Thinking Body, Dancing Mind

The Lessons You Need To Celebrate Being Alive

Thinking Body, Dancing Mind

TaoSports for Extraordinary Performance in Athletics, Business, and Life is the one sport that if you were to become a professional in, you should pick. Although, I would add or change the word extraordinary because the lessons taught and experiences shared in this book are the ordinary techniques that are used by the extraordinary. The way I am going to regurgitate this book to you is by first sharing everything that I actually wrote down while I was reading it. These items are the most important parts of the book that sparked the brightest ideas and concepts in my brain. Then I am going to list the chapters in the book to let you know of all the different lessons that you can learn and improve on. The reason for this process is that the book can be picked up and started from anywhere you choose: the beginning, the end, or a random page. My advice for you is not to go and purchase the book, but to go and flip it open to a chapter that you think you want to improve in your life, read it and see if you want to read the other chapters. Lastly, I will share some of my favorite affirmations that were shared in the book that hopefully you can use.

Garth’s Dancing Mind

Why fight your way to the top, when you can rise to it?  There is no such thing as a victory in an uphill battle; there is only a plateau and it’s never at the top.

Having a winning attitude is a defiance to the expectation of feeling the thrill of victory and agony of defeat.  Both of which are detrimental to any possibility of being successful in the future. To have a winning attitude is to break down the process to moments.  Thinking and feeling that you have won each moment. Success is relative to the quality of the process. There is more than one finish line in a 5k race, there are actually 6,200 finish lines. Every step is a victory and should be viewed as one.

What Not To Be –

  • Struggling for external recognition
  • Measuring self-worth on outcomes
  • Focusing on perfection
  • Establishing unrealistic expectations
  • Blaming others
  • Condemning yourself for mistakes and failure

“You don’t dance to get to the other side of the floor” – Alan Watts

There are three visualization processes that I have taken from the book (which probably has 30+ in it). The first is a visualization of your sanctuary that you can retreat to based off a trigger (mines putting my index finger and thumb together to create a circle). You get to create your own place of ritual and relaxation. My place was based off a picture of a monk sweeping in front of his hut that was cuddling the base of a mountain, the monk is my guide, as you will read more about when you open the book. The second visualization process was to imagine a steady beam of sunlight coming down on top of you, entering your head and circulating it’s power throughout your body, delivering energy, healing powers and enlightenment.

The third visualization example was actually the first in the book which goes like this:

“For example, close your eyes right now and imagine a juicy, sour lemon. In your mind, cut a big wedge from the lemon and place it in your mouth. Bite down, and let the sour juices permeate your entire mouth. Did you find yourself puckering or salivating?”

It simply goes to show how powerful visualization can be. With consistent practice, you can have the same trigger affect to visualizing winning a race, visualizing closing a deal or whatever will help you succeed.

While visualizations are confirmations for your mind, affirmations are confirmations to your heart. “Affirmations are not self deception, they’re self direction.” At the bottom of this post, I will list my absolute favorite affirmations from the book. It is loaded with them! You can also create a list of perfect affirmations for yourself by turning your favorite quotes into affirmations.

  • At every moment remember: Be positive, Be present, Be concise, Be rhythmic.
  • Adaptation is the hallmark of champions.
  • Remember to pace yourself. Progress is two steps forward, one step backward.
  • To trump fatigue, you can either focus on one aspect of the process or at the end result, ignore all else and let the fatigue bypass you.
  • Concentrate on what you have control over.
  • What you believe you become.
  • Handling a negative event in  a positive way is an experience that can become a touchstone for future encounters.
  • Fear: is a natural part of life. It can either paralyze you or give you an opportunity to assess the risk your facing and prepare for it properly. Fear can also make you respect your comfort zone.
  • When in a slump, go with the flow because you will slingshot back.

5 Stages of Injury:  – Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, Acceptance. (When you read this section under the chapter titled Injuries, you will agree at first, but then you will disagree because when you finally realize the process you take, you are able to shorten and change it.)

Challenge: Find the book at the bookstore and read the beginning of the chapter on page 76. (Half a page) By far the most “Woa” moment in the entire book.

One of the most important excerpts I took from the book is that you, me, we – are never as great as our greatest victory or as bad as our worst defeat. We are above it all, we are apart from it because we have a winning attitude.

Reevaluate life while in downtime. Just because your body may be down, does not mean you can allow your mind to go down with it. You need to focus on what made you lose balance, what you are going to do to achieve balance again and what you will do to prevent from ever entering downtime again. Oh, and remember, laughter is by far the best medicine to get out of downtime, I suggest George Carlin.

