There is an awesome separation that occurs in the deeper levels of human focus. Though the way we achieve this focus greatly varies from person to person and the activity that catalyzes it, it is similar in its virtue. As a child I experienced this best, ironically, through the loss of focus. My mind would fade off into some obscure thought of wild imagination. This would happen often and without control. One minute I was in a class learning the finer points of long division, and the next I was watching a fight scene between Spiderman and the Predator on the school lawn. In that daydream I was zoned in, with the sights and sounds of the real world fading to nothing, and my mind dynamic and precise in its adventure. Years later I look back with nostalgia and realize I no longer separate into thought like this. On the rare occasions when I do, I tend to be thinking about some worry or conflict; stressing rather than imagining.
For me, my focus comes through fighting. To be clear I don’t get in fights; I train. I am twenty-seven years old, I pay taxes, shop at Trader Joe’s and don’t wander the bar scene. I am not the kind of guy that gets in fights. My martial arts school is filled with good people and good training. With some of my saltier, high level guys I can let loose and get lost in the fight. Whether it be on our feet, the ground, or both, I can discard every care, worry and obligation from the start and finish of that round. I hear nothing, see only counters, angles and opportunities, and just let go. This is where I leave my baggage at the door and find my serenity.
This may sound drummed up but if you don’t have something that gives you this unburdened mind, you’re missing out. There is catharsis in precise, unbridled thought and clarity in its resolve. Some people meditate, some play music, and others run. I punch, get punched, kick, roll, and sweat. The modern world is composed of beeping phones, bright LED screens, credit card statements, and traffic jams. We all need a slice of peace in our minds every once and awhile. For me that is training. What is yours?