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Plus, Minus, Equal - Lessons From An MMA Legend

As lifelong learners and students it’s important to be able to use other disciplines as sources of not only inspiration, but information.  In the book by Ryan Holiday, Ego is the Enemy, Holiday highlights a simple yet effective concept utilized by the Mixed Martial Arts legend, Frank Shamrock.  Shamrock calls the system Plus, Minus, Equal. 

Shamrock believes in order for a fighter to become great they need someone better they can learn from, someone lesser they can teach and someone equal that they can challenge themselves against.  “The purpose of Shamrock’s formula is simple, to get real and continuous feedback about what they know and what they don’t know, from every angle. It purges out the ego that puffs us up, the fear that makes us doubt ourselves and any laziness that might make us want to coast.”(Holiday) Shamrock was quoted saying “False ideas about yourself destroy you.” This sounds very familiar to a recent blog we published about operating under positive illusions. Read that blog here --> Are You Operating Under Positive Illusions?

Take a moment to evaluate who you drum with.  Do you have a plus, minus and equal?  If not, why?  Our guess would be your ego is probably getting in the way.  It’s your job to seek out some better than you that can teach you and show you what’s possible.  It’s ok that they’re better than you.  That’s the point.  You put yourself beneath someone that you trust and in doing so you’re accepting that others know more than you do.  If you don’t have a “minus”, seek one out.  An easy way to do this is to give private lessons or start teaching a drumline.  There will always be someone willing to learn from you if you make time for them. Lastly, find your equal.  Find the Tyson to your Holyfield, the Vanguard to your Blue Devils or Samsung to your Apple.  If you find another person that on any given day could be better than you and vis versa, you’ll always be pushing yourself. Your “equal” is there to help you with the small incremental improvements over time.  

Some of you might be saying that you live in a small town or go to a school where your the best.  We have good news for you.  YouTube can work wonders for finding videos of pluses, minuses and equals.  If you need some examples of pluses check out our video page and see what’s possible.  Where there is a will, there's a way.  Keep pushing and you’ll get to where you want to be.


Author: John McClean

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