Committed to truth no consistency – Buddha

“According to Mark, when you become totally engrossed in your sport, you over-analyze everything.” Contributing to the saying that analysis is paralysis. Ironically, I had just written a blog post about this called The One Quality You Need To Be A Successful Expert

I will top of my Dancing Mind with something I loved most about TBDM. At the beginning of each section, and sometimes within, a chapter of the Tao Te Ching is shared. The characters associated with it were so aesthetic that it made me want to study them. The reason being that the greatness of them is that they are meant to make you visualize and feel their meaning when you meditate on them. The Tao Te Ching inserts reminded me of a post I wrote a long time ago on a particular chapter:An Accord With Greatness

Tao Te Ching no.1

Thus, without expectation,

One will always perceive the subtlety.

And, with expectation,

One will always perceive the boundary.

TMDB Chapters – If you think a topic is appealing, pick up the book and just read the chapter

Visualizations, Affirmations, Beliefs, Positive Thinking, Relaxation, Vision, Focusing, Centering, Intuition, Reflection, Fear, Fear of Failure, Fear of Success, Slumps, Fatigue, Injuries, Expectations, Self-Criticism, Perfectionism, Confidence, Assertiveness, Courageousness, Detachment, Egolessness, Selflessness, Conscientiousness, Competition, Winning, Psychological Tactics, Motivation, Goal Setting, Self-Improvement, Synergy, Leadership, Integrity, Adaptation, Persistence, Balance, Simplicity.


Fixed minds detract from potential. Flexible minds are the essential.

My performance is a perfect mirror of my image of self.

To be in sync, use instinct.

The voice of fear is healthy to hear.

There is plenty of success for all of us.

What I resist will persist.

I don’t dominate – I demonstrate.

I risk temporary loss for the chance for permanent improvement.

When I’m detached, my play can’t be matched.

Helping others find their way gives me the chance for better play.

There is no home court advantage unless I give it to them.

If I persist each day, I’ll eventually get my way.

Stay Positive & One With The Tao

Garth E. Beyer

A Happy Life Written In Stone (The Path You Walk On)

After reading a post on Positvely Positive:  6 Tips For Designing Your Own Happiness Commandments  I had to create my own 12 commandments (now of course, you will too). While reading the article I thought of 5 of them and made it a mission to think of what thoughts, actions or feelings truly mattered to me and that I take to heart to finish the goal of writing 12. After reading mine, I encourage you to write your own. (You’ve probably thought of a few already and it’s perfectly okay to use any of mine!) To help you figure out the laws you want to govern your life, here are 50 questions that will free your mind of any uncertainty about your life’s direction. The answers may help you discover a few commandments you believe in with all of your power.

Garth’s 12 Commandments

1. Stay Positive.

It was hard competition to decide which to list first and which to list second. I end every post with a reminder to Stay Positive but I also have a tattoo that holds the saying of my second commandment in it. I chose to have “Stay Positive” first because it is a mental state. The beginning of all the paths we will ever walk. I think, therefore I am. I think therefore I blog. Staying positive is a mental battle, a constant one, and if always winning…well, there is just no greater life than that. Our thoughts create our lives and if we can manage to stay positive even 70% of the time, we will have a life worth lived.

2. If you don’t try, you fail.

Thoughts first, actions second. As mentioned, I have this tattooed on my body and I take tattoo’s quite seriously. The fact I designed my own enforces my need for originality. I have loved this quote ever since the first time I heard it in a song by the band Silverstein and I have lived it ever since I realized that everything in life is a choice. You can choose risk or safety. You can choose to try something new or stick with the old. I feel this quote breaks the security of habit. (Habit:  A conveyor belt in reverse. You think your going somewhere, but you’re only going backward.) There can be no failure as long as you try new things, try old things again, try what you know you may not succeed at (you’ll surprise yourself), try the impossible –  just try. They say showing up is 50% of success in life and you have done that, you are here, you are alive. The other 50% is trying.

3. All you need is good shoes, good bed, good food.

My NaNa (1911 – 2007) engrained this into my brain since I was old enough to know that I got my Irish traits from her. When I look back at my life since knowing this, I realized that the times I was most unhappy (and showed it) was during times that my situation was breaking what I needed (good shoes, good bed, good food). Wearing uncomfortable, non-fitting, wet, worn out, and no-cushion shoes can be the most problematic. We walk in them day after day and if our shoes are bad, well, each negative impact on the ground you make also reverberates in your life. Also, I don’t know about you but I have slept on stone, wood, dirt and rocks and I have slept in a comfy bed. I know the difference in each day depending on whether one sleeps on a good bed or a bad one. If you don’t have a good bed then you wont have a good sleep and if you don’t have a good sleep you wont have a good day and days are what our lives are made of. Lastly, there is the idea that you need good food. If we label countries as 3rd world countries if there are people living starving, impoverished and malnourished lives then by not having good food we are living in 3rd world bodies. There is a saying that you can’t love anyone else until you learn to love yourself, well I’ve altered it: You can’t do anything meaningful until you have good food yourself. All efforts that we make for others requires energy and that comes primarily from the food we eat. Good food, good energy.

