Got a really, really cool reader letter sharing this video -
I was initially introduced to your blog by Jason (Shen) and have become a regular reader since then. I'm pretty obsessive so I've gone back and read all the previous posts and saved the excerpts I like and/or could learn from.
I found "Positive Sum Games Don’t Require Natural Talent" to be one of the most insightful ones and while watching the climbing movie Progression (inspiration) today I saw a clip that really resonated with me and was in line with that idea. I thought you may like it.
I personally don't care much for being the champion and prefer to do things for their intrinsic value but overall I love the dedication. Being best in the world at 1 particular thing is obviously greatly aided by talent but the principle still applies:
My training is very scientific
It's important to take every aspect seriously
Everything is scheduled according to a plan
It's very important to never deviate from the plan
Even when every muscle and every joint are burning
I must continue training
It's a sacrifice but it's the only way to be the best
When I'm preparing for competitions, I train 7 days a week
Each day, I do at least 2500 moves to build endurance.
Sometimes I put up to 20 pounds in the weight vest
If I want results I must increase the intensity
The other climbers are really talented
So they don't need to train as hard as I do
But I have to work fucking hard
I haven't had a rest day in 3 months
My talent is being a masochist
The training totally breaks your body and your mind
But it's worth it to be champion
Wow, I really appreciate that. That climber is my new hero, I want to read/watch more about him.
Thanks, Can. Can Sar's site is http://www.cansar.com/ - I like it, it's a bunch of short snappy useful insights. Thanks for the great letter and cluing me into that video, excellent stuff. Also a big thanks to Jason Shen - I'm always grateful when I get to connect with cool people.
Okay, much gratitude and celebrating all around. Watch the clip if you haven't - it's two minutes long, the guy is tough as nails, and I'd almost guarantee you'll be inspired after watching it.
I wonder how he would do if he didn't have the immediate goal / pressure of winning the competition. Probably a very naturally driven person, but he mentions it multiple times. It seems most extremely driven people have very concrete goals.
Of course, you can use that insight two ways: "I would do that if only I had a target." or "I can do that, but first I should pick a target."
Jason Shen graciously contributed a new guestpost to the site -- his have always been popular here. He's running an online class on "The Science of Willpower, Habits, And Behavior Change" in January. Here's Jason --
Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy is one of my favorite films and the best comic book to film translation ever done. Nolan's take on Batman is gritty, heroic, fresh, and even somewhat plausible. One of my favorite scenes from the first film, Batman Begins, is when he is being trained by Ra's al Ghul on the art of ninjutsu. The key conversation I want to point out here:
George St. Pierre pummeling your untrained face
My cousins, who are mostly younger girls, and I just finished watching season 18 of The Ultimate Fighter together. My brother is a big UFC fan and bought the pay-per-view fight last Christmas between, amongst other people, Ronda Rousey and Meisha Tate. That fight hooked all of us.
A lot of the show is real-world style nonsense that we'd sometimes talk over or fast forward through, but it had a lot of great fights and some insight into Ronda Rousey, who is really a remarkable individual. Her mother was a judo champion, she was a judo champion, and now she's the best female fighter in her class. Besides all that, she has incredible discipline and attitude.
My favorite quote from her was when someone, a favorite to win, was slacking off a bit. She told them that they weren't training to win this fight or even to be the best; they were training to be the best on their worst day.
Wow. Training to be the best on your worst day. A lot about this idea appeals to me. I like hardcore mindsets and the pursuit of excellence, and I'm a strong believer in the idea that your true measure is your performance on bad days.