own – it’s all around you, you just have to look deeper into whatever it is you do. When you find it, let it fill you up.

If you can do that, then you’re truly on your way – just make sure you enjoy the process. That doesn’t mean you wont have the failures, the doubts, the dark days; it just means you’ll now see the meaning and the value in the darker days, because even in those – there is beauty.

Be great, it is what you were born to do.

Shane Mount is a Brown Belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Robson Moura. He also possesses extensive knowledge in Judo and Kickboxing.

His contact info can be found at www.208BJJ.com

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