From A Simple Hobby To Life

You are a product of your environment, be it the people you hangout with, the kind of upbringing you had or the hobbies you pursue. Everything affects your personality to an extent and brings out the best or worst in you. In this case hobbies are a major factor that holds the key to changing your personality and creating a better version of it. Something similar happened to me; since childhood I have been a fan of combat sports like boxing, wrestling or taekwondo and hence took up Mixed Martial Arts training. I always used to feel there is something cool about this sport. The athletes, the finishing moves, the physique but never thought of the positive changes it can bring in one’s life. It has been two years since I started training and unknowingly it has made me a different person altogether.

From being one of my favourite hobbies, MMA has become a part of my daily life; not only my personal life but professional too. While training, you are taught to be disciplined, patient, empathetic, fearless, confident and be respectful towards your opponent and your surroundings. These things have started reflecting in my professional life.

Let’s start with discipline – without discipline one cannot be a good fighter; not on the mat and not in personal/professional life. There is not much of a difference between discipline one follows in MMA and in personal life. In MMA, you must be discipline in terms of training, workout, eating and drinking habits. These are the smallest things that makes a huge difference in your performance. Discipline helps in achieving the level of dedication required to acquire necessary skills of fighting and self-defence. Similarly, in my work it has helped me in following the discipline of being in line with the processes and keeping small things in mind to get the desired results.

A good fighter is always patient, always work hard with utmost dedication and never expects things to happen overnight. In my professional life, it has taught me to work hard; leaving no margin for error as well as going that extra mile in terms of achieving the desired result. To go that extra mile, one needs patience. Many times, it came to my mind that I should stop at certain point cause the results were not evident, here I kept telling myself to be patient and to go that extra mile. In terms of handling people, patience plays an important role. Nobody is perfect in terms of skills and knowledge, when there are people in my team I try to be patient and empathetic towards them. Everyone has a different level of understanding and grasping. It just needs the right kind of push with a balance of patience and empathy to drive the best out of them.

Fear is the first thing that stops you from taking that first step towards your goal. Overcome your fears and 80% of the job is already done. As for the remaining 20%, leave it upto your skills. Being fearless is what my sensei taught us during training. Even in the worst possible situation in real life, fear can be a spoiled sport. People get robbed cause they get scared. A good MMA athlete never fears the consequences and walks up to his opponent and fights him and even if he is scared he needs to walk to the centre of the mat stare right into the eyes of his opponent and start fighting and that’s how he conquers his fear. By doing this fear can be mastered and that’s where the confidence comes from. Resistance to fear is courage, it has helped me in being fearless while taking decisions on my own for my client with 100% onus. Conquer your fear of fire and you will gain the confidence of taming a dragon.

People will respect you only if you show them respect. A great fighter always respects his opponents and his surroundings there is no place for arrogance. Here surroundings are the equipment we used to train ourselves in MMA viz. mats, punching mits, pads, gloves, the dojo etc. A great fighter is always respectful towards his opponent and humble in victory and more importantly, in defeat. This has taught me to be respectful towards my team and people I interact with in my professional life. Show them respect and be humble during successful moments as well as give the due credit to the team for their contribution in work however big or small it may be.

These are a few of many things that MMA has taught me which are equally useful in personal and professional life. I used to think of MMA as a sport but now it has become life, it has helped me in bringing out a better version of myself.

BlogPersis Shah