49. Do what you love!

Sensei Joseph Hurtsellers: Hi this Joe Hurtsellers from ohiomartialarts.com and welcome to my podcast. Most people think of martial arts as something that going to be really difficult and hard, and that they’re concerned if they’ll be able to do it. Well we’ve made our passion making martial arts techniques simple, enjoyable, and easy for the average person.

Most people know that there’s an internal mental part of the martial arts too, but so often those things that been made complicated, and difficult, and hard to understand. The purpose of this show is to take complex mental aspects of the martial arts and break them down so that they’re so simple and enjoyable that the average person can put them to use in everyday life. Welcome to Mindpower. I hope you enjoy.


Sensei Joseph Hurtsellers: I’ll give you a couple of thoughts today. I'm going to do the five ways. I'll do them briefly, but I changed the way that I'm wording the five ways just a little bit, just for today, just because it's interesting. So the first way to become a great martial artist, the word I wrote down this morning is enjoy. So everyone say enjoy.

Students: Enjoy, sir.

Sensei Joseph Hurtsellers: To become a great martial artist, you have to enjoy the practice, because when you enjoy the practice, when you really like what you're doing, when it's fun for you, you don't have to cultivate patience. Because if you're having fun, there's no patience. Patience is only needed when you're not happy with where you are, so cultivate happiness in the moment.

One of the obstacles that we run into today is- And I love the idea, and I love the concept. In fact, I've written it many times and talked about it many times- is love what you do. Love what you do, right? We always hear that, but I think what it has done is it's kind of turned this generation of people into kind of good for nothings. Because you have young people, and they go out, and they get their first job, and they go, “Man flipping burgers at McDonald's. I never really visualized that. I don't love it. So they quit and try something else. The think I have to keep doing- “I'm going to be a physical therapist.” Oh, that schooling is really hard. I don't love it. So they quit. But then they decide I'm going to go over here, and I'm going to sell something. Oh, those people, they don't always want to buy. I don't love it!” Then the poor kid ends up being a do nothing, because they’re taking this advice from well-meaning people like me that say do what you love, but they're misinterpreting it.

When you're given a job- or when you're given an opportunity to train, or you're given an opportunity to be on a football team. You're given an opportunity to do anything- you're given an opportunity to love something. That's your opportunity to love something. When you're given an opportunity to flip hamburgers, you're also given an opportunity to find a way to enjoy that. You have to find a way to enjoy that. You're the only one that's responsible for enjoying that, because here's the secret of the universe. The secret is, is if you enjoy flipping hamburgers, you're going to get good at it. You're going to get so good that managers and other people are going to notice you, and pretty soon they can't waste you back there with the hamburgers. You're going to be doing something else. The universe will pull you into a better position when you learn to enjoy what you're doing now.

And thus the same thing is true of martial arts. If I'm unsatisfied with a white sash, I will stay a set white sash a very long time. If I'm satisfied with my white sash, and I enjoy being white sash, I'm ready for yellow for sure. For sure, for sure. Makes sense?

Students: Yes, sir

Sensei Joseph Hurtsellers: The second way to become a great martial artist I wrote down this morning is follow a plan. Everybody say that, follow a plan.

Students: Follow a plan, sir.

Sensei Joseph Hurtsellers: Follow a plan. You want to make your practice part of your plan. There's an old saying that's been going around a long time. I really like it. You are either part of your own plan, or, by default, you become part of someone else's. So one of the reasons that people really struggle in martial arts and fail to get where they want to go in their practice, is they keep martial arts in the realm of a decision that they have to make.

In other words, they get up on a Thursday morning, and they look at their schedule, and they go “Hey, it's Thursday. There's a class tonight at seven. I’ll probably go to that. I think I'll go to that. Right now I'm planning on going. I'm going to decide- I think I'm probably going to end up going to that class.” Then at breakfast they consider the idea again, and they go “Yeah, that's good. I feel pretty good right now. I got a lot of hours between now and then. It's seven o'clock, but yeah, I'll go to that class.” Then mid-morning, then they think about it again. They say, “Yeah, I'm still sort of planning on going to that-.”

