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Training the Mind

The question is often asked "How can I prepare myself for the challenges that lie ahead?" or "How can I harden my mental attitude while hardening my body?"

Look around you and consider what others are doing. You can learn much, about them and especially yourself.

If you are a young person, watch your friends. Do they have to be told repeatedly to perform routine tasks? Or do they take the initiative? Are they focused on the task at hand? Are they aiming at the 25 meter target? Or are they always trying to get over? Are they flitting from one goal to another, not really achieving anything substantial in the process?

Take a moment and consider the person or persons you admire most. What traits do they exhibit?

If you have the opportunity, go to your local shooting range. Before you jump in there, watch the others for a few minutes. We're looking for a specific type here. If you talk to them, they will probably claim to be a "regular shooter". They will readily tell you they shoot "X" number of rounds a month. (You may need a mirror!)

They go to the range. Put the target perfectly square to them. Then they proceed to slow fire the box of ammo into the absolute tightest shot group they can. Then they brag to their buddies they shot this tiny hole.

A professional trainer calls the phenomenon Marksmanship Masturbation. Why such a derogatory term? Because the only reason they train that way is to make themselves feel good.

You want to be like that guy at the end of the range by himself repeatedly clearing malfunctions with only his weak hand, then firing two to the chest, one to the head. Not fun training, good training.

It is human nature to want to do things we do well, especially when others are observing. This tendency is not conducive to self-preservation or self-improvement. You are not developing new skills when you train in this manner.

Just like hardening your body, you must train your mind in order to get it to peak condition. And just like your body, as your mind adapts to the new challenges, you must increase the load.

Here are a few ways to harden your mind.

Always do the hard thing first - ALWAYS. For example: If you would rather go hungry than eat spinach and your Mom serves spinach for dinner - eat it first and ask for seconds. If you hate math and have math and science homework - do the math first and do extra work. If you really want to sleep in on Saturday -go mow the lawn without being told, then clean the garage. If you would rather work your biceps (beach muscles) than your legs in the gym - do your legs twice. You will not be asked to curl your rucksack.

Make a conscious effort to be positive as much as possible. Look at life's daily challenges as opportunities for excellence instead of problems to be suffered.

Also, read, research - everything. Find out why most books have pages in multiples of 9. Learn about current events, especially those that pertain to your goal Group's area of operations. Study history - those who do not are doomed to repeat it. Learn as much as possible about whichever group is considered the primary threat to the US at the time. Find out what a joule is. Learn the anatomy and physiology of the human body. Learn the principles of radio wave propagation. Research the history of explosives. Read a book. Sit up straight. Walk with a sense of purpose. Be disciplined in everything you do.

Always do the right thing, in your dealings with others and yourself. Do the right thing even if you know the decision will be unpopular and you will be criticized.
 

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SwampRat,
I agree with your assesment 100%. I used to be one of those that went to the range to make tiny, or as best as I could, holes in a target. I have changed my training habits after returning from Massad Ayoobs LFI-1 class. My wife and I train togeather and decide on a type of training for the day (one hand strong/weak, crouch/high kneel/low Kneel, etc), then we get 50 rds to practice...and then we put up a fresh target and compete. We keep points for 6 months...winner gets a new "toy" every 6 months.
I would strongly urge our Florida brothers and sisters to get to Live Oak FL and take the LFI classes. It is very strong mental preparation!
 

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We have had it sweet for so long that sometimes we refuse to take the bitter medicine in order to come out better in the end. I'm definitely talking higher levels of defensive trainng in 09. Good post SwampRat :clap
 

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Excellent comments, much as I learned many years ago. Sometimes we forget the mind is the weapon, what you carry is only the tool.
 

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Self discipline. It is probably more important today than ever. Thinking about what we do and how we do it, and then doing it. Doing the right thing. Watching others and how they're doing what ever it is that they're doing is also part of self discipline when it comes to personal or self defense. Developing good habits is just as important as developing good skills. Training is the key to both. Never let your training become "routine" or stale. Change it up. Don't be afraid to do something different. In fact doing what you fear is a great way to overcome adversity. Thanks SwampRat!
 
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