So, I was homeschooled. Homeschooled in the give the child a pile of books and let him go feral sort of way. 🙂 Really though, no organized lessons just a lot of reading about whatever seemed interesting. The part of this story that matters is the isolation. There were parts that were hard about that but there was one incredible, unexpected benefit. Not caring what anyone thinks about what you are interested in or what your goals are.

Goals and Martial Arts

Think about it. Actually not giving a second thought to what people will think. (It’s easy when there’s no one there) This bit me as often as it helped. However, this interesting upbringing set me up well to take up martial arts and be comfortable diving into the deep end of the practice

The flip side of this is a conversation I just heard.

A consultant asked a man, “What’s important to you in a diet? Are there any details of the plans you looked at that you liked or disliked?”

“Well most everyone I know…” Responded the big guy across from her.

That guy is doomed.

Unless he is surrounded by people who do exactly what he dreams of doing and look how he dreams of looking. It’s not exactly his fault. We are naturally social creatures. Humans form packs around shared ideas and activities. If I have a group of friends who like hitting the bar most nights for burgers and beers how are they going to react to me going to a martial arts class instead? They will pressure me to stop. Unless they are jerks it will be an unconscious pressure but it’s still pressure. We are the average of the people we spend the most time with. And our packs naturally want us to be like them.

We are the average of those people unless we are intentional about being different.

So, if we have major goals then we need to get comfortable being on the outside.

‘…So as we set up our goals for the future let’s be aware of that and line ourselves up for success…’

You don’t have to ditch your friends just to take up kickboxing.

You don’t have to ask someone’s income level and caloric intake before you decide to hang out with them.

That would be a cold-hearted over reaction to social pressure. And social pressure will always be there. So as we set up our goals for the future let’s be aware of that and line ourselves up for success.

When you are starting something new, tell the people you know will support you. Don’t tell your laziest co-worker about your new workout routine. Don’t tell someone having a Snickers and soda for lunch about your new slow-carb nutrition plan. Those conversations will be lame and draining.

Also, be a good friend. Your good friends will support you in anything that you are excited about. That said, they know nothing about martial arts. Don’t bore them with details about your workout that they don’t understand. “Hey man, I just did Horse Stance for an hour and a half. It made my muscles shake like they were hooked up to a car battery and there was a 3 foot pool of sweat under me at the end.” That’s going to earn a weird look from anybody no matter how much they want to support you. See your friends would much rather hear, “I’ve never felt so strong! I found focus in myself I didn’t even know was there.” You can always go into details if someone asks.

Major Goals and Social Support

  • Just being a little bit intentional about setting up social pressure can turn it into a big support for your martial arts goals.
  • Know that you are going to be on the outside of your current social pack sometimes. Embrace that as a sign of big positive changes happening.
  • If someone is deeply negative about you doing something as positive as martial arts, then call them out or cut them off. You’ll both be better for it.
  • Surround yourself with the best people you can and treat them well.
  • Share with the friends you know will understand, spare the ones who won’t.

There you go. A simple guide to being more successful in your major goals like becoming a martial artist. Enjoy.