When I hear the word “Attentiveness” I immediately think about my training. What it means to “train”, what it means to focus.
I think about the difference between training and working out. Working out is just going through the motions, training is working towards a goal.
I want so badly to get better and make improvements every time I train and sometimes I’ve found that you can try too hard. So what’s the key, what’s the secret to good training?
What iv’e found lately, that for me, the key to making progress and getting better is to just pay attention to what you’re doing. It sounds more simple than it really is in practice though. Sensei will constantly ask us to “listen” to what he says and do what he’s asking for. Nothing more, nothing less. You just have to listen, interpret and do. Sometimes you just get keyed up or want to move fast or whatever and that’s a recipe for mistakes. Especially if you aren’t really paying attention and just going through the motions.
The author George Leonard wrote a great book called “Mastery”. He goes into a lot of detail about how important it is to be attentive and pay attention to the “now”; yes, keep your eyes on the prize, but don’t focus solely on it.
What if you’re practicing wrong?
Then you get very good at doing something wrong.
Slow down… pay attention… focus…
Practice thoughtfully in the now and you’ll reach your goals.