The Five Criterion

To use or enjoy life to the fullest sense of the term one must have the following:

  1. A physique to withstand all odds and be free from ailments as far as practicable
  2. An object of love
  3. A sufficient income to keep yourself free from anxiety
  4. A hobby, a pursuit for pleasure other than the main occupation
  5. A job which is not uninteresting

Video Transcript:

Lonnie Beck (00:02):
What's up everybody Lonnie Beck here, along with Master Som at Dragon Gym, as you can tell,

Somnath Sikdar (00:07):
We're very, very on-brand.

Lonnie Beck (00:09):
Our branding today today is we're going to talk about something that you sent me a really long time ago. Something that I keep, I have like the paper print out and have another one in front of me as well. Can you talk about like what it is

Somnath Sikdar (00:23):
Isn't where it came from? Yeah. So what we're going to talk about is something that we've called the five criterion growing up. So in my sort of like family history, there's a gym called Maha Ru drug via Mangar or something like that. I'm probably butchering the pronunciation, but it was a gym established in 1950s, India in a small town called Minda por that my grandfather and a couple of other people started back then. And the focus was on a couple of different things. One was yoga, the other was strength, training, bodybuilding, weightlifting, and wrestling, and you know visited that gym years and years and years ago. And it was just such a cool thing to see sort of things coming full circle. Yeah. You know, with, with dragon gym and our martial arts training.

Somnath Sikdar (01:21):
So growing up you know, studying under my grandfather, this is something that was sort of ingrained in us much like martial arts have different tenets, there's tenets of TaeKwonDo. And then we have meaning of moosa and dragon, gym spirit. And more recently what we've developed is what's called the dragon gym precepts and the dragon gym precepts we've, we've talked about on Facebook and some other things quite a bit. The cool thing about the precepts is it was largely developed by Master Lonnie's students, the junior black belts. And what they did was they tookdifferent pieces of these different things and also their own experience to put this together. So long story short is the five criteria is one of the things that informs what we do philosophically and mentally as well as practically. So we thought, you know what, let's, let's take it back and go to some of the foundational documents.

Lonnie Beck (02:24):
Well, I think, especially with the way that the, the sort of the ethos of the world has been over the last couple of months or years, or however long it's been eternity, I guess, you know, the, the, the goal really is to simplify it and you know, how do you do something like that? And I think that these five criteria really help you sort of boil things down, let, let everything percolate. So then you can focus on what fulfills you, what's important to you and then how you can ultimately be happy.

Somnath Sikdar (02:53):
Got it. Yeah. I think this year you know, if you're watching this presently 2020 has been a, a year of chaos,

Lonnie Beck (03:02):
Dumpster fire, if you let it be a dumpster fire, it will be

Somnath Sikdar (03:08):
Exactly. And I think it's so easy to get, get pulled into that or the you know, it's like a highway when there's an accident, it's going southbound, but you're going northbound, but still there's a traffic jam on North Dakota. And they gave her delay. They gave her delay because you can't turn away from the chaos. It draws us in it's human nature. So you need some sort of foundational principle an operating system for humans, if you will.

Lonnie Beck (03:36):
I'll say that. I think right now, one of the most important things is our health, right? I mean, obviously that's, that's, what's surrounding the world's troubles right now is there's this virus, there's all this stuff going around and you hit that first criteria, right? I'll say, let me say,

Somnath Sikdar (03:51):
Yeah, so let's, let's toss it up. So the five criteria, criteria, and criteria, you got to know, whatever you say, it's probably wrong. It's probably wrong to use or enjoy life to the fullest sense of the term. One map must have the following and then a list of five things.

Lonnie Beck (04:11):
So, number one, number one is, is a physique to withstand all odds and be free from ailments as far as practicable. So building our body, our health, right? It doesn't stop at physical health. And as we know, you know, when you become healthier, when you exercise, when you eat properly, when you limit alcohol, when you do all that stuff, that increases your mental health as well. Right? So when we're talking about, you know, a physique, that's not just our bodies, right? It's, it's our minds, it's our soul. It's our peace of mind, the best way to do all that stuff, simple get shape.

