The headline I read today was a bummer, but not surprising to me:
“Lost in Smartphones, SF Train Passengers Didn’t Notice the Gunman Until He Pulled the Trigger”
I speak a lot about being present in training and in life. The smartphone is just the latest in a long line of external stimuli that have allowed us to take our eyes off the important things in an endless distraction of noise and entertainment. TV started the trend, web surfing then social media accelerated it and now texting and game play on smartphones is putting the nail in the coffin of awareness and presence.
Presence is where the juice is, where that peak performance and elusive flow state is found. When trainees finish Kokoro Camp they experience an intense state of presence for a couple of weeks. This is enough time for the presence to develop a demonstrable change in behavior – leading to increased happiness, confidence and peace of mind.
In every day training – which may or may not lead up to Kokoro – we work to create and maintain presence with practices such as box breathing, hyper-focus on task and team and by taking our eyes off the clock.
Instead of racing with reckless abandon, we expand our awareness to our surrounding team while simultaneously sending it inside to pay attention to breathing, balance and form. The advancing awareness these practices create, coupled with a growing personal and social consciousness propels us to want to make a difference in life. As a result we become Sheepdogs and protectors of the unaware.
The Sheepdog is an amazing animal. It has been bred over thousands of years to instinctively protect the human flock of sheep from the violent elements that pick off the weak. The wolves are always lurking and patrolling the outer edges of the flock, waiting for the Sheepdogs to sleep or tend to another flank. Then they strike with violence and impunity, taking what they can. Were it not for the Sheepdog all the sheep would fall prey to the wolf sooner or later.
Unfortunately most people today are sheep, happily meandering through their day munching mindlessly on an endless stream of junk media. The unsuspecting sheep are being stalked and yet they are unaware. So unaware, in fact, that a wolf can take a gun out on a public train and wave it around without a single person noticing it! Then, confident that the Sheepdogs are not paying attention, he strikes.
Let’s face it we can’t expect the sheep to change, and we can’t rely any longer on government agents to be the only deputized Sheepdogs. The military guys and gals are too busy chasing the foreign threats and the police are overwhelmed and often handcuffed by their own rules of engagement. It is time that we, the able citizens of SEALFIT and Unbeatable Mind, deputize ourselves as Sheepdogs and step up to be part of the solution.
Look for next week’s blog where I write about “The Rules of Engagement for a Sheepdog”
P.S. Don’t miss your LAST chance to join the One Week Academy with Kokoro included, beginning October 19th. This is shaping up to be the most intense KOKORO ever. Attending the One Week Academy is the best way to prepare for this unbelievable experience. Click here to register today.