Aug 28

How to Apply Think and Grow Rich Concepts to BJJ

How to Apply Think and Grow Rich Concepts to BJJ

Think and Grow Rich was highly recommended to me. So I read once, I read it twice, and then I read several chapters over again. Now I’m going to take those 13 concepts of success and apply them to BJJ.

First, let’s start off by listing the thirteen principles:

  1. Desire
  2. Faith
  3. Auto-Suggestion
  4. Specialized Knowledge
  5. Imagination
  6. Organized Planning
  7. Decision
  8. Persistence
  9. Power of The Master Mind
  10. The Mystery Of Sex Transmutation
  11. The Subconscious Mind
  12. The Brain
  13. The Sixth Sense

Fuel the Flame

Are you passionate about Brazilian Jiu-jitsu? Do you have definite goals that you want to achieve in the art?

It is time to stoke that flame into an inferno. Your passion and desire have a significant effect on what you can achieve. That black belt might seem so far away on your first day when you’re getting smashed by everyone, but if you’re enthusiastic about the process of learning, you’ll be surprised at how fast you improve.

The concept of desire is all about that passionate drive to achieve clearly defined goals.

Have An Unshakable Belief In Yourself


Now we’ve already talked about the desire to achieve definite goals. There is another side of that coin. It is the absolute belief that you can turn the dream into a reality.

Let’s stay with the goal of becoming a black belt.

It’s often said that black belts are just white belts who didn’t quit. I would amend that and say this: Black belts are white belts who had faith in their ability to master the art.

The reason for that amendment is simple. Faith and desire are the elements that fuel persistence.  If you don’t believe in yourself, or you don’t desire to achieve a certain outcome, the chances of you crossing that finish line are quite low.

Hammer It In Deep

Auto-suggestion can be summed up pretty easily. It is the transfer of conscious thoughts and actions to the subconscious through repetition.

In BJJ, we perform auto-suggestion without defining it that way. One of the best examples of this is when you drill a technique over and over again til you can just do it without any thought or hesitation.

That’s one reason why Helio said that “Learning jiu-jitsu is something for the subconscious, not for the consciousness.” 

You can also apply this by reminding yourself of concepts over and over again to instill them in your subconscious. An example is “I will control the head when I triangle, I will control the head when I triangle, I will control the head when I triangle.”

Area Mastery

It can be said that every day when you step on the mat and learn technique that you’re getting specialized knowledge. I mean you’re definitely not going to learn all these strange movements and submissions in a college classroom (that’s a shame though).

With that said, I prefer to add a nuance to the relationship between BJJ and specialized knowledge.

What you learn in class is general knowledge. You’re learning individual pieces of the puzzle, and depending on your instructor some of those pieces may get connected for you.

It becomes specialized when you focus on small circles or subsets of BJJ. You can also think of this as game development. It’s when you start developing deep knowledge about specific positions or submissions and then build out from that strong foundation.

Think Big and Let Your Imagination Run Wild

Imagination is something we all understand, but do you have faith in the idea that anything can be achieved, if you conceive it?

In a strict sense, it is possible to say that there are quite a few things that would be extremely difficult if not impossible to achieve. This is about a mindset shift though. The goal is to go from doubting yourself into inaction to taking massive action in order prove whether or not the dream can become reality.

So let’s move on to the application to BJJ.

No one should set limits on how far they can go in this art, but I’ve seen people do it. They say that they’re too old, so they can’t. They say that they don’t have time, so they can’t.  They say that they aren’t talented enough, so they can’t.

Those are all examples of self imposed limits.

There are many examples of individuals who started later in life but were still able to achieve a high level of skill and earn a black belt. Ed O’Neil is one of the more famous examples.

Also you don’t have to train full time in order to become good at BJJ. There are even ways to improve when you’re off the mat. You can use a little auto-suggestion and remind yourself of concepts. You can visualize techniques and matches in your mind. Or you can study matches and instructionals. If you’re passionate about improving every day, you can find ways to do so even in those small windows of time that you have available.

Talent is overrated. Hard work and consistent effort are far more influential than talent when it comes to success.

Set the Course and Stick by it

Organized planning is where you start acting upon achieving what you want to achieve.

Some things that would be included in your plan as it relates to BJJ are:

  • Training schedule
  • Training focus in the academy
  • Training focus outside the academy
  • Nutrition
  • Rest

Pretty simple, eh.

The idea is that when you establish definite plans and take immediate action, the chance of success increases.

Now You’ve Decided on the Course, It’s Time to Act

So let’s do a little mental check list.

You are absolutely committed to becoming highly skilled, check. You absolutely believe that it is possible, check. You’ve outlined your plan and discussed it with your coach and training partners you trust, check.

Now it’s time to act, immediately.

Oh, the Going Getting Tough, Time to Get Going

Unforeseen difficulties are a fact of life, but the individuals we admire are those who push through. The willingness to persist in the face of adversity is a wonderful trait, and it is something that can be learned and developed.

So when you get injured, or you lose a important tournament, you don’t have to let those things stop you. Most of the time, they are only temporary defeats.

By Our Powers Combined

Have you ever heard the phrase that two minds are better than one? This is that idea taken to a whole ‘nother level.

A lot of people apply this concept without defining it using the term. In BJJ, there are informal Mastermind groups every time some people stay after class to ask questions or work on technique.

Where ever a group of individuals share a focus and unite in order to brainstorm methods to achieve those goals, a Mastermind group is temporarily formed.

I Have to Talk About Sex, Noooooo

I am going to sum this up simply.

The desire for sex is one of the strongest stimulants known to mankind. The idea is that if all that drive and creativity could be redirected away from physical expression to the achievement of other desires, the possibilities would be simply amazing.

No further comment.

Instill the Knowledge You Want Through Repetition

There is a clear link between this concept and auto-suggestion. On one hand, you have the means to instill knowledge, and then on the other hand, you have the result.

In books like Training the Samurai Mind and the Book of Five Rings, it is emphasized that true skill only flows from the subconscious. So beyond just training more, it would be beneficial to spend time visualizing technique and reminding yourself of fundamental concepts. Your growth in BJJ will be sped up if you do so.

Start to Piece It All Together

What happens when you take desire, add a bit of imagination, with a side of auto-suggestion, and mix it in deep into the subconscious? Great things, no doubt.

Basically, this concept is about applying all the others in combination rather than in isolation.

Finish Bringing It All Together

Sudden inspiration or hunches are the domain of the sixth sense. You don’t have to believe that there is anything mystical about it.

Another possible explanation is that they are the result of unconscious associations between facts or knowledge in your mind. This has happened to me while I’ve been teaching. I’ll suddenly see new possibilities that exist in a given situation that I’ve never been shown.

Simply, I would pick up individual pieces of the puzzle all over the place then in certain moments, it would all come together.