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15 - Overachievement

15 - Overachievement

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Published by karyoyau

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Published by: karyoyau on Feb 26, 2011
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Ovrachivmn © Copyrigh Philoophr’No pag 1
The New Model for Exceptional Performance
by John Eliot, Ph.D.
Portfolio Hardcover © 2004288 pages
The Big Ideas
The Trusting Mindset
vs. the training mindset.
Eat Stress
Like an energy bar.
Bill Russell & Barfng
Butteries are good.
Pressure & Anxiety 
Know the difference.
Ultimate Knowing
Absolute confdence.
Positive Thinking
vs. positive action.
Super Pilot
Beats autopilot.
Let It Happen
Just let it rip!
Nuts & Geniuses
Often one before the other.
Incredible Dreams
& being unrealistic.
The Big Ideas
is aimed at people who want to maximize their potential. And to do that,I insist you throw caution at the wind, ignore the pleas o parents, coaches, spouses, andbosses to be “realistic.” Realistic people do not accomplish extraordinary things becausethe odds o success stymie them. The best perormers ignore the odds. I will show thatinstead o limiting themselves to what’s probable, the best will pursue the heart-pound-ing, exciting, really big, dierence-making dreams--so long as catching them might be
.”~ Dr. John Eliot rom
I you’re into achieving greatness and love to see the hero in actionwhether it’s TigerWoods coming back or the playo win or a great rock star perorming liveyou’ll lovethis book.John Eliot, relative o T. S. Eliot and a long line o Harvard Presidents is brilliant. He’sone o the world’s leading authorities on peak perormers and isn’t araid to challenge thestatus quo o high perormance. He’s also a great writer. And, this book is an incrediblyun, inspiring readwith John Eliot’s articulate and brilliantly blunt explanations o whatmakes the great perormers perorm greatly.You’ll learn to kick the deep breathing relaxation habits during pressure situations and,instead, to eat the stress like a Power Bar. You’ll learn how to turn your cerebral cortex o like a squirrel scurrying across a high wire (who doesn’t want that, eh?! :) and a bunch o other tricks o the Overachieving trade.As with so many o these great books,
is a tough one to condense into aew pages because there is SO MUCH goodness in it. But, that’s what you pay me to do,so let’s get to work!The book has two parts: 1. The “what” o Overachievement where we get “Inside theMinds o the Overachiever”; and, 2. The “how” on “Becoming an Overachiever.” We’ll startwith the most important part o the minds o the Overachiever:
The Trusting Mindset 
“To be sure, great perormers are well trained, experienced, smart, and in some cases,divinely talented. But the way their brains work during a perormance is a lot more like asquirrel’s than like Einstein’s. Like squirrels, the best in every business do what they havelearned to do without questioning their abilitiesthey at out trust their skills, which is
Ovrachivmn © Copyrigh Philoophr’No pag 2
“Great performers are, by 
denition, abnormal.” 
~ John Eliot
“Thinking is a habit, and likeany other habit, it can bechanged; it just takes effort and repetition.” 
~ John Eliot
“I will show you how you,too, can consistently achieve the kind of intensefocus that marks all the best performers in the world. I will show you how to reshapeyour thinking so you will beable to trust your skills and experiences and let ‘emrip--to perform so freely and intensely that you will be-come not just good at what you do, but something of an artist at it.” 
~ John Eliot
NOtes & quOtes
why we call this high-perormance state o mind the “Trusting Mindset.” Routine accessto the Trusting Mindset is what separates great perormers rom the rest o the pack.”Squirrels and tossing keys. And “Training” vs. “Trusting” Mindsets. That’s where you’llfnd the keys to perorming like a true rock star overachiever.Huh?Seriously. Eliot tells some great stories to bring his point home that, i you want to be anoverachiever, you’ve got to learn to turn o that overactive cerebral cortex o yours and justthink like a squirrel. :)Imagine this: Have you ever seen a squirrel scurry across a telephone wire? What do youthink it was thinking? Quick hint: It wasn’t. Squirrels don’t think. They just scurry. Well,it’s a little more complex than that (and Eliot goes into the cool science behind it) but thepoint is simple: they’re not up there on the high wire thinking,
“Oh, my! This one’s high.It’s a little windy today. I I take a wrong step that’s gonna hurt. OMG! It’ll kill me actually. OK.Let ront oot, now back right oot. Oh, Geez! This is harder than I thought it would be.” 
