Warrior Focus

I start my morning in a relatively routine way so that I can prepare myself for whatever challenges and struggles I may face once I walk out my door.  After getting up, my first task is getting back in touch with my body with a quick workout and sweat.  Then I’ll finish that off preparing my body with a green smoothie so I can make sure I’m fueled with all the vegetables I’ll need for the day.

After weaponizing my body, it’s time to forge my mind.  I’ll sit down and practice a form of Zen meditation I learned while living at Gakhwang Temple, very similar to the meditation that Sijo Bruce Lee talks about in his notes found in the Tao of Jeet Kune Do and other sources.  After about twenty minutes, I’m more centered, grounded, and have been able to create space and focused concentration that I will be able to carry with me throughout the day.  If I have time, I’ll sit for another session after lunch, and I always sit before I teach the martial arts and self-defense classes at Maryland Jeet Kune Do, near Odenton, Maryland.

This morning, though, was a bit interesting.  My wife and I have three cats, one was mine, and two were hers.  My cat, Tessa, is a bit dog-like in some ways.  She follows me to whatever room I am in the house.  Normally when I meditate, she will sit next to me, or on my mukjong, or somewhere else in the room, but this morning she decided to change things up.  As I was focusing on my breathing, she began poking me with one claw in the small of my back.  After getting no response from me, she turned her attention to one of her sisters who must have walked in the room, because all I heard behind me was scrambling feet and hissing.  Tessa can be a bit of a tyrant.

Some mornings, my meditations can be great and I get about twenty minutes of released tension, renewed focus, cleared mental clutter, and complete renewal.  On other days, my mind interferes with something from the past or the future.  It could be a childhood memory, something that was stressing me at work the day before, a thought of a friend or someone I’m colliding with, or anxiety about something I need to do or take care of.  It could be a cat, poking me in the back with a claw.  These are still good meditation sessions!  If everything went perfect every time, I would never develop the focus I need to expand and achieve my objectives.

Sijo once said, “The successful warrior is the average man, with laser-like focus.”  The difference between a laser and a flashlight is merely the focus of the beam.  It’s all just light.  One is a diffuse glow that spills weak energy everywhere.  The other is a tight, cutting beam that cuts through obstacles and material.

I may have decided I am out of shape and need a change in my fitness, it almost becomes inevitable that no matter how I felt fired up about this new workout protocol or new diet program, something is going to get in the way.  I am going to get tired of being sore and being pushed in my workout, or that plate of nachos is going look way too good to me.  If I am not focused on what my objective is for my body, then those feelings will stop me.  They will get in the way.

Meditation is where we develop focus.  Our mind is that flashlight, it’s just spilling energy in every direction we point it.  When we point it at an obstacle that is getting in our way, all the flashlight mind can do is illuminate it for us to sit there and stare at it, stuck.  But once we have illuminated the obstacle, when we learn to focus our mind, we begin to bring that light down into a tight, drilling beam that burns away the things standing in our way.  Learning how to do that in meditation gives us focused energy succeed throughout our day, even if the distraction is a cat clawing at your back.

If there is one thing that deserves my focus, it is definitely my wife.  She is an amazing woman but work issues, family drama, and just daily life can get in the way of me connecting with her.  Having a successful relationship with my wife requires active focus.  By being able to shift my mind from distractions to her, I can connect with her.

Every day, there are new issues, new ideas, new projects, new fires that need to be put out in my business.  I could jump from emergency to emergency, but how does that help me move forward toward achieving my objectives?  I need to be able to look at each situation, see what are just distractions, and focus on the projects and issues that need to be dealt with to achieve my goals.

Where in your life are you lacking focus and it is keeping you from success?

What are you going to do this week to focus your mind like a laser?



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