“If your mind is preoccupied, your ki tenses, and you become awkward.”
“Form follows ki, and ki follows the mind.”
(Adapted from the eBook Fighting to Win: Samurai Techniques for Your Work and Life, David J. Rogers, Crossroad Press, 2014)
Shin is your frame of mind, ki is your vital energy, and ryoku is your power. They always go together, and they may fill you with strength or with weakness. In this post we’ll look at shin and whether it is yielding strength or weakness.
A Common Tale
I have two friends, Jack and Bob, who seem to me to be similar in many ways. However, in spite of their similarities, they’re very different. Jack is discouraged and depressed easily, and sees work life (and personal life too) as a burden full of trouble that one has to suffer through.
Bob, on the other hand, is buoyant, energetic and optimistic. Both men have suffered setbacks in business and outside it, but they react to them very differently. Jack dwells on his. He moans and becomes grumpy and irritable. Bob picks himself up and reenters the stream of life eager to see what lies ahead.
Jack endures his job the way one endures a dreaded disease. He has told me more than once that whatever he touches turns to shit. Bob moves quickly from one success to another.
A major difference between these two otherwise similar men is the difference in their frame of mind, their shin. Because their shin is very different, so are their ki and ryoku. Bob’s ki is positive and his power of action is all right there, 100 percent. Jack’s ki is negative and his power is almost nonexistent. Their shin is a difference that makes all the difference.
Olympic Athletes and You
What separates winners from losers? What differentiates Olympic athletes from other world-class competitors? According to a group of researchers who studied America’s top wrestlers, the difference is not in physical ability. And it’s not in training methods: they’re pretty standard. The difference is in the athletes’ frame of mind, their shin—in what they think.
Men who were eliminated in U.S. Olympic trials tended to be more confused or depressed before the match—that’s very bad shin— while the winners were positive and relaxed, which is very good shin. Those who made the Olympic team were more in control of their reactions than the losers, who were more likely to become upset emotionally.
Without seeing even one wrestling match, the researchers were able to predict 92% of the winners by using profiles of the athletes.
Feeling free and easy, being relaxed and calm, not being caught up in problems or worries, thinking positively and optimistically, expecting to do well, being committed to what you’re doing, not being grumpy or irritable, feeling fearless, buoyant and confident … all these are positive shin, positive ki, ryoku power-producers.
Experiencing worry, anger or hostility, losing heart, being afraid of something lying ahead of you, worrying, expecting defeat, holding a grudge, feeling timid or uneasy and being confused in action . . . these are examples of negative shin, negative ki, power-depleters.
Exercises for Transmitting Your Ki
- Reflect on your thought habits and change negative to positive. Many people, possibly most, simply don’t realize how much negative ki they’re creating. To find out for yourself, a useful technique is to stop the action for five minutes once a day and write down your thoughts as they pop into your head. After you’ve filled a few sheets of paper put a plus sign after each positive ki thought and a minus sign after each negative thought you’ve listed. Any thought that creates power, good chemistry with others, optimism or forward movement gets a plus; and any thought that diminishes your power, creates bad chemistry, is pessimistic or prevents you from moving forward toward your goals and responsibilities gets a minus.Ask yourself, “Which predominates, positive or negative?”
- Reject negative shin thoughts and replace them with positive, power-producing thoughts. Do this whenever a negative thought appears in your mind. Whenever your thoughts drift off to the negative, stop them, then substitute positive shin thoughts—“I like this person.” “I’m having a good time.” “We can work this out.” “I’m happy.” “I’m going to succeed.” Always reject negative ki and consciously replace it with positive.
- Spit. To add determination to your rejection of negative thoughts, spit out the troublesome thought. Go “thoo” and spit out the thought.
- Pay special attention to “red alert,” negative ki thoughts. Whenever you feel any of the following–afraid, scared; confused, indecisive; distracted, upset; depressed, sad or miserable; worried, nervous, anxious, upset, tense, pressured; beaten down, defeated, your spirits sagging; listless, unmotivated and bored; shy, non-assertive, timid; defensive, ready to hit back, bitter; guilty–your ki is negative, your ryoku power is weak. Right away, remind yourself of shin-ki-ryoku. Tell yourself, “Remember, make your thoughts pure and transmit your ki.”
- Control your expectations. Negative-expectations, negative-ki people are that way only out of habit. By developing new, more positive shin thought habits you condition yourself to have positive expectations and you put more power into your actions. More than 100 studies of 15,000 people show that those who expect to succeed are happier, healthier, and more successful. Always jump to the positive. Be like a fish that is swimming in one direction, but can quickly turn and go in the opposite.
- Constantly remind yourself of the importance of positive shin, positive ki. Make a pact with someone. If one of you is becoming tight, irritable or gloomy, the other is to say, “C’mon now. Don’t forget. Transmit your ki. ”
- Write out reminders on three-by-five index cards and put them in prominent places around your house and office. “Plus creates plus.” “Good shin creates good ki creates power.” Read them aloud, and with feeling, from time to time. On each card draw a large minus sign and a large plus sign. Draw an arrow from the minus to the plus to remind yourself to move your negative thoughts to positive.(Martial artist Bruce Lee visualized his negative thoughts written on a piece of paper, then saw himself wadding the paper into a ball, lighting it with a match and watching it burn to a crisp. He said the thoughts never returned to disturb him.)
- Draw a ring of harmony around yourself wherever you are. You can generate goodwill and cooperation by imagining a yellow ring of harmony around you constantly. Make the ring red or blue if you like—the color doesn’t matter. All that matters is your imagining the ring around yourself and making certain that whenever another person passes into it, there is cooperation and harmony between you.
- Stop judging others negatively. People can pick up very quickly if you’re thinking they’re dumb, nasty, unpleasant, overly talkative, ugly, poorly dressed, too highly paid for what they do, etc. If they sense that you don’t like them, they won’t like you. So instead, like them, respect them, find real value in them, even if you have to work hard at it.
- Be generous with your feelings. If you like people, let them know about it. Transmit your ki to them. Much of the negative ki in business is caused by the supervisor who always criticizes and never praises. Parents often do the same with their children. Simply let people know you appreciate what they’re doing and morale will improve immediately—in business and in the home.
- See your positive ki being passed from you to others. See it as a ray of white light being transmitted by you to another person or a whole group of people. Actually visualize it moving from you to them under the direction of your mind.
- Maintain your ki even in defeat. Everyone gets beaten. The question is not whether you’ll experience defeat, but how you’ll handle it when you do. When you’re beaten—by another person, an event, a situation—keep your ki positive and strong. Never let the defeat “penetrate your depths,” never let it get to your shin. When you havc a crisis, positive shin can rescue you. Be able to say, “I lost this one (job, person, disagreement, etc.) but I’m not defeated. I’ve failed, but I’m not a failure. I’ve still got the only solution I need—me. ” Even in defeat—especially in defeat—keep your ki going full blast.
You can choose how much power you will have by choosing what to think.
© 2014 David J. Rogers
The Next Post
The next post will show that “the way to draw the power of ki is very easy,” and that “If your ki is settled, your actions will flow.”
How to Get The Book
Order Fighting to Win: Samurai Techniques for Your Work and Life eBook by David J. Rogers