There seems to be a lot of talk these days about mindfulness which is hardly surprising with the Olympic Games in progress. In fact you can hardly go anywhere without hearing the term but in fct it is not new.
Lou Tice (1935 - 2012)
Lou Tice was probably better known in the USA rather than in the UK but I did attend his Investment in Excellence course, here in Yorkshire, a number of years ago. I have never attended a mindfulness course but judging from what I have heard there a number of similarities.
Tice's thinking was very much based upon our internal thought processes, habits and attitudes towards ourselves, in relation to our performance as human beings in various aspects of our lives.
In some respects, it perhaps is an oversimplification, thinking positive will aid success. The 'trick' is finding ways of getting subjects to believe that changing thinking can bring about success.
I have a real example of the opposite happening.
One of my children was due to take her Maths GCSE a few years ago and repeatedly said that she would fail. As hard as I tried to get her to be more positive and have more self-belief she continued on a negative tack. She failed! No surprise there then and she had to re-take which she passed well. It was as if she had to fail before her mind would recognise that she had a need to get the qualification and enable her to be successful.
One of Tice's sayings was that if you are in an argument with someone and you have no self-worth you've already lost the argument 2 - 0. It is quite logical if you think about it.
So what has this to do with the Olympics or even writing?
In fact I believe that it affects all aspects of life. Even Robert Burns recognised it in his spider story from history. The bit missing from that story is that if the spider had believed in success it wouldn't have had to try so many times. We see examples of positive thinking in many of the events taking place at present. Listening to the comments of winners about positive thinking and the levels of emotion invested are palpable, and evidence of the intensely personal nature of performing. So as Tice suggested, if you are not utterly convinced in your ability to win, then you are not just running against the others in your race, your running against yourself. You've lost!
As an activity writing is somewhat different from cycling in the velodrome or running the 100 metres but it is a very personal activity and we who write invest considerable emotion in our words. This is why I say don't aspire to write - WRITE!