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June 14, 2007

Changing your habits by changing your subconscious mind

A Short Instruction:

The purpose of this kind of article is to practice and validate the Ki principles (Mind moves body) which are the foundation of Ki-Aikido in your daily life. Therefore, it has no meaning if you just read it without practicing it.

The fundamental method of mastering anything is practice. However, not just practice, but it is also important to validate how one has changed as a result of the practice.

It is easy to lose what you have learned without practice. On the other hand, you will never lose what you have learned through practice and validation. Therefore, please read, practice, and validate the contents of my article at least four times within a month.



Changing your habits changing your subconscious mind.

Your personality is expressed within your Shin-Shin Toitsu Aikido techniques.

The techniques of someone who tends to be hasty will be rushed. The techniques of someone who tends to be tense will be tense. Even if you imitate the forms, this will be evident.

This is true not only for negative personalities. Positive personalities are also expressed. This is not surprising since the “mind moves the body”. You can never excel in Shin-Shin Toitsu Aikido if you just concentrate on technique. You can excel only by changing your personality.

When I give this advice to my students, I am asked, “Isn’t your personality something you’re born with?”

What do you think about that? Many feel “you can not change your personality”, and yet we want to change our habits. Therein lies the contradiction.

“Personality” is a “collection of habits.” Habits are a set of behaviors based on how you perceive and respond to things.

A shy “personality” is a type of “habit” where you find rationalizations for not doing something, and therefore do not act. Thus you cannot resolve the “personality” of being shy by looking just into the soul.

In this case it is important to say to yourself “I can do this” and then establish a habit of taking action. That is to say, you must establish habits for both your mind and your body.

It is true that we are born with a particular disposition towards some personality. However, that is not the entire story. If you are a person who can change your habits, you can change your personality.

What does it mean to “change your habits”?

“Changing your habits” does not mean, “stopping your bad habits”. Most people wonder how one can stop bad habits. This is what makes changing habits difficult.

Please imagine for a moment that ink is being added to a glass of water.

When you add the ink, the water becomes cloudy. It is difficult to extract the ink from that cloudy water. However, if you add clean water to the glass, drop-by-drop, eventually, the water in the glass approaches being clear again.

Bad habits are like the ink in the water. It may be difficult to remove bad habits. However, it is definitely possible to learn new good habits. By applying your subconscious mind, and by patiently learning good habits, you can minimize your bad habits.

This is what I meant by “changing your habits”.

The same can be said of Shin-Shin Toitsu Aikido training.

Although there are many people who try his/her hardest to correct a bad habit, this is very difficult to accomplish. It’s probably discouraging when bad habits can’t be corrected readily. However, there is no need for discouragement. You simply need to make a new habit of performing the proper movements. Once you realize this, you progress amazingly quickly.

In order to change a habit, you need to start from small things, no matter how small, instead of from the larger things. When you are able to change your habits through your own efforts, this will lead to great confidence.

When you accomplish this, you will gain the conviction that “you can change your habits”. And then, changing your habits will become a source of enjoyment.

It doesn’t matter if you succeed or not. For now, I would like for you to try to change a habit in your daily life. I will share with you the how-to of changing habits in the next article.

Let’s practice and validate the following:

[Things to practice]

1. Try to remember if you put your right shoe on first or your left. If you can’t remember, put your shoes on.
2. If you put on your right shoe first, make a habit of putting on your left shoe first. If you put on your left shoe first, make a habit of putting on your right shoe first.
3. Devise three plans to help you do this, and then put it into practice.

[Things to validate]

1. Verify that you can accomplish this without conscious effort.
2. Reflect on the technique that was effective in establishing this new habit.

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