Standing for something, rich environments, favours and daydreaming

sent by Nick Grantham | 3rd May 2022

"You gotta stand for something or you'll fall for anything."

Danny O'Donoghue

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Many people have been credited with variations on this quote over the years, but I first heard it when I was listening to an album by the Script, so I'll attribute it to Danny O'Donoghue. In high-performance sports environments, it's easy to get turned inside out and constantly flip flop between one innovative approach and another. Performance practitioners that don't base their work on solid first principles can easily find themselves continually falling for the next big thing. You must stand for something. What are your first principles?

Source: Fall For Anything by The Script

"Rich environments tighten focus."

Steven Kotler

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Environments that stimulate our senses force us to focus. When a lot is going on, we have to work hard to concentrate. For years I thought this was a bad thing. Still, I'm open to the idea put forward in The Rise of Superman that we should find ways to incorporate novelty, unpredictability, and complexity to drive flow when working with athletes. We have to create a rich and challenging environment to tighten an athlete's focus.

Source: The Rise of Superman by Steven Kotler

"A favour shouldn't feel like a debt."


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When someone does us a favour, we are already socially conditioned to feel like we have to return the favour. The rule of obligation, also known as reciprocity, makes us feel like we owe the person something for helping us out. With this in mind, we mustn't make colleagues or the athletes we work with feel like they now are in debt. So next time you help someone out, make sure they know that they don't owe you, they're not in your pocket, and you're not keeping score of who owes who.

Source: Unknown

"Daydream not only about the end goal but about the process and obstacles - the whole process."

Damian Hughes

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The big outcome goal is easy to daydream about, but many plans fail due to a lack of daydreaming about the process and performance goals, potential challenges and solutions. Damian Hughes suggests completing a pre-mortem before any project to spend time daydreaming about the whole journey on the way to your goal, and not just the goal itself.

Source: The Barcelona Way by Damian Hughes

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