6.) Be Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable –Growth Mind Set
“The entertainment of jiu jitsu does not lay in the spectacle of the fights themselves. As most of these are slow moving and boring [to watch] anyways. But it lies in the appreciation of the intricate techniques and innovations of the sport” Keenan Cornelius, 21 year old black belt world champion. Cornelius wrote this on social media in response to critics whom frowned upon his new, controversial but highly effective technique: the worm guard.
Critics proclaim that Cornelius’ invention is nontraditional (not useful in street fighting) and “bad for the sport”. Because the new technique has little known defenses, the worm guard is often scapegoated as part of BJJ’s stalling problem. However, in the Andre Galvao seminar I attended, Galvao would defend Cornelius, his teammate, by showing everyone several easy ways to counter the worm guard. Galvao would shake his head and smile, saying, “People just don’t want to think!”
Jiujitsu is a sport that is constantly changing and those whom resist change fall behind. Growth starts at the end of one’s comfort zone. The best practitioners are the ones constantly embracing new ideas with open arms. Many BJJ gyms welcome cross training with western wrestling and judo; many encourage traveling students to visit other gyms and add more color to their game. There are gym owners still stuck in the dark ages, whom see wrestling as heresy and gym hopping as high treason. Thing is, those ‘politicians’ tend not to do well in competition.
I roll my eyes a little when people are quick to put their self-worth and pride into an “ism”. I.e.: liberalism, conservatism, nationalism, capitalism, socialism, etc. I feel ‘ism’s do a great job of pigeonholing someone because it can creates a veil where outside knowledge is covered away. ‘Ism’s provide social and mental comfort; it is easy to find a community with like minds and familiar ground. However, block yourself from outside knowledge and your growth will be highly limited.
Learn to be comfortable with cognitive dissonance: the psychological discomfort when facing conflicting ideas, beliefs, and behaviors. When faced with cognitive dissonance, your mind will automatically attempt to restore balance by reorganizing information. If you have a small growth mind set, you may become quickly angered or frightened by new information because it does not match your beliefs. Thus, you may restore cognitive balance in a way that produces bias and irrational beliefs.
Simple example: two people believe capitalism (or socialism) to be unfavorable. Person A & B are presented evidence where capitalism (or socialism) produced profound benefits to society. Person A with low growth mindset: fucking bullshit propaganda created by people in power/lazy fucks that want to take my money. Person B with high growth mind set: I did not know that. I still do not believe capitalism/socialism to be the right way but I will keep on digging. Perhaps the answer is in between.