:)Thoughts like that require a cerebral cortex. And, i you want to get into what Eliot callsthe “Trusting Mindset”the mindset o overachieversyou need to learn to turn it o and give your skills ree reign, not ocusing “on anything but the target o that particularmoment.”How about this?You ever toss your keys to a riend or spouse? I you’re anything like the students in Eliot’sclasses with whom he’s done this little test, you can hit your riend chest high every time.No worries. You just tossed the keys, right? No worries, no stress, just see the target andtoss. Welcome to the trusting mindset.Now, imagine i all the sudden you’re in the middle o your avorite basketball team’sarena competing or a $1m prize at hal-time. You’ve got 5 other people out there andwe’re going to see who can most consistently hit someone in the chest with their key toss.Eek! With something on the line, would you still have that calm and cool approachyouknow, just stepping up an casually tossing the keys like you did beore, totally indepen-dent o worries about the result (the TRUSTING Mindset)? Or, would you start thinkingabout sturom what you could win or lose (!) to the act you might look like a totalidiot i you hit the guy in the knee or accidentally tossed the keys over their head? Enterwhat Eliot calls the TRAINING Mindset.Guess what?The top perormers in ANY feld perorm in the TRUSTING Mindset. Whether it’s abrain surgeon or a basketball player, a deal maker or a goler. They ALL “trust their swing”and ocus on nothing but “the target o that particular moment.”O course, there’s a time or training in every feld. And then there’s the time or trusting.As Eliot says brilliantly, “Selling is very dierent rom trying to be a salesman.” That Ayou got at Business School in “Sales & Marketing” isn’t what’s going to close the deal. Inact, i all you’re doing is thinking about what you should do, you’re going to look like asel-conscious goo and do anything but close. When you’re in the middle o a deal, you’vegot to turn that part o your brain o and trust yoursel.”The book is all about helping us get in and live in that trusting mindset in the pressure-packed moments o our lives when our destinies are determined. Fun!---> One more example (among MANY) to bring the point home between the “Trusting
Ovrachivmn © Copyrigh Philoophr’No pag 3
“Butteries, cotton mouth,and a pounding heart make the nest perform-ers smilethe smile of a person with an ace uptheir sleeves…They de-nitely would agree with Tiger Woods, who has oftensaid, “The day I’m not ner-vous stepping onto the rst teethat’s the day I quit.” 
~ John Eliot
“I have discovered that I cannot enhance anybody’sperformance without gettingthem not only to live withthe butteries that comewith high-pressure jobs,but to embrace that kind of physical response, enjoy it,get into it. That’s the real rst ticket to being a performer who thinks exceptionally.” 
~ John Eliot
and the “Training” Mindset--the dierence between the cerebral cortex-ree squirrel scur-rying across the wire and the hesitant, over-thinking individual getting stuck: Eliot doesanother experiment where he lays a 2 by 4 on the ground and asks his students to walkover it. Everyone does it perectly. They take one step then another in perect position onthe board. No issue. (Trusting Mindset). Then, he raises the 2 by 4 o the ground. Thenwhat? Enter “Training Mindset.” All the sudden we’re thinking about it and we take tenta-tive, calculating steps and altering steps.I we want to be Overachievers, we MUST develop our Trusting Mindset. And, we need to:
Eat Stress Like an Energy Bar 
“Working on techniques to manage stress is a bit like trying to win the Indy 500 by put-ting a governor on the engine o your race car or swapping out a powerul V-12 or a V-4because it oers a “quieter ride.” You wouldn’t do that. Not i you were ater the checkeredag. Not i you were racing star Je Gordon. No superstar is about to give his opponentsan edge. Nor should you by trying to relax when the pressure’s on.”I love that.A huge theme o the book is that we’ve got to learn to WELCOME pressure and thenow with it. NOT try to breathe ourselves onto a calm island somewhere and avoid thepressure.As Eliot says, the pressure oers an opportunity or us to play at our edge and push justbeyond it to the next edge. Avoiding the edge and oating o to a meditative island whenthe pressure’s on? Not so good. Ater awhile, rather than a means to an end, that “relaxed”state becomes the end in and o itsel. Which is death to overachievement.How about this:
Bill Russell & Barfng
“Bill Russell is one o the great names in basketball, an all-American… the only athlete toever win an NCAA Championship, an Olympic Gold Medal, and a proessional champi-onship all in the same year1956…But Bill Russell had this one problem: He threw upbeore every game.”What a great line.Eliot tells the brilliant story about the correlation between Bill Russell’s barfng and hisworld-class play. In brie: Russell sucked when he wasn’t so nervous that he booted beorea game. He had the greatest slump o his career in 1963 when he didn’t throw up or mosto the season. Then, when entering the arena or the playos and seeing the crowd gather-ing hours beore the game, his nerves kicked in and kicked his dinner outand he wentout and had the best game o the season.O course, we don’t need to throw up to bring our A game. We do, however need tobecome riends with the butteries, learn to welcome stress, enjoy it and make it work toour advantage.
Pressure & Anxiety  
“The physical symptoms o fght-or-ight are what the human body has learned over thou-sands o years to operate more efciently and at the highest level. Anxiety is a cognitiveinterpretation o that physical response.”

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