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Your parents probably told you to mind your manners when you were younger. But did they ever tell you to mind your movement? Probably not. Which is unfortunate because a bit of mindfulness creates a huge increase in the speed at which you improve skills. Many people are as mindful as a child being forced to eat their least favorite vegetable and miss out on the benefits of being mindful.

In a book called "The Talent Code" by a great author named Daniel Coyle, there is a section where Daniel Coyle writes about a violinist learning to play the violin. And learning it very effectively. He details how the violinist plays, makes a mistake, and then stops and looks at that mistake. The violinist then plays again, attempting to correct her errors. Every time she makes an error, she goes looks closely at it in great detail and attempts to play again while correcting each error along the way. That is being mindful.

Often times, the opposite happens. Someone will make an error in the skill they are practicing and ignore it rather than focus on it. Think of the person kicking into a handstand repeatedly and not making it to the handstand because they never focus on WHY they aren't making it up. An even worse example is the MMA fighter who punches with their hands down all during training, then come fight time, suffers from it when their opponent notices this flaw and exploits it. Or what about the skydiver who isn't mindful as they pack their parachute. This is an example of a moment where you only get to make a mistake once.

In these situations, it would pay for all three of them to go back and consider why they are failing. The person learning the handstand should record themselves so they can see what causes them to fall. The MMA fighter should spar and have their teammates really take advantage of any time their hands drop. And the skydiver... Well, they taught everyone else a valuable lesson!

 

Mistakes are how we learn and improve IF we pay attention to them.

By focusing on what is causing the skill to fail, we strengthen the weakest link and cause the entire skill to improve and improve quickly! Doing the same thing and expecting different results is insanity. But doing the same thing and correcting your mistakes is the path to insane progress!

So if you're ready to improve your skills faster, stop being a mindless mover and become a mindful mover. Pay attention to your mistakes. Be mindful.

Go improve your move.