One nightmare at a time

He’s passed my guard; I need to stop him getting mount. He hasn’t got mount, but he’s attacking my elbow; keep it close. Now he’s after my neck; better tuck my chin. Damn, he’s taken my back; breathe and worry about getting my shoulders to the ground. That’s what it’s like going up against a high-level Brazilian jiu-jitsu practitioner. Every moment necessitates the weathering of a new type of storm. The opponent attacks your elbow, so you defend, but just as you think you’ve fought him off he’s switched focus and is threatening something else, somewhere else. 

I came across a phrase that describes the antidote to this experience perfectly: “One nightmare at a time.” It applies to jiu-jitsu, but I think it applies in equal measure to life. Bad time at work? Maniacal boss? Devil of a colleague? Crushing amount of obligations and commitments? Attempting to deal with it all in one go is crushing. Response: “One nightmare at a time.” Focus on handling commitments and obliterating obligations. 

Health issues? Bad back? Inefficient digestive system? Fragmented sleep? Carb-y, sugary diet? There’s no single, universal fix. Instead: “One nightmare at a time.” Get a good night’s sleep.

Whatever the constellation of problems, the solution—the sensible strategy—is “One nightmare at a time.”