Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Love the contercultural asthetic of this!

Here’s Garret Stillpower:The inner source of Athletic Excellence. The book distilled into four simple points courtesy  of Daniel Pink's blog. My comments in Red. lol

1. They look to the state of mind of the athlete or individual in question, not his or her behavior.
Poor performances or behaviors are the result of an individual’s low mindset. Nothing more, nothing less. Rather than holding players or employees accountable to their actions (judging behavior), the best leaders hold them—and themselves—accountable to recognizing the thoughts and feelings that accompany high states of mind, and only acting from this mental state. This type of coach distrusts his own thoughts from low moods and encourages his players to do the same. This I know and isn't that ground breaking but good to stay cognizant.

2. They understand that the spoken word is far less important than the level of psychological functioning from which the word is spoken.
Here’s a simple reminder. Words are merely an echo of a feeling. A coach might say to a player, “I was really proud of your effort tonight.” But if there is no feeling or passion behind the words, they might actually have a negative impact. Successful coaches take notice of their own level of functioning moment to moment. They know that positive words only originate from positive states of mind. Again this reflects what I know from experience but is so clearly articulated!

3. They keep goal setting in perspective.
Successful coaches know that the more athletes focus on the ‘prize,” the more they thwart their own awareness, shrink their perceptual field, and limit the imaginative possibilities. These coaches understand that achieving goals does not elevate self-worth or happiness. Instead, they relish the journey—the relationships and experiences—as the path toward creating exactly what they want becomes clear. "Achieving goals does not elevate self-worth or happiness"... Working towards something, whether achieved or not, focuses the mind but may be flexible and change over time.

4. When in doubt- (hug it out!) they turn to love.
Great coaches set guidelines and expectations based on one overriding principle: love for their players. They know, above all else, that love will always provide the answers to helping others—and to success. A little less mushy- stay focused on positive intention.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Confusius Says: Writing with a light tone will hold the readers atttention

Very fun and interesting read. While the book is sweetened  by the history of a cookie and other "Chinese" treats we know only too well in North America (-because they don't actually exist outside of the America-Chinese cuisine), the real substance of the book examines the immigrant history and experience through the context of explaining menu items. 

 While this book is written from an American perspective, there is an interesting call out to Vancouver and I easily transposed many of the historical observations and implications to the Chinese immigrant experience to Canada. Recommend for a light but insightfully fun read.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Inward to the Bone: Georgia O'Keefes Journey with Emily Carr

"Black on canvas, I dreamed in colour"

"Last night I dreamed the blood
ran in my vein like skeins of thread
each thread a different, shimmering colour
as my heart beat scarlet
chartreuse, cerulean blue."

"If I were a singer, I would sing in an ocean choir
where the scene overhead hums fog,
the cry of gulls, eagle mew.

Here is a baseline beat of breakers, melody of waves.

runnning glissando to my feet
Deadheads float like dark notes
scribed on green ledger lines of sea.
Pebbles in the sand whisper grace notes, ready
and Emily's world is a hushed
as the moment when the conductor raises her arm
and motions us all to begin."

Heat and silence and space are the drugs I use
to travel closer
to the heart of things."