As a few readers have reached out to tell me, over the past month or so, I haven't written (directly) about improving performance. Rather, my articles have talked about "touchy-feely" sentiments like love, compassion, spirit, and concern for your fellow man. According to the same readers, these sentiments aren't often associated with kicking butt on or off the playing field.
So in this article, I want to set the record straight. Let's take a close look at why I would discuss a subject matter that some of you perceive as irrelevant to success.
To me, if you want to perform your best, love, compassion, spirit, and concern for others are absolutely essential, and here's why: They don't require deliberate thought. They are the byproduct of consciousness. When a person uncovers a high level of consciousness (the zone, as we might say in sports), awareness expands, insights flow, and answers -- including how to stay ahead of the competition -- become obvious. To the contrary, when a person exists at a low level of consciousness, the intellect (a person's thought system) gets overworked, the perceptual field narrows, and answers become elusive.
My purpose, then, in writing about these innate sentiments is this: to turn you inward toward your most natural, fluent, and potent psychological perspective, and not outward (as do virtually all self-help strategies) toward grinding it out, willpower, disrespect, or following someone else's system or techniques -- all of which divorce you from your own intuition, freedom, and imagination.
Here's something else you might want to consider: If winning athletes are asked to describe their state of mind during their finest moments, they will almost always use words like, "No though. I just let go. I wasn't really trying. It came out of nowhere. I felt free and cooperative." Why then, when you are struggling, would you look to an external mental-performance strategy or motivational tool that requires the exact opposite: thinking, effort, control, routine, or contempt for the opposition? The truth is that low levels of consciousness are momentary. The only reason a person stays there (in a slump) is because he or she is searching outside for the cause and turning to outside methods for the cure.
Remember, the system (your mind) is blessed with an inherent propensity to elevate to consciousness on its own. So the answer to enduring peace of mind and consistent achievement is always an understanding of how the system works -- not the application of foreign coping mechanisms.
Once again, the reason I often talk about "touchy-feely" sentiments is two-fold: to point you in the direction of your most natural, free-flowing, and powerful state of mind, and to point you away from anything that thwarts your instincts by adding thinking, or even doing, to your pursuit of excellence.
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