The importance of the “mental game”

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I don’t often do this, but here are interesting lines from an article I read from Sarah Holt about the importance of the mental game in tennis: http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/tennis/29384650
It reminds me of two things I write about often: the need for frequently taking the time for evaluation of your circumstances and the need to be intentional (going beyond just good intentions):

“A willingness to learn about the mental and intellectual demands of the game is being impressed on the rising stars of British tennis.

“It’s something we’re trying to work on with our juniors,” explains Newham. “To give them an idea of what type of attitude, characteristics and values they need to make it as a professional tennis player.

“Very few understand what it takes to be successful. Determination, focus and having the drive and ambition to always want to be the best are important.

“But other qualities, like a good level of self-awareness and understanding, are also incredibly important.

“Some tennis players are cool, calm and collected whereas for others, having a little bit of fire and passion works.”

It could just be that success in tennis is all in the mind. ”

2 challenging quotes from Aristotle

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Most of us will have a few quiet moments in the car or sometime else. Here are two quotes from Aristotle that can “rock your world”:

“we are what we repeatedly do. Excellence is not an act, but a habit”

“champions are not made in the ring, they are merely recognized there”

Pretty thought-provoking, huh!

“Beyond the Idea” book review

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When I read a book, I like to have a pencil in hand to mark something in the book that stands out to me as particularly interesting.

As I read through “Beyond the Idea” by Vijay Govindarajan, I realized that I was highlighting, probably half the book.

To say that I found this book an interesting read would be a huge understatement. It was fascinating because it was so relevant and insightful.

This is how Chapter 1 begins:

“Innovation is a two-part challenge. Part one is ideas, part two is execution.

To win, you have to succeed at both. Many companies, however, expend most or nearly all of their energies on part one. As such, they tend to produce a great many ideas on paper that never become anything more than…ideas on paper.

The most important message in “Beyond the Idea” is very simple: Part two, innovation execution, is its own unique discipline. It requires time, energy, and distinct thinking. Unfortunately, few companies treat it as such.”

How’s that for engaging?

Let me encourage you to be among those few organizations that think (and act) differently.

Start with reading this book and enjoy the journey towards a greater innovation experience and results!

ancient wisdom and a contemporary challenge

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There is an ancient writing that says,

“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due,
When it is in your power to do it.
Do not say to your neighbor, “Go, and come back,
And tomorrow I will give it,” When you have it with you.”

Out of the clear blue today, one of my daughters sent me a “Father’s Day-like” note (though it is the end of September). It surprised me and put a gulp in my throat. It was so encouraging to me and thoughtful of her.

How many people today can you encourage with just a short little text, or e-mail, or quick phone call? How about we start with the goal of just being nice to one person—that’s it, just one person in the next 24 hours?

What is one thing you appreciate about them?
What character quality does someone possess that has motivated you?
Who is one person you have always wanted to thank, but haven’t yet?
or maybe you might be prompted to give away something to someone that you know you just should.

Just one nice gesture to one person in this next 24 hours—how about it?

How cool –actually renewing your mind

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Neuroscience teaches us that we form thought patterns in our brains and tend to interpret new things in line with those thought patterns.
Imagine a bowl holding one scoop of ice cream. If we were to pour some hot water over the ice cream. it would form little channels or rivulets down the ice cream. Think of those as the thought patterns and ways of thinking in our minds.

When we then get new ideas or information it is like pouring additional water on the top of the ice cream. Some of the water is naturally going to flow into the channels already formed. But some of the water will also form newer channels,or perhaps deepen the channels already there. ……..

Our brains work the same way, Our tendency is to put everything into ways of thinking that already exist in our minds. In our day-by-day walk in life we tend to view the world from the perspective of our previous existence. Yet as we grow, we form new pathways and deepen earlier channels as we come across greater experiences in life. As the world gets larger and knowledge expands, our knowledge of God must grow as well.
(excerpt taken from Mark Lanier’s – Christianity on Trial)

Maybe then this understanding of the brain sheds light on God’s wisdom and working in our life as we get saved and why Bible reading becomes so important. Getting to know what the Bible actually says allows us to form new pathways or mental channels in our mind to filter and guide the decisions we have in life.

Romans 12:2 (nasb) And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

“Simplify” book review-Bill Hybels

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I know of a couple that has made it a practice to do an annual review of all the stuff they have in their possession. If they haven’t used it during the year, they will get rid of it. I love the annual review idea.
Well, here’s another annual review suggestion—read this book.

“Simplify–ten practices to unclutter your soul” covers the everyday issues of life, such as reviewing your work, your relationships, your fears, etc.

The book is loaded with illustrations from Bill Hybels’ life which clarify so well his practical teachings. His use of Scriptures to give a foundation to his teaching is also so solid.

Do yourself a favor and those loved ones in your life who depend on you and read this book (annually) and apply it.