Jiu-jitsu teaches that life will throw problems your way. You will get taken down, you will get mounted, you will get submitted. But if you get mounted, there is no value in lamenting that fact. Reminiscing about the good old days when you were on top is a waste of energy. The only thing that actually matters is what you do now.

When someone repeatedly takes you down, it exposes a weakness in your “game,” your skillset. Rather than see it as a problem, realize that jiu-jitsu is simply asking you a question: How do you stop that takedown?

Finding out we hadn’t been paying our taxes was a catastrophe. . . until the moment I asked, “How do we improve to make sure this never happens again?” The moment you reframe your problem as a question, it ceases to be a problem and becomes a challenge. It’s a shift from thinking about the past or an unpleasant present to focusing on a plan for a better future.

You will face “problems” in life. Can you accept them and ask, “Ok, how has the situation changed? What is the best path forward from here? What’s the right first step?”

Has a setback ever made you feel stuck? Is that you, right now? How can you turn that problem into a challenge through the power of questions? What questions is life posing to you by your being in this position?
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These ten are just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the wisdom one gains through this beautiful art.

If you’re a success-minded entrepreneur who doesn’t train, I highly encourage you to start. Find a reputable jiu-jitsu instructor where you jive with and just start. If flexibility is a priority, book private lessons. If you just don’t have the time, start learning online. (My own online training site BJJ101.tv just launched – check it out!)

If you’re not an entrepreneur, well . . . you’re wrong! You really are, but that’s the topic for another article. If you already train BJJ, what are some life lessons you’ve gained that haven’t been mentioned here? Post them in the comments so we can all learn from them.

If, as they say, all things are one, then we can learn about life from any endeavor —painting, hiking, engineering. As a tool for self-exploration, any passion will suffice. Jiu-jitsu just happens to be the most fun. 😉

See you on the mats,

Elliott Bayev