...is that theoretical convincingness doesn't mean it actually works.
I was reading The Inner Game of Tennis by Timothy Gallwey. It's a classic for good reason. There's many brilliant ideas and insights in the book, directly applicable to living a better life.
And he speaks from a place of totality about how relaxation and nonjudgmental behavior towards yourself produces better outcomes.
It's thoroughly convincing. But then I realized, wait, that's not necessarily empirically true.
Specifically, another book on tennis came to mind -- Open: An Autobiography, by former world #1 Andre Agassi.
Agassi's training methods under his father and under his own judgment were the polar opposite of Gallwey's recommendations. Now, Gallwey is smart. The Inner Game is a classic for a reason. And it probably leads to happiness. The trouble is, his arguments will have you nodding in near universal agreement, despite having many potential exceptions and caveats. Convincing arguments can be troubling like that.
One idea is to take pretty much every assertion you read and think to yourself "now what if the opposite were true?" I think I've trained my brain to have a background process that does something like that, though it didn't flag the "totally nonjudgemental" assertion, so maybe it's not that good.
From Sebastian: I was really honored and thrilled when Jason Shen offered to write a guest post here at SebastianMarshall.com - he's an incredibly bright guy with broad knowledge and skillset, writes well and clearly, and is an all-around good guy. So I'm really excited to be able to bring you a guest post by him - I imagine you'll want to read more by him afterwards, and you can reach him at his website - www.jasonshen.com.
Here's Jason -
I read Sebastian's blog because I'm interested in winning and he writes honest, insightful and sometimes provocative stuff about victory. Recently, I've been thinking about ways to win that are less commonly employed - one, because it's interesting and two, because I think there is a lot we can learn from unorthodox methods that work.
That's what this blog post is about: strategies that are nontraditional, that are beyond "do your best and learn from your mistakes" type advice, yet are undeniably ways that help you win.You might find them strange, but that's ok because winning isn't normal.
Some people find the pursuit of winning distasteful or even silly. Others get juiced by the idea of winning, of kicking ass and taking names, of being the best. I have a feeling that many of you SebatianMarshall.com readers fall into the second category. This post is for you.
Good afternoon, gentle readers. I'm an atheist. I've been an atheist off and on (more about that later) for most of my life. For 45 years at least. And yet lately I find myself asking, what does it mean to be an atheist? That is what the XXploring blog sets out to consider.
This blog got its start last Sunday, though it took me a few days to figure out that a blog was the thing I needed to do. Sundays, you see, I sit in on a Philosophy for Atheists class run by Dan Fincke. I highly recommend his philosophy classes by the way, and you don't need to be an atheist to attend one!
The topic of last Sunday's class was "the problem of evil". I'm not sure what I was expecting -- maybe something rather like Terry Eagleton's book On Evil.