I love what Brian Johnson shares with this email and opted to share his content verbatim…
“One thing that separates Michael from other swimmers, Bob (Michael’s Coach) likes to say, if they don’t feel good, they don’t swim good. That’s not the way it is for Michael. Michael, he says, performs no matter what he’s feeling. He has practiced it for a long time. He knows exactly what he wants to get done, and he’s able to compartmentalize what’s important.”
“Bob, with his seemingly endless collection of sayings, naturally has an acronym to describe the mental aspect to my racing. It’s “W.I.N.”: What’s Important Now?
It’s true. When it comes down to it, when the time comes to focus and be mentally prepared, I can do whatever it takes to get there, in any situation.”
—Michael Phelps & Alan Abrahamson from No Limits
The question to ask: What’s important now?
NOT: What do I feel (insert whiny voice) like doing?
We come back to this again and again and I love the fact we now have a W.I.N.ning acronym.
David Reynold’s (see Notes on Constructive Living) tells us that any given moment calls for one simple question: Now what needs to be done?
Here’s how Eric Greitens puts it in Resilience (see Notes): “I told you that I was less interested in how you feel and more interested in who you want to be... I asked you to write down those same three words in the opposite direction. It’s the direction that holds the most promise for your life:
You begin by asking, ‘Who am I going to be?’ You decided to be courageous again.
So what’s next? Act that way. Act with courage. And here comes the part that’s so simple it’s easy to miss: the way you act will shape the way you feel. You act with courage and immediately your fears start to shrink and you begin to grow.
If you want to feel differently, act differently.
This ain’t complicated, my friend. But it’s amazing how many people get it so wrong for so long.”
Remember: IDENTITY —> ACTIONS —> FEELINGS. (Not Feelings —> Action —> Identity.)
And, finally, Michael Beckwith (see Notes on Spiritual Liberation) tells us: “The gift of self- discipline is that it has the power to take you beyond the reasoning of temporary emotion to freedom. Think of how empowered you’ve felt on occasions when you haven’t given in to the ‘I don’t feel like it’ syndrome and honored your commitment to yourself. What does not feeling like it have to do with it? The combination of love for something with the willingness to do what it takes to practice it—discipline—results in freedom.”
Genius: What does feeling like it have to do with anything?
Decide what’s important now. And do it.
(Here’s the Micro Class!)
I really hope you’ll check Brian Johnson out. He’s amazing.