Interview with Ivaylo Belev – IT specialist and multiple twall® world champion
Could you please introduce yourself briefly – who are you and what do you do?
I define myself as “universal competitor” and “professional student”. I love challenging myself and putting my abilities to a test, that’s why competitions are my passion. Being in the comfort zone is convenient, but we shouldn’t stay there for too long. We can only improve by extending our limits. That is my goal – constant development.
What helps you keep your positive attitude towards life?
What is the purpose of life? What does each one of us strive for? Happiness. Negative attitude leads to negative events, and negative events lead to negative attitude and so a vicious circle is created. We have to break this downward spiral through positive attitude, getting into another circle – this time a virtuous one. In order to overcome a negative event you can, for example, use the technique of distancing. Ask yourself: “Will this matter in 10 years? What effect will this event have on a global scale?” And you will see how insignificant this event really is.
Would you please tell us something more about the practices and meditations you do?
I mostly practice japa meditation. Meditation is an extremely important aspect of life for all those who have spiritual longings and want to rise above the material perception of the world. In order to overcome the materialistic concept we need to engage our mind and senses in activities of spiritual nature. The purpose of japa meditation is exactly this – to ascend us gradually to a transcendental level, which is free from illusions, through contact with absolute spirituality. Japa meditation is a spiritual practice of mantra chanting. I’ve chosen to chant 7 rounds (one round is 108 repetitions) of the maha-mantra every day.
What kind of sports do you practice and what do they give you?
Currently I do chess, volleyball, twall®, kayak and fitness.
Chess – a true passion for me since I love thinking and analyzing. The game offers endless challenges and its benefits are incredible. It is scientifically proven that chess develops creativity, analysis, concentration, visualization, abstract thinking, planning and many other skills.
Volleyball – I just love this game. I use it to “log off” from daily life – during the game I forget that the world exists and I totally dissolve in the experience. The fact that volleyball is a team sport brings even more benefits and positive emotions.
Twall® – one of the exergaming sports (a portmanteau of “exercise” and “gaming”), still gaining popularity. The twall® is an interactive device for training mostly reaction, speed and stamina. I’m training especially for competitions.
Kayak – in nature, in a “shell” on the water – what a joy! Well, sometimes a bit of rowing is needed.
Fitness – the feeling of pumped muscles is just awesome. Feeling good in your body!
How do you manage to motivate yourself to do sports regularly?
How could I need motivation for something that brings me tremendous joy?! Quite the opposite – I have to “fight” to get to each training. My busy schedule allows me to attend only 2-3 trainings in a week out of 7 planned. Also, when it comes to chess, I have to make serious efforts to keep it in certain limits, otherwise I can lose control and play online whole night.
What helps you keep your good self-confidence and love towards yourself?
Body and mind are just instruments we have at our disposal throughout our life. We’ve got what we had deserved. And it is our responsibility to make the best out of it. If we don’t like something, we should change it. If we can’t change it, we should accept it. Everything else is waste of energy.
How did you manage to become an extravert, since you used to be an introvert, and how did your life change afterwards?
It took years of directed efforts in order to develop this second side of me, which made me much more open to life. In worldly life nowadays one of the most important skills for a person is the ability to “sell” himself. Generally speaking, introverts are most probably the ones doing the job, but work and efforts are useless if you can’t present the results properly. And in order to do this you need extravert skills. In everyday life full of rush and hassle, no one has time to notice you – you need to jump ahead and make yourself noticed.
What is your final message to the readers of “Healthy Story”?
Don’t waste your time. It is priceless. Use it for your constant development and make the best out of yourself!