Mental training trains the mind. That’s simple enough. Yet, how we approach the training matters a lot. We need to understand the goal we want to achieve and the process we’ll follow to achieve it. There are many approaches to mental training. Let me share how The Warrior’s Way® approaches mental training and contrast it a bit with other approaches.
Falling and Commitment
Most of you are familiar with our core offering: the Falling and Commitment clinic. In it we teach you tangible tools for focusing your attention. There are many tasks, yet only five processes for focusing attention. That’s simple, especially because we teach you exactly what to focus your attention on for each process. By practicing this, you improve your ability to keep attention focused on the task, which is the goal of this clinic.
The Free Mind ™ training builds on this core offering. Its goal is a bit different, though it dovetails with having our attention in the moment on task. Here, we want to create a mind that allows our attention to flow freely as the situation changes toward our inspiring goals. We want a mind that doesn’t trap attention in a mental prison of our own making. The Free Mind ™ training adds a dynamic dimension to the Falling and Commitment training. Life is constantly changing and we need to develop a mind that is similarly aligned. A free mind does this for us. The question is: How do we create such a mind?
Here is where this training diverges from other mental training methods, such as mental toughness approaches. I understand what trainers seek through developing mental toughness, traits like not giving up, persisting, etc. Those are extremely important qualities to develop. But there can be blind spots. “Toughness” makes systems more rigid. In other words, we could toughen existing mental patterns that are limiting. We layer the new training we’re doing onto a limiting foundation.
Let’s investigate how this could unfold. A mental toughness approach could engrain an “end justifies the means” motivation. As instructors, we train students to “get ‘er done” regardless of the means. The goal is “all important.” Quality of engagement, both body and mind, are diminished. Why? Because our attention will be directed toward what motivates us. If we value getting to the goal, at the expense of the journey that leads us there, then our attention will be distracted from the tasks that occur along the journey.
The Warrior’s Way® uses a mental flexibility approach. Yet, it still develops the important skills that are valued by mental toughness approaches. We have goals that direct our motivation, but when we’re on our learning journey toward those goals, we’re motivated exclusively by the process. In other words, “the means are an end in themselves.” This shifts our attention to the task itself as it progresses moment to moment, all the while guided by the goal. We know where we’re going and we value where we are along the way.
Here, we’re developing the qualities of not giving up, persisting, but also being willing to be here, now, in the middle of the stress. We develop the quality of seeking value from the experience within the experiences themselves. This develops fortitude to stay engaged in stressful struggles…for their own sake. We want to achieve goals, but that’s secondary when compared to the life we’re living moment to moment. Mental flexibility allows us to modify limiting habits. We don’t layer new training onto a limiting foundation. We tear down the foundation and build a better one.
A prime example of this is how we’re motivated. We tend to be achievement motivated. Toughening habit patterns, to “get ‘er done,” reinforces achievement motivation. Mental flexibility allows us to tear down the limitations of achievement motivation and build a stronger foundation of process motivation, guided by goals, but not at the expense of goals.
The Free Mind ™ training, and this flexibility approach, does this in four ways that build on each other. We arrange the training in Four Levels that build on one another:
- Agile Mind: We focus the training on developing an agile mind. Agility allows the mind to move in new directions, quickly, in effective ways.
- Resilient Mind: The training develops a resilient mind. Here, we help students develop skills to bounce back from adversity.
- Confident Mind: We train the mind to be confident. Confidence, though, comes from a specific source. It’s not dependent on external success. It’s oriented toward an internal locus of control.
- Free Mind: All this training comes together to develop the free mind we’ve been seeking, one that doesn’t trap attention in a mental prison of our own making. We’ve opened the door, so to speak, to allow attention to flow more freely as situations change. And they do constantly change.
Over the next several lessons, we’ll examine each one of these “minds” in more detail. In the meantime, you can register for this training. Each session contains a set of videos, interactive activities, and reflection questions. You will access the course materials through our unique online learning platform, interact with others on our community page, and then engage in the important zoom calls with your coach. The training can be done individually or in groups.
- Individual training can begin anytime simply by arranging your schedule with one of our coaches.
- Group sessions are pre-scheduled. We have several sessions beginning October 18th. See which one works best for your schedule.
Go to this webpage to get more information and register: Free Mind ™ Training