Somnath Sikdar (04:46):
So I think health, we can break it down into three areas, physical health, mental health, and what often gets forgotten is emotional health. Yeah. And that sort of dovetails into, into number two, but let's stick on number one first, there was a reason. Number one is a physique to withstand all odds and be free from elements as far as practical. So, number one, remember this is coming out of a gym setting, a martial arts studio setting would be equivalent. Like what we're doing very specifically is building our body's building around. Let's let's not forget that. You know, in martial arts, we talk about this a lot is, you know, everybody puts on their door like martial arts and fitness. Well, how much meaning is there? Right. You know, and the joke is like, is your school martial arts and fitness? Or is it martial arts and fatness?

Somnath Sikdar (05:36):
You know, I'm not so sure. So let's remember like you study martial arts because there are so many beneficial side effects. You go to the gym and you get in shape because there's so many beneficial side effects, but don't forget about the main effect. You learn martial arts to learn martial arts, to kick, to punch to yourself, to fight you, go to the gym, to physically get healthy, to build a physique that can withstand all odds. What I think often gets forgotten is at first it sounds selfish, right? It's like, well, I gotta be strong. You gotta be strong, but really, you know, and this is one thing that master Lonnie says all the time and it always resonates with me is like, you have to be the person that the people you care about need you to be. Yeah. And if you're not healthy, you can't take care of others. Yeah. And that's really, to me what this number one,

Lonnie Beck (06:30):
I think it comes down to the, I use this analogy so many times when you're an airplane and they talk about the cabin losing pressure. It's like, you got to put the mask on yourself first. Right? Like that seems such a selfish thing to do. Like, no, I'm going to get the oxygen, put it on my daughter. Right, right. No, you need to put it on yourself first because if you're not, well, if you can't breathe, guess what everyone else around you is gonna suffer. Right. And I'm sure that we've seen that when we've gone through highs and lows in life and you know, you're not yourself and your shell of yourself, you know, everybody else that relies on you, it's the trickle trickle-down itself. They suffer.

Somnath Sikdar (07:02):
Right. So

Lonnie Beck (07:04):
That sort of parlays us into

Somnath Sikdar (07:06):
Number two, number two. So we talked about emotional health, but number two is an object of love. And I think for most of that, for most of us, that object is another person. Yeah.

Lonnie Beck (07:22):
You know, it's one of the things that you know, I realized early in life is the only thing that I knew I really wanted to be was a dad. Right. And, you know, once I fulfilled that role, it was like, then I really like, listen, I, I love my wife, but somebody said something to me when my wife was pregnant, I was like, how dare you? They were like, you think you love your wife. Just wait, just wait until you see this kid, wait until you feel this. And it's like, the love is it's just different. And when you see something that relies on you so much, you give yourself, you know, everything of yourself to that thing that you love, it makes everything else in life have a lot more perspective, you know? And you, you start to get that back. That's what fulfills me as a human, at least, you know, that object of love is my family to my wife. It's my daughter. It's,

Somnath Sikdar (08:11):
There's there's you know, in, in, in the, when people talk about mindset, people talk about, you have a scarcity mindset or an abundance mindset. Right. And I think there, there's a saying, you know, from abundance, he took abundance and abundance remained and that's you know, whatever theological background that comes from is this idea of abundance. And when you have an object of love, it sort of opens the door to that is, you know, you think you can care about someone like you're maxed out. There's no way, no, right? Like, how am I going to divide this love that I have, then you have children or you meet the right person, or however that grows. And then you realize, wow, this didn't divide it multiplied. Yeah. And that's what we're looking for. That's what you need. Like that number two is to have that object of love. Yup. Next number three. All right. This is the one that we all really, really need to talk about. And I think in American culture, oddly, people don't like to say this out loud, but everybody's thinking it, number three is you need to have a sufficient income to keep yourself free from anxiety.

Lonnie Beck (09:36):
Let's figure this out. Divorce rates are really, really high, you know, and there's statistics on divorce rates. In fact, a lot of the times they ask people why they're getting divorced. The majority of the flights, the majority of divorce, the majority of anxiety is like, how am I going to pay my mortgage? How can I pay these maxed out credit cards? They're going to repo my car. I can't afford insurance. All of that stuff, all of that anxiety that internal worry affects you affects you guess what makes your show yourself? And now we're back at number one,

Somnath Sikdar (10:07):
The number one, we're back into that like scarcity mindset, where everything feels like, you know, we're just scavenging animals, right? And, and not, you know, flourishing human beings. And th this idea of, of, of money and income sometimes is a, is a tough subject

Lonnie Beck (10:30):
Come off as greed or lack of empathy for others.

