In the pursuit of excellence, no stone goes unturned,

and the 4 Noble Truths of Buddhism was not the exception. I'm not here to talk about a religion that I don't practice. However, in my pursuit to help players and coaches, I embrace and study any information that seeks to bring about change and growth. In his book, The Mindful Athlete, George Mumford briefly describes how he uses the Four Truths of Buddhism in his own work.  The Four Truths are:

  • The Truth of Suffering: We are living in an ongoing state of dissatisfaction
  • The Truth of the Origin of Suffering: Suffering/dissatisfaction arises from causes and conditions
  • The Truth of Cessation: There is a possibility of reaching a state where that dissatisfaction/suffering has ceased
  • The Truth of the Path: There is a path for us to follow that will bring us to such a state

My interpretation is:

  • The Truth of Suffering: There's always going to be an issue or problem
  • The Truth of the Origin of Suffering: We have to do the deep work to see where our problem lies
  • The Truth of Cessation: There's a short-term solution to the problem
  • The Truth of the Path: There's a long-term solution to prevent the problem from coming back

Of course, it's not that simple, or is it? When a player has a bad day, or a coach loses a game they probably shouldn't, what's next? Usually nothing. It was a bad day, maybe some reflection, but that's where it ends. Once we have the experience, we are taught to move to reflection right away. But have we given thought to the problem? For example, was it really that I took a bad step and shot the ball awkwardly? Did my technique fail or was it my decision to shoot? Or was it that I didn't eat well the day before, and I stayed up all night posting blogs? As we identify and remove "problems" from the equation, we are left with our habits and decisions that will ultimately help us focus on our goals and desires.

Problems and issues are always going to be there. But it's our reactions and the way we choose to deal with them, that will ultimately separate us from the pack.

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