The Tidbit (April 8, 2021)
The (Greater) Good
The Mental Arts Tidbit
Yesterday I spoke about how to bounce back from a bad day in jiu jitsu or in life. (You can read it here.) Today, I want to talk about how to appreciate the good days.
The main people that people have sometimes is that when something good is happening, they tend to treat it as a precious moment in time to hold onto, or they think that a bad moment is coming soon. This type of thinking is called “foreboding joy,” introduced to me by Brene Brown. Some of you may also know this as “waiting for the other shoe to drop.
In my experience, being unable to enjoy the good moments as they are happening is a two-fold issue.
First, we might not realize or perceive the moment as “good.” This is because we might have certain preconceptions about how the moment should be, as opposed to seeing things in a holistic way. Yes, some situation suck. Perhaps even “objectively” so. However, it’s equally possible that there is some good in the situation as there is some bad, as long as you run it correctly through your lens of experience, instead of using someone else’s measuring stick. To provide an example, if I lose in a tournament, most people might perceive this as a bad experience. But the fact that I did a competition at all is what is important to me to focus on. And so that is how I may transform what is someone else’s bad into my own version of good.
Second, we may not be embracing the “good” moment in our bodies. This one is a lot trickier for me to describe, since I’m a cerebral person who really likes how thoughts feel, not feelings feel. Nevertheless, I have found that when I pause and take the time to really absorb the various ways that I am appreciating a situation, it really helps encode the good memory into my experience. I am not simply rushing into the next action, or trying to work through how to protect myself from an imaginary, inevitable disappointment. Often people have no problem experiencing unpleasant experiences — sweaty palms, rapid heartbeat, tight chest, and shallow breaths. With some training and awareness, it is also possible to experience pleasant sensations too — time slowing down, a feeling of being rooted, relaxed muscles, and smooth breaths.
Try This Tidbit
Next time you are having a good time, take a moment to take a mental picture (both internal and external) of what is happening.