Do I need my Ego in Aikido?
I recently have begun to examine my own ego to see how much it is preventing me from achieving peace in my own life and my Aikido.
To a degree, my ego has been my driving force when it comes to committing and perfecting the things that I choose to do. I can trace it back to perfectionistic tendencies from early school days. Wanting to be the first and the best in school is a sure sign of an imperfect mental make-up.
But surely there is something in this in that it has allowed me to perform well in school and given me the dogged determination that when I start something I have to be good at it. I’m not sure that I have ever really defined “Good”, so I wonder what the end goal was really.
Suffice to say, I can truly appreciate how limiting my ego is when it comes to perfecting Aikido and moreover whether I can get past this.
So, my ego has been great motivation and a fantastic tool for allowing dogged determination but in the end is there a better way…
Sometimes in training I am faced with a truly poor performance of a technique. Interestingly it can be something which I have much success in the past. Unfortunately, this is where the ego comes into play and I throw myself back into the technique with the same mindset and continue to make a mess of it. It can be quite frustrating as you know you have to reset but the competitive part of you continues to persist with the current mindset to no avail (the definition of insanity comes to mind).
I know I have to reset and start again, almost as if I haven’t begun at all and I have that fresh mind that is keen to practice something which I feel I am good at. Can I get past this? I’m not sure, but it would be lovely to approach each technique as though I am doing it for the first time in that training session.
So for me it is easy to understand the idea of a non-combative approach to training in which there is no winner and you can just enjoy the training. In a sense, suppressing some parts of the ego with a general training philosophy is a good thing. But where does it leave me? On the one hand my ego has been highly beneficial in my pursuit of learning new things. On the other hand, I believe that the ultimate goal cannot be achieved until I no longer want it.
However, all of this may just be attributed to middle age (46 now) and it is time to let go and just enjoy the process. But I must be ever mindful that whilst this may be a good approach for me now others will be at different stages in their own journey and I cannot foist my idealogy onto them.
In the end it is only a set of words trying to describe a feeling. Perhaps I should take up Knitting instead.
Love to hear a little on other peoples mental journeys…There is a comment section below