The most distracted generation – ever, and boy does it show up on the dojo floor. I don’t mean the hyper-activity, the lack of attention of the ever popular ADD diagnosis I am talking about the thing I call the WIN syndrome it stands for “What Is Next.” mind frame. Yeah I made up the name WIN but the behavior is not new, it is part of youth you can see it demonstrated by simply watching adults and children eat ice cream.

Adults get a bowl, get some ice cream and take smaller, slower bites, the youth has has already emptied their bowl and are begging for more. This is adult v. child, and the WIN attitude is appropriate for kids. If you saw that behavior in an adult you would find it off putting, and certainly lamentable. Yet the WIN behavior is OK, to use in sports and of course the dojo, the syndrome is more about acquisition and not as much about — should I say enjoyment?

So I have to tell you a quick story here about an instructor I knew was doing a walk through of a health club with the karate instructor he was going to replace. The outgoing instructor asked of the incoming instructor, “You guys do weapons?” “Some.” was the reply, “Yeah I used to, but I mastered them and moved on.” nice…nice example of the WIN mentality.

Forget ADD, the WIN syndrome; hurry, acquire, amass, move on, it creates the distraction of always looking ahead and not being present with what is happening right here.

Oh and for the record I have to diagnose myself as recovering from WIN, years ago, sure, but WIN none-the-less.

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