Bre with kung fu swords and mental training

Watching Your Mental Diet

Bre with kung fu swords and mental training

…Mental diet is just as important as physical diet in martial arts or any kind of physical training

If you successfully committed to a new work out routine; as in, you picked a new activity, got the right clothes, set the alarm or reminder, showed up on time consistently, you would still only be half way there. The other part of taking on a new method of physical development is what you are putting int your body.

It would be lunacy to put the effort into a physical activity, like martial arts for example, while giving no thought to what you consume.

If you are exercising regularly but you are eating nothing but greasy, fried fast food, drinking nothing but coffee or soda, and regularly consuming too much alcohol, you would be wasting time. Your results are only as good as the fuel. You can’t put regular octane in a car that requires a high test grade of gasoline and expect the same performance.

This is pretty common knowledge, and I’m probably preaching to the choir.

Here is what I’m getting at though:

Most people don’t consider the same logic when it comes to their mental development.

Self cultivation is ultimately a process of developing one’s mind, body, and spirit. They are inseparable. Granted some pursuits may lean more toward one of the three. Realistically, working on one will inevitably result in improvement in the other. When you work on the body, the mind gains clarity. When you have results in either it positively affects the spirit.

So even if you are merely trying to lose a few pounds, mentality always plays a part. Mental attitude must improve alongside the physical training. Likewise, if you simultaneously improve your mental attitude, you will be more positive and resilient in your physical development.

Accepting this, we must also be aware of our mental diet. You wouldn’t start a physical training routine while stuffing fast food in your face. Why then, embark in any kind of training without being aware of the mental input?

We are mostly aware of what we are consuming physically. We must also be aware of what we are consuming mentally. This means we must pay attention to the media we take in regularly.

Even when we think we are not being affected, because we think we can ignore it; when certain messages are repeated again and again, they inevitably have an effect on us. Even on a subconscious level.

This can have an effect on how far we push ourselves, how we handle adversity, how much willpower we possess. Gradually, media has a strong influence through constant suggestion, and if we are watching the same media that the average person does, then we are more likely to get the same average results.

That may be fine for most people, that’s ok. It’s your call on what level of performance or achievement you want. If you want average results there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. If you want exceptional results you have to engage in exceptional behaviour. This means you have to get better input, advice, reminders, and guidance. That guidance shapes and reinforces your belief system of what is possible for you.

Think about what drives the source of information you are getting?

When you are watching the news for example, what does the news want from you?

The news wants to keep your attention so they can put advertisements in front of you. This lets them show off the number of eyeballs they have watching them. They can then show that number to companies so companies will advertise their products or services to you on that platform. The news has no financial interest in bringing you good news or bad news specifically. It just so happens that bad news tends to get people to watch longer. As a result, most news is depressing or fear invoking.

The news has no interest in keeping you mentally and physically strong, aware, or healthy. Physically and mentally strong people consume less products. They consume less fast food and take less pharmaceuticals (two of the biggest advertisers). They are therefore not the most ideal consumer for the advertiser.

It’s not a grand conspiracy theory that they want to keep you fat and dumb, it’s just in their obvious financial interests, so the information they most often present will be biased toward that result. It’s in your interest to pay less attention to it, and more attention to people who have an interest in your personal growth; People like coaches, mentors, teachers, and friends with common goals or values.

You don’t even need to know them personally. Most of them have content, books, audio programs you can access with great ease. You just need to decide what is best for your mental diet, and then consume it moderately.

The source of what you listen to, read, or watch, even in the background, will gradually have an effect on your belief system.  Your belief system will drive your activity, behaviour, and habits. If you don’t consciously choose what that source is, you will most likely default into what everyone else is watching or listening to. If you listen or watch what the average person listens to or watches, you are more likely to have the same average results.

Just like how you can’t outperform what you consume in your physical diet, you cannot outperform what you consume in your mental diet.

If you’re consuming the wrong messaging regularly; messages of fear, lack, scarcity, limitation, and anger, you are setting a ceiling for yourself that you are not likely to break through until you change the quality of your mental diet.


Sifu Atalick
Master Instructor
Holistic Kung Fu Online
Niagara Kung Fu Academy

Sifu Atalick has owned and operated the Niagara Kung Fu Academy since 2005 and has been teaching Holistic Kung Fu for 20 years. Holistic Kung Fu as taught at NKFA helps kids and adults build self-discipline, confidence, and focus, helping them to achieve higher levels of success and fulfilment academically and in their careers. He is the author of “Be Like Tea: The Art of Holistic Kung Fu

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Rob Atalick