Re: Capoeira and Mindshifts

Updated: Aug 19


Dear Brother,

How are you? We’ve missed you in Capoeira class. I hope all is well with you and your family. During this season of COVID and movements to bring value to our lives, we must remain in contact.

Please be sure to take advantage of the Capoeira In-tune Training Vault's instructional videos to help build your body, mind, and spirit between classes. Your participation could help you to conquer the figurative and literal mountains in your life. (This post’s heading photo is from last weekend’s hike up Mt. McNish.)

I am writing this letter to share another resource with you that can help you learn in academic, professional, and personal settings.

Through the university partnership with Coursera that began in February, I registered for several online courses. These MOOCs, massive online open-access courses, range in topics from arts and humanities to computer science. My latest class, Mindshift: Break Through Obstacles to Learning and Discover Your Hidden Potential, teaches how to think strategically about learning a new concept or skill.

The following are my three takeaways from the class that I want to share with you.

#1 Slow learning is not a bad thing!

If you're similar to me, you want to quickly cover the material, gain the knowledge or skill, and keep it moving. You don't enjoy sitting and contemplating topics when you have a full schedule with multiple responsibilities. The MOOC, Mindshift, reinforced the importance of taking the time to learn a difficult concept. When you slow down, it is possible to enhance your abilities to memorize and apply new ideas in the future.

#2 Broaden your passion and pick up a second, third, or fourth skill!

During one of the weeks of this course, we explored the critical behavior of expanding your passion. In this phase of our lives, we can't get stuck into one field. By all means, develop expertise in a subject, but please remain open to learning different things. For example, a passion of mine is training and teaching others Capoeira. I am also a writer, video editor, instructional designer, and coach. Think about what you currently enjoy and how you can create additional layers to your skills.


#3 The Pomodoro method can act as a working meditation.

As you know, I am a proponent of the Pomodoro strategy. Remember, this approach requires you to study, read, or stay focused on a task for twenty-five minutes, followed by a five to ten-minute break. The Pomodoro method is an effective tactic to prevent procrastination because it can devise large jobs into smaller, manageable tasks. In the Mindshift MOOC, the professor recommended that you think about the Pomodoro method as a form of working meditation. To transform your work into meditation, you must eliminate all distractions and concentrate on your studies.

I hope these key learning takeaways will help you this week as you continue to study and work toward realizing your dream. Email me if you would like to schedule a time to talk and discuss these items further.

Get back to class soon and, in the meantime, use the Capoeira in-tune Training Vault to sharpen your skills.

Talk with you soon,

V

BTW - In November, I will release my third book, Dear Brother: Eighty-two Poems From My Journey to Healthy Black Masculinity. Each chapter in the book begins with a short essay titled, "Dear Brother" to provide context for the poems and offer the reader some life-changing advice. As we move closer to the release date, I will keep you updated.