Somnath Sikdar (10:33):
Exactly. But the reality is most of us have decided to live in this society, materialistic society. You know, there are those that you're definitely not watching us on Facebook, very yert, somewhere you're in the you're in the jungle meditating. Sure. But most of us, you know, we need to have that sufficient income to keep us free from anxiety. What are the things that cause anxiety in your life? And I go back again to this wise man here, where you were, I forget where we were driving, but we always have these great conversations on drives to the airport from the airport to New York, back stuck in traffic where it's, you know, how many problems do you have and how many of those problems can just be solved by having more money. Right. Right. If they can be solved by having more money than they're not real problems, they're not health problems. They're not, you know, existential problems is go out and either create more income or cut your expenses. It's not about having as much money as possible as sufficient sufficient.

Lonnie Beck (11:39):
You know? And I talked to like some of the younger kids that are, you know, part of the gym and we have these conversations with these kids that we've been teaching for since they've been kids and now they're in their twenties and they're starting to form very altruistic opinions. And they're like, but money out. It's not about that. And I'm like, but just wait, because at some point it will be. And if you can start to plan for that now and prepare yourself for that, now you're going to be

Somnath Sikdar (12:03):
Heck of a lot better. It's about what the money does for you. Right. Right. So, you know, the, the top level people say all the time is like money buys you two things, time and freedom. Yeah. Which are very, very difficult to attain any other way. Right. Time is the only thing that's always running out, but more practically, what does money buy you? Right. Time with someone, number two, freedom to provide for someone else. So really think about it in, in, in tangible practical terms, what each of these five criteria mean for you in your life?

Lonnie Beck (12:44):
Eddie Harper of course writes cream cash rules, everything around me, Bhutan, number four, this one's this one. I think the large majority of, of working Americans just let go

Somnath Sikdar (13:02):
As something, adults, adults just sort of give up

Lonnie Beck (13:05):
Point. They had something like this in their life. And then they're like, you know what? I just don't have time. Or I'm not willing to make time. I mean, that is, I don't do that. A hobby, a pursuit for pleasure, other than your main occupation. Now, this one kind of hits us because we've been in martial arts since we were kids. This is part of our hobby. Right. It's so funny how this place can sort of identify us. It's our job. It's our hobby. It's our, it's our release. It's the place that we go to clear our minds. But at some point we need to be able to step back and say, there's something else there.

Somnath Sikdar (13:37):
There's gotta be something else that you do. And, you know, in one sense, it's like, okay, is it the, like the Holy grail where you get sufficient income from a pursuit of pleasure? Yeah, sure. Right. But it doesn't stay that way forever. Most of the time, I'm sure there's some, you know, people that have really, really, really, really figured it out, but ultimately there's a human desire for growth and going beyond and going to the next step. And so it's like when you reach one level of success, you're not finished. It just begets the desire to reach another level of success as it should. So you just look at our own experience. It's, it's okay. We love martial arts and we see that there's a huge potential to generate sufficient income doing it. So we do that. And then a couple years go by saying, Oh, well this one time thing, it looks pretty interesting. Right? So like we have our occupation of martial arts, but then also the hobby of martial arts, which is a new, different martial art, right. Then a couple more years ago. Oh, wow. This presented you, this thing looks pretty exactly right. This kettlebell thing or this, that. So even within what you might perceive as an umbrella of one occupation, there are ways to habitus it. Yeah. And create that mental interest. Anyway, is that a word? No, I just meant it.

Lonnie Beck (15:07):
Good ties TM. So we are part of a group of really successful entrepreneurs, attorneys, physicians, and things like that. And one of the things that I noticed being with them last month was a lot of those people, their, their jobs oftentimes consume them, right. They're estate attorneys, and they're doing all this high level stuff. And these guys are physicians run in different things, but almost every single one of them, they're either taken voice lessons, learning how to play guitar, do an equestrian, doing all this stuff where they're taking time from their family. It might be an hour a week. It might be two hours a week or less doesn't matter, but they're all going out there. And they're learning something new that being a student of something they're surrendering themselves to a coach of some sort, and that just talking to them about what they're doing, you can see the sense of fulfillment coming through on their face. And again, that makes them a better person. It all comes back to how we feel about ourselves.

