You can go from one place to another. Personal account of someone who did

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From the blog: GROW UP PROPER

In kyokushin karate there is a saying about becoming a master. It is said that in order to reach mastery you must climb the mountain, reach the top and then climb back down on the other side. The mountain is a muddy one. If you linger in one place for too long you will start to slide back down.

In self development that mountain stands between you and the person you want to be. The climb up will be a difficult one. The mud will constantly try to drag you down to where you came from. As you close in on the top, the mud will start to lose its grip and slowly let you go. At the top you stand on your own. You can go for the other side or go back to where you came from. You can see clearly what awaits you on each side. As you descend the path of your choice you notice that the mud has once again grabbed hold of you. But this time it is dragging you down to where you want to go. Your descent to greatness takes speed. It slowly becomes effortless. You reach your goal.

So how would such a journey look like in real life? Here’s a little story from my life:

I was born introverted. My childhood made me shy. I never had that many friends; the concept of best http://pinterest.com/pin/56717276530212641/ is still foreign to me. For the first 17 years of my life I found myself happier alone than in the presence of other people. I wanted to join them, I just didn’t know how. In order to protect myself from people I’d rather not mention I decided to join a karate class. For the first time I belonged to a group which was slowly starting to accept me.

In the months that followed I began to go out with them. It was awkward as hell at first, didn’t seem to get any easier. I had several short nervous breakdowns out of pure frustration. I would often get home feeling as if a truck had run over me. What annoyed me the most was that even thought I would be with friends, I couldn’t express myself. I couldn’t think of anything to say and even when something came up I just said it to myself. I knew that wasn’t me. In my neighborhood I was the loudest guy on the block. I never ran out of things to say, I didn’t feel any pressure whatsoever. In this new group (or any other new groups for that matter) I simply shut down.

One night, we were out at a bar. It was karaoke night, but nobody volunteered to sing so we sat down at a table and began chitchatting.  I found myself sweating and shivering for no reason. I couldn’t keep eye contact with anyone (though that wasn’t anything new back then). Opening my mouth was out of the question. I got home feeling like my head was collapsing in on itself. That night I literally “interviewed” everybody I could find online to try and figure out how normal people thought. The next day everybody was whispering behind my back (I think they figured out I broke down).

The only bright side to these breakdowns was that, after each one, things seemed to improve. I gained more self control; I became immune to the situations which caused them. I was slowly climbing up.

After a while I stopped having them. I began to relax in my social groups. It was still a pain to talk sometimes, but nothing serious. I still felt the need to be alone after too much socializing, but even that started to fade away.

I reached the top of the mountain. I began to climb down the other side. The awkward feeling in my gut and the excessive self consciousness popped up rarer and rarer. I still couldn’t find anything to say, but it wasn’t due to any feeling, but simply due to my lack of experience in the art of fooling around.

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These day I have no problem with going out!

These days the negative feelings related to socializing are pretty much gone. And whenever they resurface I just brush them aside. I can’t say I’m an expert conversationalist, I’m a long way from that; but now I can say whatever I want, whenever I want to. I can laugh out loud for the whole world to hear. I can speak my mind in the middle of a bus full of people and watch them stare at me. I can look someone straight in the eyes. I can instruct a class of kids in the art of kyokushin karate. And these days, even though I do need my alone time I also need my social time. If a couple days go by without talking to people, I lose focus and energy; I feel the need for connection. I’m on the other side of the mountain. The mud won’t let me climb back up.

“But what if I don’t have some major issue in need of fixing? What if I kind of like how I am? Sure there are things to be improved, but it’s not that bad. One must accept his qualities as well as his flaws, right?”

Well, if you need more convincing, here are 2 reasons for which you might want to improve your personality:

One: Because the side of the mountain you’re on is just plain unpleasant. Do you like the situations your flaws are throwing you in? Why not correct them? Allowing your flaws to remain as part of your personality is like allowing your dogs’ poop to decorate your living room. You might have poop in the middle of your home, but for god’s sake, don’t leave it there!

And two: Because on the other side of the mountain the sun shines so much brighter. You might be ok with how loving, outgoing, happy you are, but just imagine how you would feel like if you took the time to improve yourself, who you would become, what you could accomplish. If you’re not good at imagining stuff then read the autobiography of someone you admire. Compare your personality to theirs. Whatever they accomplished you can too, once you’ve built yourself a similar mentality.

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