Episode 1: Exercise, Willpower & Self-Principle
In the very first episode of the Martial Art of Self podcast, I share my personal insights and realizations when it comes to exercise, willpower and self-principle. We explore the following questions: Is it possible to push through the laziness, lethargy, and resistance towards training? Can it be that we can create a motivation point within ourselves that can move through negative emotions?
I believe that exercise within martial arts is not only a tool for building physical strength, but self-character. One can take all the words within martial arts and philosophy (such as strength and power) and apply it to other aspects of our lives – making martial arts an integral part of us.
To become self-motivated and develop the strength to meet many internal resistances and challenges towards training and growing ourselves is absolutely possible. In this episode I explain what has worked for me and how I am living it.
Music by Fidelis Spies
[00:00:00] Welcome to the Martial Art of Self podcast, a podcast about bringing the essence of martial arts back to self.
[00:00:10] Hi everyone. I’m Aldin. Welcome to the very first episode of the Martial Art of Self podcast. This is a show in which we explore how we can bring and apply the principles, philosophies and strengths of martial arts into our daily life.
[00:00:24] We focus on transforming our martial arts journey into more than just an external discipline. Self understanding, self-awareness, self-change and self-creation are the themes we aim at. We go beyond the martial application and straight into the heart of ourselves: How can we bring martial arts back to self?
[00:00:44] And in this very first episode, we will be talking about exercise, willpower and what I call self-principle.
[00:00:51] A very interesting point that I’ve come across here for myself during one of my training sessions, which is that where I’ve realized that in essence, energy and what I mean with energy is our emotions and our feelings, particularly – when they feel as our motivation. When they feel as the point that motivates us. When do they feel as our motivators, if you will.
[00:01:17] I have experienced it in this case particularly through several instances throughout the weeks, the months when I started to become more serious in my training. Where I started to try to incorporate some form of martial arts trainings, even if it’s just some form of movements, every single day and not skip a day – is that I would notice that when I have these positive feelings– and I’m sure you can relate to this – is that as you go throughout your day, as you go throughout your life – in the weeks that you go through, the months that you go through is that you will notice that you have ups and downs, so to speak.
[00:01:59] What I mean with that is that you have periods where your positive feelings, the positive energy, the positive experiences you have are more accentuated than the negative ones, the emotions. And then it will flip during a certain period of time, like a wave where you will have more of your negative emotions, your negative experiences, your negative energies, if you will, accentuated. And the positive ones are going more into the background and are less accentuated and are less intense. And thus you experience them less. They are kind of drowned out by the negative ones.
[00:02:39] So that is a side note – what I’ve noticed in relationship to the energy being motivation for training is that during that period of time where the positive feeling would be more accentuated and I would not be so much aware or experience so much intensely the negative emotions, but more the positive ones – is that I would have a raised feeling of motivation, if you will.
[00:03:07] A raised feeling of will and of want to train and to channel toward training and to make the training and going to the training and doing the training more likely and more reality.
[00:03:20] And then, when I would hit that lower wave part or point, so to speak, in life where more of the negative emotions are here. And I experienced them more and am more aware of them and I’m more in a low mood and a low point, so to speak. Be it depression, be it anger, be it inner conflict and so on – is that the likelihood of me skipping training because of giving into the excuses, the reasons, the justifications that would be conjured up and that I would come up within my mind – would be more likely.
[00:04:01] And thus in this particular case or through those particular movements of the ups and downs and thus the relationship between the feeling and the emotion toward my training and whether or not I will do my training or whether or not I would skip it or do it only halfheartedly, so to speak – is that I have realized that it is a pretty, pretty bad idea, if you will, to base your motivation, your will, your drive, your decision to train based on how you feel in terms of your feelings, in terms of your emotions, in terms of your thoughts and what you think.
[00:04:48] And that the self – me, you, the ‘Me’-part, so to speak – the being, if you will, must become the motivational point. The point of reference. Where the motivation, the drive and the will to train and to do do the training must be brought back to self. Back to the being. Where [snaps fingers] like this in a moment I decide I’m going to train and I’m sticking to this decision and I’m executing on this decision and I’m going to train based on the decision.
[00:05:25] Thus me [snaps fingers] deciding like this in a moment on demand that I’m going to train. I am creating in that moment the motivation for me. It must be like that I have realized where in a moment [snaps fingers] I decide I’m going to train and this decision is final. I’m moving myself to train.
[00:05:47] And I’m making an agreement with myself where I list down, for example, all the points, all the reasons of why I’m training and where I want to go with the training or through the training, so to speak. And this agreement becomes holy to me. It’s like ‘the’ agreement for me, if you will. And then in that moment where I decide I’m going to create the motivation, the will, the desire to train – [snaps fingers] I make the decision to train. I make the decision that I am creating this motivation for me. And I’m making the decision that I’m honoring my agreement I made with myself as to why I’m training. And I’m sticking to this. I’m moving myself. I’m willing myself to do the training based on that decision, based on that agreement and honoring that agreement, that reason or reasons why I’m training in the first place.
