As an Instructor, I often move about the martial arts mat making corrections to techniques, and offering advice. Even with Adults, I often notice that the student will adjust their technique if they think I am watching them. For most students this is an unconscious action, but even so, I still ask the question “Why”? What are you trying to change now that you think I am watching? If you are changing, then which is the “real” technique, when I am watching or when I am not?
Most of us are social creatures; we interact and respond to the people that are around us. Have you ever acted differently because you knew someone was watching you? Have you ever been singing in the car to a great tune, only to stop when you see the guy laughing at you in the car next to you? We are often embarrassed in social situations when we perceive others are judging us or mocking us.
However, as I tell my students, eventually you must become comfortable with yourself as a person; what you say, what you do, what you think. The term I would use for this is Integrity. Integrity is the steadfast dedication to the truth, be it scientific truth, historical truth, or personal truth. There is an easier way to think about it, however. Integrity is what you do when no one is watching you. You sacrifice your integrity every time you change your behavior for others. In order to take your character (and your training) to the next level, you must find a way to become a person of Integrity all the time; 24 hours a day / 7 days a week. Find the person that you are when no one is watching, and make that person who you are in all situations. You will be one step closer to becoming a more happy, comfortable, fulfilled person. A person of Integrity.