Sunday, January 30, 2011

Mind First, Body Second!

Today I want to touch on a topic that's very passionate to me, and is the foundation for everything I teach: The mind is in control of everything our muscles do!

Recently, I was being debated by a physical specialist in his field, trying to convince me that our muscles need to be trained before the mind can trust them. He couldn't be more backwards! Our muscles can't do anything without permission from our brains, either consciously or habitually. I agree, our muscles need the proper training for any physical change to take place, but what we tell them as they're being trained will dictate that future change.

This trainer believes that correct mechanics dictate all physical success, which at a very basic level, seems correct. "If I train my muscles hard and long enough, they'll do what they're supposed to..." The problem with this assumption, is the lack of pressure placed in the equation, and how it affects our muscles. No amount of physical practice can keep our bodies from tensing up under pressure if our minds don't come to the rescue. Our brains, through different techniques, send messages to the muscles which help them perform to their potential. Without learning these specific techniques, our muscles (no matter how many hours we practice) will tighten up and break down during extreme pressure.

The mind is in control of everything our body does, including involuntary heart rate and breathing. When properly trained, the brain can also control those. To preach muscle first, mind second, is irresponsible teaching at least... completely ludicrous at worst. I'm a huge advocate of physical training and mastering our bodies, but never at the expense of learning the power of our minds.

People instinctively have a difficult time with this concept, mainly due to lack of knowledge. We've all been taught: "Want to become a better athlete, workout and master your mechanics. Want to lose weight, exercise and eat healthier. Want to improve grades in school, study more."

Rarely, if ever, do we hear: "Practice creating new thoughts, work on developing new habits, and practice visualizing what you want to achieve!"

Our minds are the key to success, not our muscles. Our bodies definitely play an important role... but they're not the main character. It's not rocket science. We are, and become, what we think and say. This leads to specific action, eventually manifesting our results. It really is this simple.

Regardless of your specific path in life, focus on creating a stronger mindset, and I guarantee you'll create better results!


Rettakat said...

I totally believe this, yet sometimes find myself "trying" instead of Doing.

I've heard it said: heal the mind, the body will follow.

I'd love it if you did a post on HOW to create that "stronger mindset".

Oh, by the way, I settled on my mantra to "marinate" my mind in at night:
"What I believe, think, say and do creates my future."


Bruce Coltin said...

This post reminds me of a book I read decades ago -- The Inner Game of Tennis. It became kind of a cult bible for a certain type of coach/trainer.

I am wondering if the author was saying the opposite of what you've said.

Amelia said...

I love that last comment. Great post, thanks...very interesting.

Dayne Gingrich said...

Loretta, great to hear you're doing well. Love your mantra. Say it over and over before sleep & your subconscious will do the rest. Just like anything we create, it simply needs repetition. But this is as strong as it gets!

Bruce, read & LOVE the book. I played professional tennis, used a technique he talked about, and totally transformed my game because of it. He's actually saying the same thing. He believes mechanics are focused on way too much, freezing our natural ability that's in all of us. He professes using our unconscious to play, rather than getting in the way with our conscious, mechanical thoughts (as we're all taught). Great book.

Amelia, thanks for stopping by and taking the time to comment. "Interesting" hopefully means you'll experiment with the process?

Annie, The Amazing Shrinking Girl said...

Couldn't be more correct. Right now, the only thing holding me back is this constant thought in my mind that I CAN'T do it... therefore I really can't. It all starts in the mind and as simple as that sounds to master, for me, it's WAY harder than trying to master any muscle move. But I'm working on it!

Dayne Gingrich said...

Good for you, Annie. Create new habits, where you only talk to yourself about WHAT YOU WANT, rather than what you don't.

Good job.