[00:06:39] So thus, in essence, realizing that self must become the point of motivation. That motivation, will, desire, want the train must be brought back to self. And not have the decision and the outcome of whether or not I or you are going to train, be based on how we feel. Based on whether or not we have positive feelings or based on whether we have or are going through negative emotions at the moment.
[00:07:11] But independent of what the feeling or emotion is that we’re going through – we are training if we [snaps fingers] decide to train. And we are doing it. We’re sticking to it. We’re not accepting, we’re not allowing any excuses, reasons, justifications, any experience or thought or inner backchat talk that has that nature of excuse, reason, and justification and resistance of telling us apparently that we can’t train, we shouldn’t train, it’s okay to not train.
[00:07:51] We stick to our decision. [Snaps fingers] Like this in a moment, we decide to train. We decide to create motivation and be motivation for training. And honor it, stick to our agreement we made with ourselves
[00:08:07] And this point of agreement of making that agreement with self is a quite important, I find for me, point that I will dedicate part of, or even maybe a complete separate episode of this podcast to in the future.
[00:08:27] What I’ve further realized in terms of through my process of exercising and for quite some time really having tried to exercise daily – is that I’ve first of all gotten to know and understand my relationship to exercises as to how it was before more.
[00:08:50] And in that equally through that process of– of exercising and trying to push myself and move myself to at least to some form of training, of martial arts training, of– of movement, of self-movement in and through the physical body and not be dependent on emotions and feelings to move myself to, for example, do training and do movement or exercise, even if it’s for just 20 or 30 minutes – is that I’ve discovered more dimensions to exercises.
[00:09:19] Meaning that I’ve gotten to learn and understand that, at least to me now, this point, in this time of my life, is that I see exercise as a tool. Not only for building the external points or parts, like the body, like muscles, speed, agility, power, martial arts techniques or whatever it is that is external. But that exercising, that movement in the physical is a tool for building the self-character. Building the character within. The who I am, the being, the me.
[00:10:03] And in assisting and supporting me to take all these things, take all these words that I discover through my martial arts training – for example strength, power, agility, and whatever I train for in the external movements of the martial arts, and take those things, those aspects, those words, those characteristics that I train in the outside, in the external as the body – and bring them back to self.
[00:10:35] And see where and how can I incorporate and make these words, these characteristics that I train in the outside, that I train as my physical body – where can I make them part and live them inside me as me, as my being, as my person, as my character? And apply it in all areas of my life on demand, when as it is needed and required in that moment.
[00:10:59] Not just have those characteristics and words, if you will, be tied to only the– and during the time where I do the external movements, the external exercises, but be able to [snaps fingers] live and apply and conjure up those words and characteristics within in any situation, in any moment of my life. Whenever that point of necessity for that word, for that expression, for that living of the point or characteristic or expression like strength, power, balance, et cetera, is needed and required for me to live to assist and support me through an experience, a challenge, a moment, a point, a timeframe in my life.
[00:11:46] To recap – that exercise I see now as a tool to build my self-character. Not just the outer self, but equally so the inner self. And I find it quite important.
[00:12:03] It also brings about a point of balance in terms of not making it just a workout, a working on the outside, on the external, on the external self, if you will, but also equally a balanced point of working on the internal through the external. And then also at the same time from developing and working on the internal it assist and support working on and building and enhancing and supporting the building and the working of the external again.
[00:12:33] So it’s like a yin and yang, if you will. A give and receive, if you will, in this context of the relationship of working on the inside, but equally on the outside and working on the outside, but equally on the inside of the self.
[00:12:49] Just to recap the core essential points of this podcast being that energy – the way we feel, our emotions and feelings usually fail as our motivators when we are in the negative experience. When we are more in the emotional part.
[00:13:09] And thus from there, the realization that actually the self must become that point of motivation. Of on-demand creating the motivation, the will, the desire to train. Based on the decision I take based on the agreement I made with myself. Thus the point of motivation, will and desire and thus power to train and– and make sure that I train and don’t skip my training is in my own hands, is in self’s own hands, is in one’s own hands. And not in the hands of emotions and feelings and how we feel or experience ourselves at any given moment in our lives and our processes.
[00:13:51] And thirdly, that exercise should not be just a tool for working the external, the body, if you will – building muscles and speed and power and so on. But equally a training, a exercising, a support of building the character of self. The internal. The within.
[00:14:12] Strengthening thus both the external and the internal self and making the training, the workout of self not just external, not just internal, but external and internal and does whole, sound, wholesome.
[00:14:27] We are going to go up to here for today. I hope you enjoyed today’s talk and I’m looking forward to have you join me in the next episodes.
[00:14:36] Thank you very much.
[00:14:39] Thank you for listening to the Martial Art of Self podcast. If you enjoyed this episode, then please subscribe and leave a review on iTunes.