4. Forget the past but remember what it taught you. If you can’t remember, don’t try to.

The most leviathan sized problem in the world is that we hold on to the past. Yes we need the past so that we can remember the life lessons we have learned, but we don’t need to remember how we learned them. Imagine if we let go of all the past mistakes, of wrong decisions and regrettable actions. Forgetting the past is like breaking the dam in your brain that is holding back all of your potential and energy to move forward, to create, to make more positive change. All that will remain from the dam is pieces, the lessons the past taught you. Also, you may or may not have experienced this, but at times people try to remember a memory and then wish they hadn’t because it was attached to something negative. To prevent this from ever happening, if you can’t remember something, move on.

5. Be Human.

After discussing the art and skill of public speaking with a friend, we lead ourselves to the epiphany that the greatest speakers are human. “Well of course their human. Humans are the only ones who can really speak.” That may be true but the point of this reminder is that no one can be flawless in everything they do and no one should want to. Great public speakers become great because they connect with us, their audience. How do they connect? By being human. Unfortunately people try to be robots, flawless, perfect and everything in gear but we know this world isn’t ready for that. Take pride in being human. Be nervous, mess up, make mistakes, try new things, make an impact on other people, do whats right because that is who everyone can connect with.

6. Perfect practice makes perfect.

It really does.

7. If your going to do something, do it right. Then do extra.

The most difficult action to take when you have a task you don’t want to do is not to “just do it”, but to do it right. Again, I added on to the statement because if you want to be even an inch of successful then you need to do more than is called on you, more than what is asked and you have to do it right. There is no space for the mediocre, the average, the “good enough” in the top 10%. Look at it like this, if we destroyed all the work that was half-assed in the world we would have little left. But the little we would have would be more than enough, not only because it was done right, but because more was done than was asked.

8. Take time, make time, while time lasts. All time is no time if time is past.

If “YOLO” and “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but the moments that take our breath away” were morphed together and had a baby with Father time, this is the quote you would get.

9. Overcome fear without hesitation.

Conquering a fear is a story worth being told. However, it does more good for the listener than the one who conquered the fear. In a story, you can skip the part where you were filled with anxiety, where you were stressed and hesitant and the part where you nearly backed out of the challenge. But it all happened and it can make conquering fears exhausting and lessen the chances of fears being conquered in the future. From now on, do it without hesitation. You have 90 seconds from the beginning of the idea before it reaches the section of your brain that makes you question it, that reveals your fear of it. 90 seconds. That’s your time frame, anything over, you might as well not waste your energy considering it.

10. You can never be overdressed or over educated.

Don’t you hate it when you are going to a meeting, job interview or dinner and you aren’t sure of the dress code? You can settle for business casual, but maybe you need to dress up for business, just in case. Unless your told face to face from the boss or coordinator of the meeting, you will never feel 100% sure on if what you are wearing will be acceptable. I actually don’t remember the last time I have had that feeling because I overdress for everything. This quote is from Oscar Wilde and why he combined the two, we may never know but I can understand why he chose each of them. You can never ask too many questions, there is always room for improvement. Thus, you can never be over educated. If anything, most promotions in work and life are based off of your appearance (dress + attitude) and your knowledge base.

11. You learn nothing by doing nothing. You learn everything by acting on impulse and wishing you hadn’t.

I created this saying by accident after talking with a friend about sports. We were saying how lame life can be without sports because in them it’s all about acting on impulse and in life you have to be cautious. This is ultimately the basis and reason I had number 4 in the commandments. Humans at our core are led by our intuition and able to make split decisions. It is how we learned to survive and if we make positive impulses we can really thrive in the benefits.

12. A small axe can take down a big tree if there is enough motivation, positivity, and lemonade.

Really, anything can be done with the smallest of resources or even the lack of them. If we have a burning passion and a spirit of motivation, we will find a way. If we remain positive, the way will meet us half way. All the while, it’s nice to have a glass of lemonade. In other words, you can go after anything you want with as little as you have as long as you enjoy the little things, the small successes, the tiny moments of surreal happiness. We are meant to achieve the impossible in life but there would be no point if we couldn’t enjoy ourselves in the process. It’s okay to have some lemonade from time to time.

By writing your own commandments, you are showing that if all else fails around you, you know that you’re still on a solid path.

What ones popped in your mind? Share them now, get accountable and come back with more.

Stay Positive & Write Them On Stone, Prove Them In Life

Garth E. Beyer