Jason Ho on Cultivating a Jiu-Jitsu Mindset

by Venkat on November 14, 2012

Jason Ho has a very practical, yet philosophical post up on his blog, qaboom.com on themes very relevant for students of decision-making. Well worth a careful read (the whole blog, not just this post). There’s more between the lines than just the personal examples he describes.

Cultivating a Jiu-Jitsu Mindset

Every once in a while, when a hobby like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu captures my fascination, it takes me by surprise. Since I’m usually interested in more things than I have time for, I tend to be very selective of the hobbies I take up. When I find myself falling in love, I take a cautious step back and start asking questions.

Why have hobbies like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, programming, and bodybuilding captured my fascination, when others have lost their appeal? What do they have in common, if anything? Why BJJ but not Muay Thai? Why computer science but not engineering?

In a world full of options and not enough time, often the hardest decisions are not what to do, but what not to do.

It occurred to me that my love-at-first-sight attraction to BJJ was more than just serendipity. BJJ, and its underlying principles, are a perfect representation of the kind of philosophy I’ve internalized. If I could compress all its wisdom into one motto, it’d be this: Spend your time and effort on where it will make the most impact.

He cites an old post on this blog that I’d forgotten about and just re-read. I didn’t really understand what the heck I was thinking back then. This often happens to me these days. I must be headed downhill.

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