BrainSparks Blog

Mastering the mind for optimal performance

Personal achievement through positive thinking

In my post “The power of the sub-conscious-fact or fiction” I mentioned how our “sub-conscious” attempts to ensure that our thoughts and actions are congruent with our self concept, and how positive affirmations are believed to “reprogramme” the sub-conscious. Claude Steele’s “Self-Affirmation Theory” has been very influential in promoting the idea of positive thinking. Knowingly […]

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The power of the subconscious – fact or fiction

What role does the subconscious mind play in goal driven behaviour? SImply Google “subconscious” and you’ll find a host of self help sources promising to unleash the power of the subconscious, or as Anthony Robbins puts it “Awaken the Giant Within”. “Alternative” theories of the role of the subconscious in goal achievement abound. Wikipedia is […]

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Holiday happiness

It seems to be human nature to compare everything. I see my two daughters doing it every day; “but she has more sweeties dad!”. Heaven help me if I don’t ensure that both girls have exactly the same size piece of cake. Adults are not immune and past studies of happiness have shown, rather cynically, we’re happiest when we’re doing better than our peers.

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Are you rational?

I’ve just read one of Seth Godin’s recent posts (you can find it here – http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_blog/2010/04/are-you-rational.html). His view is summed up in the last line of his post; “There’s room for both rational and irrational decision making, and I think we do best when we choose our path in advance instead of pretending to do […]

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Confucius says…

How many of us wonder what it must be like to be the guy who has the world’s best job? Usually, said person has found a way to earn a living doing something they love. And how many of us then think “lucky guy but that’s not going to happen to me”.

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The Dave Rastovich connection

I owe a lot to Dave Rastovich. I have never met Dave and he’s never met me. In fact most of what I know about Dave comes from the one surfing DVD I own. And to be precise it was Dave’s Dad who inspired an idea – an idea that in part led to this blog.

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Perceived exertion and lactate threshold

Picture this, you’ve been riding for three hours and you’re tired, you can feel the burn creeping into your legs, a sure sign that your body is producing more lactate than it can metabolise. You know that if you carry on at this pace you’re not going to make it. And you begin to wonder, how on earth to the professionals do it? Is their perception of fatigue the same as yours or are they immune to feeling the burn.

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Real or perceived fatigue during the Cape Argus Cycle Tour

I just completed my very first Cape Argus Cycle Tour, with a wind resisted time of 5 hours and 17 minutes. For the most part I felt really strong during the race, but there were times when all I could think of was “when will this end”. I have to wonder at what point my brain was correct when it told my legs, “hey slow down”. It is incredibly difficult to know how far to push yourself. Athletes who have down years of endurance training seem to develop an accurate sense of how far they can go.

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Memory, perceptions and positive thinking

… our memories guide what we expect to see, what we expect to see guides what we pay attention to, and what we pay attention to determines what goes into our working memory, and we retain most those things that have meaning or we understand best (that which is already in our memory banks). In this post I’d like to explore the relationship between memory, perception and positive thinking.

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