STOICISM IS THE WAY
STOIC STRATEGIES ON MARTIAL ARTS AND LIFE
What happens if a CEO call his staff into a conference room on the eye of a product launch, they all take their seats around the table, he calls the meeting to attention and begins "I have very bad news, the product was a total failure"
Engineers, marketers, managers is perplexed; how? But we haven't even reveal the product yet!
For some the above seems a strange exercise, to think negatively about anything that you are doing is the most valuable thing you can do. Many recalls on product could be avoided if all segments of industry did this incredible daily exercise.
Now, as a martial Artist, I believe that this segment is the most neglected of them all! Think about it, almost all martial schools ARE NOT DOING THIS valuable exercise, they are teaching their students techniques that have value no value on street confrontation whatsoever. There is no interest to question the efficacy of the technique by the instruct and the students are afraid to even think about doing it. There is very few systems out there that teaches the mental aspect of self defense and give the student a edge on how to deal with own fears and the ugliness of symbiotic rage and adrenal dump and its effect on one's performance!
The truth is in combat, business and life in general, you must envision what could go wrong- what will go wrong- way in advance, before starting. How many business failed, how many products tanked, how many people die stupid deaths due to a lack of a healthy "pessimist" ?
The chief problem is; people refuse the fact the things might no go exactly as they wish of hope for.
A fighter like Myiamoto Musashi would begin his research on a particular swordsman he wanted to challenge for a life and death duel by doing a perfect survey on the subject.
One of his favorite technique was to disguise himself as a beggar to get very close to his potential adversary to find out about his temper, fighting style, strong points and the most important, his weaknesses, after that, he will issue the challenge and after the place where the duel was suppose to take place, he them will go there to meditate about what could possible go wrong and the solutions for it, things such as, position of the sun on the sky, the terrain, escape routes, nothing escaped Musashi's feline attention, Because of his stoic nature and respect for the knowledge, he died undefeated, not before writing his strategy master piece: the Book Of Five Rings that I recommend to anyone that wants to learn the way of Sakusen-Do-Ryu.
Understand, these meditations is for every aspect of your life, from a life and death encounter to the negotiating table where loosing your head (literally) is not a reality. But for me, defeat is a defeat no matter which for it comes, you may not loose your life, but you could loose your honor, your self esteem, and most import your soul.
"Nothing happens to the wise man against his expectations" Seneca said. The key is always be prepared for disruption and make sure you are working that disruption into your plan. Lets be frank; it is much better to know what is going to happen, good bad or indifferent than to get caught by surprise by a nasty outcome that you never anticipated.
If failure is expected and nothing could be done , the stoic person would use it as an important practice to do something the rest of us too often fail to do---manage expectations and the outcome.
Because sometimes the only answer to "WHAT IF I DID THIS OR THAT" is this "storm" will suck but I will be okay! If you know you will eat a bucket of shit, it is a good idea to have a jug of milk to wash it down.
The cold reality is: all the colleges and Ivy league Universities will not prepare you for life and lessons and challenger it will throw at you, nothing is straight forward and clean like the games they play on martial arts schools around the globe. You may be asking why I'm mixing martial arts, business and life in general; very simple--- because it is the same strategy for all of it, business is war, life is war, you may sugar coated but this is the real truth, and you may have to learn the hard way that our world is ruled by external factors outside of our control no matter what we do.
We don't get what is rightfully ours and even if we had earned it, being a stoic is know this and be prepared for it. IS NOT ABOUT WHAT HAPPENS TO YOU THAT REALLY MATTERS, BUT HOW YOU REACT TO IT.
Understand: If you are surprised every time something bad happen to you, them you will have a hard time to accept your failures and keep moving towards the attempt number two, three, four.
The only thing we can do is lick our wounds, embrace the failures as a step stone to the next attempt and know the possible outcomes through anticipation, because the only variable we can truly control is OURSELVES.
Do not worry if your if your stoic spirit gives you a pessimist label or maybe your friends sees you as a downer, who cares anyway! It is far better than getting caught with your pants down. The rest of the populations is on sheep mode, DON'T BE A SHEEP, LEARN TO BE A SHEEPDOG.
Know this: Anticipations does not guarantee that things will be easier or maybe you have the temptation to use to procrastinate and think: oh this is never going to work and sit on your ass and don't take action, the power of anticipation is to know the possible variables within your plan and prepare for any detour or adjustments you have to make along the way.
Meet Masahiko Kimura (1917-19930 the greatest Judo Player the world ever know, he used the power of anticipation like no other fighter in history, to accomplish his amazing victories he developed a training strategy the he named SAIBAI RO RIOKU or in plain English, the triple effort. When he was about to challenge or enter on a competition he would do an extensive research about his opponents training regime and once he knew the routine, he them trained himself three time harder (triple effort) Kimura new the power of anticipation and because of his stoic mind he was able to put a dent on the martial arts universe, Helio Gracie had to live the rest of his days knowing that he lost to this incredible warrior.
Turn your life's tribulations and difficulties into advantages, work around the obstacles and know the outcome and manage it with an open mind, turning shit into sugar is the ultimate stoic alchemy!
Shihan Joshua Barbosa