I had a brief epiphany on the mats last night.
I was mid-roll (and actually doing quite well), and a thought blazed through my mind that struck a deep chord:
In order to be BETTER than I am now, I will need to play differently than I do now.
Now, I realize that this is obvious in many ways. But I had a moment in which I saw and appreciated it. I think on some level, I assume in a sort of abstract way that "my game will improve, and I will be really good at a lot of things that I am less good at right now".
And in my moment of clarity, I saw that better performance will come through change. My game will NOT be "exactly what I do now, but better". It will be DIFFERENT. I will make different decisions. I will handle resistance differently. My timing will depend on other factors. My awareness will be of other things.
To phrase the thought a different way, imagine if I were a black belt RIGHT NOW. With the exact same attributes that I have now, what would be the difference between my current game and my imagined black belt game? I would play differently than I do now.
That was my moment of zen for the evening. It has struck a deep chord with me. I will be spending a lot of time meditating on this idea in the coming months.