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Life & Philosophy Sports

An Olympian’s guide to managing stress

When you aim for the donut hole, you’ll certainly miss it. The obsession with victory backfires. Says Olympic biathlete Clare Egan on hitting the last of five targets:

“‘If I hit this, I’ll win the gold medal’ — as soon as you have that thought, you’re definitely going to miss it. That extra push or desire to win is not only not helpful, it’s counterproductive. You have to eliminate that from your mind and focus on the task.”



When you compete against others, you also impede your ability to get the job done. Says Egan:

“I think such a big part of this is focusing on what you are doing. You have to let go of how everyone else is doing, and focus on your own work.”

The lizard brain wants you to compete out of fear. The monkey mind wants to you to assay your inner monologue. Ambition trips you up.

The mental game is just as important as the physical one. Focusing on process rather than pursuit may give you a better chance at achieving victory.

Read How to Manage Stress Like an Olympic Biathlete

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Creativity Productivity & Work Psychology Sports

How to build up and sustain intrinsic motivation

usain bolt animation

The thing about cliches is that sometimes they’re true. Take this one for instance: “Comparison is the thief of joy.” Competition is the quickest way to demotivate yourself.

You may enjoy excelling, but you will realize the game is really within yourself to achieve greater personal growth. According to career analyst Dan Pink, there are two types of motivation: extrinsic and intrinsic.

Extrinsic motivation is rewards-based where things like fame or money drive your effort. Intrinsic motivation seeks a deeper purpose – it drives people to do what matters to them than what impacts the bottom line. Naturally, people that are intrinsically motivated play the long-game.

Purpose is what gets you out of bed in the morning and into work without groaning and grumbling — something that you just can’t fake.

A Gallup study shows making $75k a year does not make people happier; in fact, they are more likely to fall into the trap of jealousy and bitter competition. Dissatisfied people always want what they don’t have.

They say that having a backup plan can demotivate you as well. As Mark Manson wrote, “Action isn’t just the effect of motivation, but also the cause of it.” The doing mindset creates momentum. If you want to be consistent you have to “put your ass where your heart needs to be,” says author Steven Pressfield.

When it comes to motivation, consider focusing on why what you do matters rather than quitting just because someone else does it better. A ‘trying’ attitude put Jamaican Bobsleigh into the 1988 Winter Olympics–“being there” was like winning a gold medal.

When trying to stay motivated, try to keep perspective by practicing “objective optimism”:

“don’t replace “She’s better than me” with “I’m the best,” but, with something quantifiable, like “This presentation I made really looks great.””

The only way to hack motivation and avoid burn out is to enjoy what you do with purpose even if progress is slow. A thousand drips can fill a bucket.

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Uncategorized

Twitter Faces “Competitors” For The First Time

For the first time ever it Twitter faces competition.  App.net is now fully funded and Branch is live, as of Tuesday.  

(Note that Branch has partnered with Obvious, the makers of Medium which is headed by Evan Williams, former CEO of Twitter.)

Twitter originated and still owns the micro-blogging medium.  There really hasn’t been any legitimate challengers to date.  

Taking on Twitter is a monumental challenge, tantamount to taking on Facebook.  It even has a leg up on Facebook.  It’s already earning more money per month from mobile advertising versus desktop.  Twitter is also make strides to become a media company.  

Twitter is the Internet’s chatterbox and it appears untouchable, not to mention that Jack Dorsey (Twitter’s architect) is back serving as Chairman.  Yeah, the same guy who runs Square [insert genius here].  

But Twitter’s huge advantage is having introduced and shown people how to best utilize the mobile Internet.  It trained users to think and converse publicly rather than privately which set it up for the masses. 

Despite the criticism it takes over the leniency on China’s firewall, the fiasco over the closing of the Guy Adams’s account in the Olympics, and the occasional fail whale, Twitter is here to stay.  As I wrote in March, “Twitter is Indispensable.”

Can’t live with it, can’t live without it.

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courtenaybird: Did Twitter just predict Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney’s running mate? Update: Twitter was right. It’s a Romney-Ryan ticket. We hinted that we’d been tracking Republican VP Candidates with the screenshot accompanying the announcement of our new dashboard earlier this week. As you can clearly see from the updated dashboard below, Ryan started to pull away from the potential VP pack three days ago in terms of unique reach on Twitter. Of the pool of likely candidates, Ryan’s seen the greatest increase in reach over the past month, gaining a 65% increase in reach in the past 30 days. In addition, he’s seen the largest gains in both the number of total tweets and unique people talking about him recently.  (via TweetReach Blog) As I learned at SXSW this year, if you aggregate the wins in p-2-p matchups for consoles (e.g. FIFA & Madden) those scores are predictive of the winner in real life. The average margin of victory is also accurate. Wisdom of the crowds is the future of gambling.
courtenaybird: Did Twitter just predict Paul Ryan as Mitt Romney’s running mate? Update: Twitter was right. It’s a Romney-Ryan ticket. We hinted that we’d been tracking Republican VP Candidates with the screenshot accompanying the announcement of our new dashboard earlier this week. As you can clearly see from the updated dashboard below, Ryan started to pull away from the potential VP pack three days ago in terms of unique reach on Twitter. Of the pool of likely candidates, Ryan’s seen the greatest increase in reach over the past month, gaining a 65% increase in reach in the past 30 days. In addition, he’s seen the largest gains in both the number of total tweets and unique people talking about him recently.  (via TweetReach Blog) As I learned at SXSW this year, if you aggregate the wins in p-2-p matchups for consoles (e.g. FIFA & Madden) those scores are predictive of the winner in real life. The average margin of victory is also accurate. Wisdom of the crowds is the future of gambling.

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Kenya Launches Bid To Be First African Olympic Host In 2024

If Cape Town didn’t get it in 2004, I’m highly suspect that Kenya will get selected, even if the event is 14 years away.   

But the bid demonstrates Africa’s new spirt and audacity.  While everyone is talking about the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China), we’re about to see a new Africa emerge that is far more transcendent.  

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The Napkin Strategy

The Napkin Strategy is a deliberate attempt by a restaurant to make you eat in order get access to napkins. 

This dawned on me last week after I searched hopelessly for napkins after ordering a sandwich and came up short.  There weren’t any napkins publicly available so I had to ask the lady behind the ordering counter for a few.  Shouldn’t she have put these in the bag?  

It reminded me of the way NBC is starving us this Olympics with curated primetime content.  It’s the Napkin Strategy in full effect; you have to endure NBC’s paid ads and stick around to 10PM to watch the highlights although they’re already available and free elsewhere (the Internet).  

The Napkin Strategy intends to monetize customers by stripping them of their right to access.  It’s a subtle strategy for stuff companies know we can’t live without like food and entertainment.  Friction at its best.     

Love to.  But not with purchase.