In the past, I've found a way to do a thing -- let’s say, stack firewood. And that way worked. Perhaps it wasn't the most efficient way to stack firewood but the result was good. The means, however, were predicated on will, effort, and/ or strength -- whatever the task called for.
Unfortunately, I spent little time developing a better system for work; a more efficient means to the end. The wood got stacked well and that was enough to feel proud of a task well done. The means may have exhausted me, but I felt pride from that relatively thoughtless exertion.
For me, therein lies the problem: I could have been more thoughtful, thus more efficient. Perhaps with some planning, I could have used less energy to achieve the same, or better, result. And isn’t that a good idea? Achieving a desired goal in as efficient a manner as possible?
After my first jiu-jitsu class, that idea of using less energy, a more efficient means, to reach the desired objective, was really driven home. What better, more efficient, way to best an opponent than for him to do the work for me? Let my opponent exert himself. Let him do the work. Let him get tired. Then, maybe, with proper skills, technique, and thought, I can win the conflict.
Although the concept of “work smarter, not harder” isn’t new to me, the idea presented through jiu-jitsu is intriguing. If it can be avoided, why go toe-to-toe with an opponent, or similar challenge in life, trading blows and hoping I land the final, winning strike? Why not work methodically and systematically, influencing the situation or adversary to give me certain outcomes that allow me to conserve my energy and preserve my well-being, and finally coming out on-top?
Look, I know next to nothing about jiu-jitsu or physical confrontation in general, and I’m not trying to act like I’ve got anything figured out. However, I think jiu-jitsu is exactly what I’ve needed to learn and adopt a new, efficient way of thinking. Through jiu-jitsu I hope to learn how to execute skillful means in all things in life to realize my desired end and clinch the win.