Understanding and Emotional Martial Arts

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Artwork by Kim Alsbrook (http://www.kimalsbrooks.com/)

 

A long time ago, a high school teacher of mine made the class watch a documentary on people with different types of memory loss. What intrigued me about this was the descriptions of the before and after effects of a victim suffering from amnesia after a car accident. They claimed that not only her memory was gone, but also that her personality had changed. This made me wonder that if such a thing as a personality could be altered by an accident, could it be altered on purpose?
From my own experimentations, I’ve found that it can be changed, but only to a degree. I think that’s because of memory. Every morning we tell ourselves the story of our lives and we remember who we are and where we came from to get where we are. If we were not able to remember our story, would we be the same person?

I warn you here. Every article I’ve written before has been an underlying process to dealing with specific problems. I’ll be covering processes that I undergo currently and so are still in a constant state of being processed. Incomplete. I can’t help but feel that it’s valuable and useful regardless and hopefully, you, the one reading this, may even be able to take it further. This next segment, I call emotional martial arts.

Like I’ve said earlier, your personality can be altered on purpose to a degree, but with that, you need a certain understanding of yourself. Probably a more accurate one. You need to understand that you, your ego, this thing you try so hard to defend against others, is really invisible and barely exists. The only reason why this invisible thing might be susceptible to attack is because you let it. If you can accept that you and your ego are actually nearly nothing, it doesn’t do much for your esteem, but it also makes you invincible. Yes, invincible. You can’t hurt something that isn’t there.

With that in mind, it’s still hard to let this idea of you go. You may not be able to completely. But, allowing this sort of understanding become an every day part of your life, it let’s you become more pliable or softer to coerce. I know that this sounds bad. That, you should just accept yourself for the way that you are and that’s the end of it, but I don’t see any fun in that. There’s something that can be said for accepting yourself and a whole other thing to build your character. We’re not born with the right set of mental tools necessarily and so some of us need to develop them much later in life.

There are many ways to do this, but everything I know, I’ve learned mostly on my own with a little help of zen every once in a while. Therefore, this information I relay to you is personal and may not work necessarily. But, I don’t think that there’s much difference between people other than experience, so, I don’t really see why it couldn’t. As I go on in my articles, let me know if any of this is helpful.

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Arsenal Of Tools

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Artwork by Nykos Gyftakis (http://www.nikosgyftakis.com/tablet/index.html)

 

Last blog post, I finished by saying that you need an arsenal of tools to be able to handle whatever twist life has for you. I’ll go into more details about this.

 
There are some things about yourself that you don’t like and you probably tell yourself sometimes “I should be better than this!” but the reality is that there are some things that you can change and other things that are far too ingrained to be able to do much about it. But, you might find yourself surprised when you see parts of yourself changing that you once thought impossible. I’ll do my best to try to teach you how to do this, but I can only go into depth on the traits that I’ve developed personally. There might be more, but I may not know them.
 
1. Basic Shaping.
The general idea is that we are a product of our environment, so if you change your environment, you change yourself. This is sort of the backbone to “successful” people. If you want to gain muscle and become an athlete, then you need to spend more time with athletes. Same goes with business, art, etc. Not only can you get helpful advice from your groups, but just being in that environment encourages behaviours and an understanding. It also works if you want to eliminate certain things from your life as well, such as addictions and other bad habits. That’s how the method goes, but it’s not an absolute and it’s not the only thing you’ll need. This is actually a much easier and simpler way to influence a course for yourself. These next ones are going to be a bit more difficult.
 
2. Foundation of Shaping
Patience (tolerance), discipline (self-control) and willpower are the same thing. It works like a muscle. The more you exercise it, the stronger it becomes. This is something I noticed within myself and there are some scientific discoveries that further my point. Here’s a video that may be more helpful. (hour long, but worth it)
 
(Consider this a practice in your patience, you might need to rewatch it a few times)
 
A simple trick that I’ve learned is to just pretend not to care. If you force or act a certain way, eventually, that acting becomes a part of you after repeating it enough times. It’s the whole “fake it till you make it” concept. It does work. 
As humans, we are highly adaptable to conditions and there are some studies that show how pretending something is real is actually eerily close to that something being real (which makes truth seeking very difficult).
 
***Please note that this is not the same thing as trying to be someone or something that you’re not. You will always be you, but I want to show you that you can be a version of you that you want to be. Think of it like tree shaping, you influence where the growth goes.