Somnath Sikdar (16:03):
It's, it's amazing. You'll see like the, the number of high level either entrepreneurs or like C level type people that dedicate a good amount of time to a hobby and a way to unplug and relax is like the number of musicians, like incredible guitar players. Oh man, a group it's, it's, it's surprising

Lonnie Beck (16:28):
The things that we do every single time we go out there,

Somnath Sikdar (16:30):
But there's always something to sort of have that fulfillment outside of it. And you know, I think this, this also dovetails in number five is, you know, you, you need to have a job, which is, you know, you can tell this, been translated a job, which is not uninteresting. So I guess you could just say an interesting job, an interesting job, but the wording is, is maybe, maybe it's very specific a job, which is not uninteresting. So you need to have that sufficient income. And I think part of what that means is at, at a certain point, like, you may not have your ideal occupation, but you just gotta do the work and make the money. Right. And Sue me because exactly it's a vehicle to get somewhere else that you need to be in, that you want to be. But at the same time, it shouldn't be uninteresting. You should not relegate yourself to work in some sort of soul crushing job just to make money. Right. You know, you have to like, maybe you're there for now, but you have to be thinking and you have to be working for a better way.

Lonnie Beck (17:42):
You know, I think it, it comes down to understanding, you know, what you want when you're talking about that particular of, of employment. And a lot of people find their passion. They find their identity in their work, but a lot of people, you know, have a job that might be able to get them the other things that they want in life, but it's not necessarily soul crushing. Then there's other people that are stuck in jobs where they're, they're just punch boxes. They sort of go on autopilot. They're not happy with it. It doesn't challenge them. They know it, but there might be too afraid to sort of say, let me break free from these chains. This is now I'm going to change something. You know? And I think that there's quite a few people that I know personally that are, that are in that rut and that's, you know, listen, that's okay. We've all been there. I've been there before in my life as well. But it's trying to find something that challenges you and gets you out of that sort of comfort zone that everybody sticks in. It's a hard thing to do, especially when it comes to your career, especially at times like this,

Somnath Sikdar (18:44):
But there are things that you can do that are sort of a tangential that enable you to improve or expand in more you know, centralized or, or important areas. So you can do something in this hobby, let's say side of your life, that is very challenging, mentally, physically, or some other way that forces you to get out of your comfort zone. And that expansion of possibilities applies to all areas of your life. Right? When you do something, you know, we were talking about, so we've been into the weightlifting powerlifting lately this year. It's sort of been, that's been the thing. And right now, I mean, we have a really good coach. So number one, we surrender to the coach like we're coaches, right? But we have a coach in many, actually, depending on the specific area. But right now we're moving weights, repping weights. That last year we would've thought our max or like a reach, like, there's no way I'm going to do that. If I'm lucky you get that. And what that teaches you subconsciously is like, okay, if I follow the process, if I trust the system in place, I can do that. And an expands all the possibilities. When one thing that you thought was impossible, becomes possible. Many things that you think are impossible are also possible.

Lonnie Beck (20:23):
And it, it seems so like, like nebulous, when you say that, because it's like, there's nothing that anybody can really put their finger on to be like, you know, that's something that, that I can do. And then that's going to be a leapfrog to something else it's like, all you gotta do is try it, like go out and give it a shot. Like I honestly, you know, you're talking about weightlifting. So that's what I'll talk about is I never thought like that would be able to move the weight that I am moving out. Like, I just didn't think that my risks could handle it. I didn't think that my structure could handle it. And then you surrender yourself to this coach and it's like, just do this, this, this, and this. So what did I do? I did this, this, this, and this and X happened. And I was like, Holy smokes, never thought it was going to happen. Right. And then I can't tell you the endorphin rush, the, the role of confidence that happened for weeks after that was just so powerful. And it led me to so many other things and breakthroughs and it, it was just, it's, it's really indescribable when you do something like that. You know? So when I read through them all

Somnath Sikdar (21:25):
More time, yeah. Let's summarize five criteria to use or enjoy life to the fullest sense of the term. One must have the following number one, a physique to withstand all odds and be free from ailments. As far as practical skills,

Lonnie Beck (21:41):
As far as practicable, number two, an object of love,

Somnath Sikdar (21:45):
Number three, a sufficient income to keep yourself free from anxiety, for

Lonnie Beck (21:50):
A hobby, go out and say, get yourself a hobby people, a pursuit for pleasure, other than your main occupation

Somnath Sikdar (21:56):
And number five, a job which is not uninteresting. And let's close with this, like go out and find something that is going to expand your comfort zone today.

Lonnie Beck (22:06):
I love it. I'm going to do it too. Thanks for joining us, everybody. Peace.


Somnath Sikdar
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Master, 7th Dan Black Belt