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A Military Genius And Jiu Jitsu - Transforming Your Goals Into Missions

A Military Genius And Jiu Jitsu - Transforming Your Goals Into Missions

Attaching emotional value to your goals...

In a previous article we talked briefly about the importance of setting goals as a white belt. I wanted to briefly expand that discussion and talk about the importance of missions. Last we will make applications for anyone training Jiu Jitsu.

First, goals are great. But a mission is better.  A mission is goal or series of goals with strong emotional attachment. They encompass not only what should be done but why it should be done. History is full of notable people who were hugely successful with goals because they attached strong emotional value to their goals.

Hannibal Barca is one example of someone who had a strong mission. He led the arms of Carthage in the 2nd Punic against Rome. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest strategist of all times.

As a boy, Hannibal’s father was leaving to fight the Romans. He stopped at the temple with his son, Hannibal, to offer sacrifices. This was customary action before going to war.

Hannibal watched his father sacrifice the animals and make prayers.  When he was finished, Hannibal’s father asked him, “Would you like to come along with me to Spain?”

Hannibal cried yes and begged his father to go. Hannibal’s father said okay and promised to show his son how to fight so that Hannibal would always be able to beat a Roman.

Hannibal’s father led him to the alter and placed his hands on the animal that had just been sacrificed. His father made him swear that he would never be a friend to the Romans.


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Consider the young impressionable boy. He wanted to please his father.  He was probably worried about his father going to war. The loss of the war would inevitably impact his family profoundly; both economically and potentially with the loss of his father’s life. Even seeing animals sacrificed may have been a difficult thing to watch.  His father used this time of heightened emotions to get Hannibal to swear a vow, something that transcended a goal, to hate the Romans.  The reason Hannibal learned to fight was to support that emotional feeling. Everything that Hannibal did in life was in part because of that feeling.

Previously we talked about goals. Here is an excerpt from the article.

A typical goal for a white belt is I want to get to blue belt in___ months. This is a terrible goal. A good goal should detail the steps necessary to achieve the goal. These steps should be small weekly or daily actions. A goal that states the end results but not the weekly actions is a platitude.  A better goal than the blue belt goal is the following: At the end of 1 year I want to see considerable improvement in my Jiu Jitsu. To do this I will take the following steps: 1) I will not quit before the year is up. 2) Train 3 times a week. 3) Get solid repetitions in when I train. 4) Ask at least 1 question every class. I will measure this goal by tracking my daily and weekly actions. Saying that a belt is a goal is like saying to a body builder that huge muscles are a goal. You do want to begin with the end in mind but you must carefully document the steps necessary to achieve that goal. Last, a goal should be written down. Goals that are not documented mean nothing.

We can transform this goal into a mission by attaching emotional value to it.  For example, at the end of 1 year I want to see considerable improvement in my Jiu Jitsu. This is important because I am a law enforcement officer and my life may depend on it. Here is another example. At the end of 1 year I want to see considerable improvement in my Jiu Jitsu. This is important because Jiu Jitsu helps me deal with stress that has a significantly negative impact on my loves ones.  There are many other missions that can be supplied.  Jiu Jitsu is important because if I don’t make changes to my health, my life expectancy will be shorter. Or Jiu Jitsu is importance because I want to be in great physical shape to play with my kids.

We could probably fill many more pages with examples of emotional reasons to train Jiu Jitsu.  We will leave it at this. Attaching emotional value to your goals transforms them to missions and increases the likely hood that they will be achieved. This is true in Jiu Jitsu and everything else in life.

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