You know what happens by two o'clock and three o'clock in the afternoon. They see that text on their phone, they forgot that there’s Thursday Night Football. They're in their fantasy football league, and they go, “Well, you know what, that's okay. I'll just go tomorrow instead.” Except the same thing happens tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day, and the next day, and the next day. So what you do is instead pick your schedule and take it completely out of your decision making process. If it's your day, it's your day, it's your day, it's your day, it's your day, and just go on those two days or whatever your schedule is, but just make that consistent. If you're deciding about doing things all the time, it's just a matter of time before you decide that you're not going to do them.

Third Way to become a great martial artist- I wrote this one down- it says do a little more. So everybody say that, do a little more.

Students: Do a little more, sir.

Sensei Joseph Hurtsellers: Do a little more, and this is the law of the gym. The law of the gym is, if I go to the gym, and I can lift 100 pounds, but I choose to lift 99 pounds, then in time I can only lift 99 pounds. If I go to the gym, and I can fit 100 pounds, and I choose- maybe with Keyone’s help or somebody’s help- to go for 101, to go for 101, it's just a matter of time before I’ll hit 101. And then I'll start going for 102. What happens is, is we diminish ourselves, every time we do a little less than our best. We expand ourselves every time we do a little more than our best. Makes sense?

Fourth way to become a great martial artist, I wrote down the word visualize. Everybody say visualize.

Students: Visualize, sir.

Sensei Joseph Hurtsellers: Visualize. And we were talking about this a little bit earlier in the week, but you just have to be thinking about what it is that you're actually doing. You're visualizing the attacker. You're visualizing the position. You're visualizing the movement. You're seeking a deep understanding of what it is that you're doing, and why you're doing it. It's that deep understanding. So often people will- because of the way we're educated with sort of the fill in the blank or check the boxes, sort of education that we all experience as part of our culture- We think that when we memorize facts and figures, we know things.

It's so funny, but you take somebody that's got their doctorate in history, and you say, “Tell me a little bit about, I don't know, tell me a little bit about Alexander the Great. What years did he live?” 9 times out of 10, they don't even know. They don't know; they don't remember all of that. But a great history teacher also has a skill, and the skill is they can tell you the concepts behind the stories of history. They can tell you what it meant, and why we live today the way we live, because they understand it. That's the way good martial arts should be too. You have to understand the concepts. You have to dig deeply. It's not a matter about knowing the answers. You can not know the answer, and still be a great martial artist.

All right, and then finally, the last way to become a great martial artist- I didn't change this one at all- And it's meditate. Everybody say meditate.

Students: Meditate, sir.

Sensei Joseph Hurtsellers: Meditate. That means we have to learn to discipline the mind. Meditation is really about learning to be a positive thinker and staying on a positive thought without going the opposite direction. It's just that simple. So whenever I talk about positive thinking, the objection that I will get from some people- sometimes I don't actually did it, but I can feel it coming- is, “Look, I've tried positive thinking, and it didn't work.” That's the most common thing that you get.

The way I like to equate this is it's a little bit like you're showing somebody the game of golf, and they go, “I love golf, but putting just doesn't work. It just doesn't work. I mean, I practiced it many times that ball just does not go in that hole, so that putting is just not a workable thing.” And of course, a good golf teacher would say, “No, no putting works, but you have to be really good at it, and you have to practice it.”

So what we want to leave you with is that positive thinking is not just this airy fairy, fairy dust thing that you do. It's something you get out of bed with in the morning. You decide, “Damn it, I'm going to get this. I'm going to train harder on this than I do anything else in my life.” When you go to bed at night, it's the last thing you think about, and you remind yourself that the next day is your opportunity to do it again, and you're going to get good at it, and you're going to get good at it, and you're going to get good at it.

Your main tool to getting good at it is learning to meditate, because when you learn to meditate, it stills the mind and allows you to recognize when you're positive thinking and when you're negative thinking, because most people have no idea.

So those are the five ways. Rephrased them a little that just for fun today.