Objectivity versus Relativity: An exploration of perspective and reflection

Two of the most important things I have learnt in the fields of education and Philosophy are Objectivity and Relativity.

Recently I’ve come to see just how broadly these two ways of thinking apply beyond just these two fields; particularly in my BJJ practice.

*For the sake of this exploration, I would like to work with the following definitions of Objectivity & Relativity.

1. Objectivity refers to concrete or set axioms (statements) of truth that do not shift regardless of which perspective they are examined from.

2. Relativity refers to statements which, depending on the perspective they are approached from, will have a subjective value; being either true or false depending on the conditions of the situation or person.

Let’s continue…

Continue reading “Objectivity versus Relativity: An exploration of perspective and reflection”

A car crash in Seoul

“Someone should do something about that.” 

Sometimes we have no choice but to be that someone.

I took a trip to South Korea in 2015, it was the first time I had ever traveled solo.

A significant event, a late night car crash on the streets of Seoul, made me choose between being an onlooker, saying “Someone should do something.” or being that someone.  Continue reading “A car crash in Seoul”

Theory versus Practice.

It’s not about what you believe; but what you put into practice every day.

The uncomfortable truth about reality is that nobody (other than yourself) really cares about what you think.

Your opinions & beliefs about the world (and even the way you perceive yourself) does not make any impact on the world outside of your mind. Reality, and those around you, are only able to interact with the actions you manifest as a result of your thoughts. 

We can have the most elaborate, beautiful sounding theories about the world in our minds, but these mean nothing in the face of practicality. We still have to negotiate a world that presents us with real challenges on a daily basis; only your actions will dictate how the consequences play out.

A person may perceive themselves to be “the best”; a hard worker, a champion, a good person, but their perceptions are only matched up against their actions. Do they act as a hard worker does? Do they act as the champion does? Do they act as a good person might? Theory must be put into practice, otherwise it is only hollow and useless. If you hold certain things to be true but do not act as if they are, you are being dishonest with yourself and deny yourself a fulfilling life. 

The joy of the human condition lies in the fact that we all perceive the world differently. We all hold certain things to be true and perceive reality in our own way. Perception and belief alone does not an interaction with the world make however. We must align our theories with our actions if we are to honestly express ourselves in the world.

Thanks for reading.

Oss.

Building Pathways: Thoughts on Strategy

Developing strategy and building pathways to success is important. Whether you’re creating a game plan to win a game of chess, finding the fastest way to submit your opponent or planning to create a piece of art, you need to build an effective pathway towards that end goal.

Pathways are more than just physical motions that we go through, it also involves pathways in our mind; adjusting what and how we think. Continue reading “Building Pathways: Thoughts on Strategy”

Allowing yourself the space for creativity

Many of us, in the pursuits we are passionate about, have the space to be creative and express ourselves in a true, honest way.

One thing we need to be aware of is that sometimes our focus can narrow and we can become absorbed by single facets of our pursuit. This can leave us without the space to find creative solutions- or to express creativity- because we become hyper-focused on the single thing directly in front of us. Sometimes, we need to take a step back and allow ourselves that space for creativity again.

For myself, my biggest creative pursuit is within Brazilian Jiu-jitsu and I’m constantly trying to find new ways to open up pathways to express myself within the (martial) art form. At times, I’ve felt like I had hit the dreaded “plateau”; where I felt like I was at a point of stasis and not seeing any improvement. I would be dissatisfied because I could not find success with the single thing that I was working on.

But the solution in cases like this is actually very simple. Sometimes, we narrow our focus too much and do not allow for the state of flow to occur, limiting our creativity and ultimately our ability to experiment & improve. When we become too objective focused, we dedicate all of our attention to completing that objective and forget to prioritize other equally important aspects.

A lot of practitioners talk about “opening up their game”. I think that this in a way refers to attending to the creative learning often required within BJJ and other martial arts or sports. Shouldn’t we always open up our games? By allowing ourselves the space to work creatively to solve the problems presented us, we will plateau less, enjoy training more and find more satisfaction when things do start to come together as a result.

Listening to Criticism.

The most valuable people you will ever meet are the ones who won’t always tell you what you want to hear. Remember that.

The people in your life who care enough to tell you what you need to hear, as opposed to what you want to hear, are worth their weight in gold.

Remember that no-one ever created positive change in their life by being encouraged to keep to doing the same mediocre things that they’ve been continuously doing without result. That is called stasis. Stasis will galvanize your way of thinking, it will encourage you to adopt weak, ego-centric narratives that justify your lack of improvement or inability to change the things that aren’t going right in your life.

Surround yourself with people who care about you and the kind of person you are. Be prepared to listen to them without taking offense. If they care enough to tell you when you’ve made a mistake, take that on board and allow it to inform your perceptions of how you act without being hurt or outraged.

Be grateful for criticism. Be grateful for an opportunity to learn and improve as a human being. Be grateful for those who care enough to tell you when you’ve made a mistake.

 

Learning Styles: Understanding how you learn.

All of us know what it’s like to start something new; to be a complete beginner and learn how to do something from scratch. Progress can be slow at times, even frustrating, but we must learn if we hope to become proficient in our chosen area. Martial Arts (Brazilian Jiu-jitsu in particular) has taught me a many great deal of things so far, including how I learn best.

When it comes to learning, the modern consensus is that no two people learn in the same way. We are all different people, so it stands to reason that we will learn differently too. Better understanding how you learn may be the edge you need to help fast track your improvement and progress.  Continue reading “Learning Styles: Understanding how you learn.”