"We begin life with nearly unlimited potential. Body Mind Mastery provides the means to reclaim your clarity, serenity, and power..."
Physical training, as a mirror of your life, reveals both your weaknesses and strengths as you hike up the path to your potential. At the highest level, as you enter the zone - the moment of truth - training has the power to lift your spirits to a higher plateau so that you experience life in a new way - a way that will become clear as your journey continues.
By consciously training the mind and body, you generate newfound levels of balance, clarity, and spirit. Body-mind mastery is an approach to training that reshapes your life. Athletes practice athletics; poets practice poetry; musicians practice music; those who train for body-mind mastery practice everything-walking, breathing, eating, writing, washing the dishes. It's not about dedicating your life to your training; it's about dedicating your training to your life.
My Discoveries About the Larger Arena
As a collegiate gymnast, several key insights shaped my approach to practice and teaching. After winning a world championship and coaching an NCAA Champion and top U.S. Olympian, I decided I was onto something.
In the process of teaching and coaching, I noticed that athletes' problems with learning or improving were tied to weak fundamentals. To raise their potential, that is, their talent quotient, athletes needed to rebuild their foundations for success. This is something I refer to as the four S's of psycho-physical talent:
(These also include qualities like coordination, balance, rhythm, timing, and reflex speed). This understanding led me to great success as a gymnast and coach.
I also observed that my ability to do specific skills, such as handstands and somersaults, didn't help much when I went out on a date. Nor were my skills useful when I got married, had children, faced financial issues, or confronted the hundreds of other challenges in everyday life. This realization began my search for the fundamentals necessary to create success not just in sport but in all the arenas of daily life.
For athletes, scores, performance times, or win-loss records often serve as the primary measure of success. You may have talent in hitting a ball into a hole, over a net, or into an end zone, or shooting a basketball into a hoop; but such skills have little application in daily life. The internal qualities you develop through these activities, however - mental focus, emotional energy, and the ability to relax the body under stress - can improve the quality of every moment.
Today, some Olympic ski jumpers warm up with T'ai Chi Chuan and Aikido masters teach golf clinics. Eastern cultures have always known that mind training is essential for physical success. We are only now coming to realize that each culture, with its rich diversity of language and beliefs, contributes to the well-being of the whole. Our potential will blossom in the sunlight of deeper awareness. The time has come to awaken the body mind master - the peaceful warrior - within each of us.
Additional Insights from Dan on Peak Performance:
Whether you are concerned with physical, mental, or emotional preparation, apply a step-by-step approach: break each goal into small steps, then connecting the dots. Begin where you are now. Then what you can, with what you have, where you are. Anything and everything in life can be broken down into its component parts. The more adept you become at the preliminary step of preparation, the more you'll amaze yourself by what you can do. Then, when you focus on each of the intermediate steps, the process becomes more manageable and enjoyable.
The Illusion of Difficulty
The term "difficulty" has meaning only in relation to preparation. If you've prepared well - if you've developed the physical, mental, and emotional qualities presented in this book - then learning skills comes easier. A well-prepared gymnast, for example, who has mastered a single somersault may actually find it easier to learn a double somersault than first learning the single somersault. Develop your talent foundation. Everything is difficult until it becomes easy.
Unlike most outer-directed sports and games aimed at winning a competitive event, conscious fitness training is aimed at overall balance and well being of body, mind, and emotions. An essential principle of conscious exercise is balance. For example, if you're strong but inflexible, practice hatha yoga, dance, or other stretching practice. If you're flexible, then emphasize strength building. Appreciate and polish your strengths, but focus on improving your weak links.
We begin life with nearly unlimited potential. Body Mind Mastery provides the means to reclaim your clarity, serenity, and power - creating success not only in the realm of sports but in the larger game of life.
Read all of Dan's advice in his best selling book.
About the Author
Dan Millman is a former world champion athlete, university coach, and college professor whose eleven books, including Way of the Peaceful Warrior, The Life You Were Born to Live, Everyday Enlightenment, The Laws of Spirit, and Living on Purpose have inspired millions of readers in more than 20 languages worldwide.
Dan's talks have influenced men and women from all walks of life, including leaders in the fields of business and finance, health, psychology, education, politics, entertainment, sports, and the arts. Visit www.danmillman.com.
Back to More Articles About Mind Body Fitness