I have just graded for my purple and white karate belt. This is something which makes me incredibly happy.
I have noticed that in the two weeks coming up to grading all the noise in my head stops. I need to focus on my grading and practice and prepare. I somehow seem to be able to achieve this state of mind where everything else takes a back seat and all the negative self talk and general skewed thinking inside my mind ceases. It is peaceful. Of course I am nervous and working hard but things are much clearer without the clutter. In comparison to my usual experience this is peaceful. I have learnt that I can stop all the noise in my head. But how can I make this happen day to day? I have noted that when I achieve this clear and quiet state of mind coming up to grading it is automatic rather than conscious. I don't think - "right I need to have focus now and not worry about other things" - it just happens. There is something in my unconscious which believes that it is so important I achieve in karate I am somehow able, without even consciously trying, to get focused and block out all else.
If only I could summon up a feeling of necessity to have this mind set for the day to day. Then I could control all the negative self talk and feelings which I struggle with everyday, focus, achieve and be happy. Of course though my ability to achieve this state of mind is down to my passion for karate. You cannot be passionate about the day to day.