What is MTJT?
MTJT. By now you’ve seen it everywhere. It’s the loading screen, a tab on the website and all over my socials.
So what does it mean? MTJT stands for ‘More Than Just This’.
This is a phrase I learned in the lead up to Tokyo that provided me with perspective and reassurance. It is not uncommon to see athletes who choose to let sport be their identity. Similarly, many students find themselves feeling defined by their grades and academic achievements. I am certainly guilty of this same mentality, so for me, MTJT began to serve as a reminder that I am made up of many different passions, values and roles within my life.
MTJT is a perspective that gives you room to go big in certain areas of your life while still honouring other things that are important to you. For me, it was about not falling victim to feelings of sacrifice or failure. When you are more than just one thing, you can never fail.
How it Started and How I Apply it.
As any good athlete will tell you, a lot of the mental mind hacks come from working with sports psychologists and other mentors. I had a session with my sports psychologist, Jonah Oliver in the lead up to Tokyo where I voiced my concerns about what it would mean if I did or didn’t win in Tokyo. I managed to argue myself into a hole of:
“even if I do come out best in the world, I will still just have to prove myself, again and again, year after year. If I fail then what’s left?”
Jonah then highlighted this all or nothing story I was telling myself and asked, “If you don’t win gold in Tokyo or if you do, does that change the person you are?” I had to think hard about this. External validation is a sneaky trap to fall into, one that makes it difficult to tell the difference between what you want and what you think you should want. At this point, Jonah offered up the notion that I am more than just my results in Tokyo. Once I let this sink in the shock and relief was overwhelming.
I recognised that regardless of the colour of my medal in Tokyo I was still the same committed, determined athlete I was before the race. I began to expand this further to my studies, realising that regardless of my end of semester marks at uni, I was still the same passionate psychology student that wanted to learn.
It was by connecting to these internal values of commitment and learning that I was able to begin to recognise that Paralympic medals were only a fraction of why I was going to Tokyo.
How can you apply it.
What I love about MTJT is that it can be applied to anyone. Think about what you spend most of your time doing. Is it studying? Working? Parenting? Whatever it is, I’m sure there are many pressures, expectations, or deadlines you are expected to meet. Additionally, I am sure there are days where you feel like you are incredible at what you do and days where you feel like you’re failing miserably.
What I encourage you to do is to experiment with how MTJT feels for you. Brainstorm all the things you are (e.g., student, friend, parent, athlete etc). Look at each of those areas and think about what they mean to you and what values underpin each one. Even if one of those areas was to suffer you can appreciate the value that any other area brings you by connecting to your values. I hope this is as empowering to you as it was to me.
The bottom line is that regardless of your perceived success or failure your core values do not change. It is these values that get athletes out of bed every morning. Medals aren’t enough, you have to be doing it for a pure sense of passion and drive. Once you connect to what these values might be for you, the pressure is lifted and everything feels simplified. With the realisation that you are more than just that.