Habits and Growth

The body does the same things every day: sleep, eat, walk.

The mind does different things every day: remembering, planning, having different conversations, seeing changes in the world.

The body therefore benefits from novelty. Try a new skill. Eat something from a different culture.

The mind benefits from consistency. Meditation at the same hour every day can be hugely beneficial.

Unfortunately, the mind can be tricked into bad habits. Having repetitive thoughts is almost always stressful or depressing in itself, and thinking the same way about certain problems will never lead to solutions.

Yes, it is good to have a workout routine and go to the gym consistently. And however important it is to develop skill at certain movements through practice, the best improvements are seen when a new exercise is tried.

I have never had better mastery than when I practice consistently for months, then take several weeks off. When I return to the activity, I am inevitably better. This is most noticeable in coordination and precision skills.

No matter what your training goals, challenge your body while allowing your mind to repeat good patterns. Your mind will naturally wander, and your body will naturally fall back into habitual movements. Stay alert and keep growing.

David McCormick Head of Stage Combat at Academie Duello and certified Instructor with Fight Directors Canada. Head of Bartitsu at Academie Duello, the longest continuously running Bartitsu program in the world.
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