I’ve just come back from teaching the Shaolin Summer Camp in China. My sisters were there to help with the cooking, my three year old daughter and my wife were there, and my students – for that time – were also part of my family.By creating a safe family environment, it took away all feeling of competition. This is really important. Especially if you want to win. The great basketball coach, John Wooden, never talked about winning. he talked about his players being the best they could be, both off and on the pitch.
Once my students were there, they had no choice. Too much choice makes us unhappy. It’s been proven by scientists. This is why Buddhist disciples and monks take precepts. Having too much choice makes the mind busy and then it doesn’t focus on the things that are important.
We started every day with a run up the mountain. Some students said they couldn’t do it but I told them they could. By the end of 4 weeks, no one questioned running up the mountain. They ran and their stamina had increased dramatically.
We trained in traditional Shaolin forms, Qigong, fighting, and stamina. No one can be good at all of these exercises but when the body is training three times a day, it’s good to vary the workouts. But the real training was the training of the mind. I hope that what everyone brought home with them was the greatest Shaolin teaching of all.
If you really want to do something you can. You can create the life you want.
It just takes 4 easy steps:
1) Give yourself the right environment – that doesn’t mean you have to move your body but move your mind so it’s in the right place.
2) Give yourself no choice – you’ve made your choice, stick to it.
3) Compete Only Against Yourself – Don’t compare yourself to others. Focus on challenging yourself.
4) Don’t think about winning – think about being the best you can be.
With this focus, whatever the outcome, you’ve already won!
Shifu Yan Lei teaches a graded Shaolin path ro kung fu and Qigong. Click here to find out more about his books, DVD and downloads.