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