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The Illusion of the Mystical by Mind Map: The Illusion of the Mystical
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The Illusion of the Mystical

If the opponent does not move, then I do not move. At the opponent’s slightest move, I move first. loc. 1825 In time, I have come to understand those words, At the opponent’s slightest move, I move first, as pertaining to intention—reading and ultimately controlling intention. loc. 1837 Quarterbacks flick their eyes and send safeties flying all over the football field. Real estate moguls furrow their brows, act impatient, check their watches to lull buyers into nervous offers. A chess player observes a rhythm, then sits, lets his clock tick even though a decision has already been reached, then finally makes his move just as the opponent predictably gets up to go to the bathroom. What now? Take a minute, go to the bathroom, come back. Control the pace of the game. Awareness of these dynamics can make you hard to manipulate, and can allow you to turn the tables on even the savviest of conditioners. loc. 1999

Slowing Down Time

Everyone has heard stories of women lifting cars off their children or of time seeming to slow down during a car accident or a fall down the stairs. Clearly, there is a survival mechanism that allows human beings to channel their physical and mental capacities to an astonishing degree of intensity in life-or-death moments. But can we do this at will? loc. 1655 We are at the moment when psychology begins to transcend technique. Everyone at a high level has a huge amount of chess understanding, and much of what separates the great from the very good is deep presence, relaxation of the conscious mind, which allows the unconscious to flow unhindered. loc. 1733 The idea is to shift the primary role from the conscious to the unconscious without blissing out and losing the precision the conscious can provide. loc. 1737

Making Smaller Circles

I believe this little anecdote has the potential to distinguish success from failure in the pursuit of excellence. The theme is depth over breadth. The learning principle is to plunge into the detailed mystery of the micro in order to understand what makes the macro tick. loc. 1423 My understanding of this process, in the spirit of my numbers to leave numbers method of chess study, is to touch the essence (for example, highly refined and deeply internalized body mechanics or feeling) of a technique, and then to incrementally condense the external manifestation of the technique while keeping true to its essence. Over time expansiveness decreases while potency increases. I call this method “Making Smaller Circles.” loc. 1472 This is where Making Smaller Circles comes into play. By now the body mechanics of the punch have been condensed in my mind to a feeling. I don’t need to hear or see any effect—my body knows when it is operating correctly by an internal sense of harmony. loc. 1497 Now I begin to slowly, incrementally, condense my movements while maintaining that feeling. Instead of a big wind-up in the hips, I coil a little less, and then I release the punch. loc. 1503 The fact is that when there is intense competition, those who succeed have slightly more honed skills than the rest. It is rarely a mysterious technique that drives us to the top, but rather a profound mastery of what may well be a basic skill set. Depth beats breadth any day of the week, because it opens a channel for the intangible, unconscious, creative components of our hidden potential. loc. 1523

Building Your Trigger

This is a problem I have seen in many inconsistent performers. They are frustrated and confused trying to find an inspiring catalyst for peak performance, as if the perfect motivational tool is hovering in the cosmos waiting for discovery. My method is to work backward and create the trigger. I asked Dennis when he felt closest to serene focus in his life. He thought for a moment and told me it was when he played catch with his twelve-year-old son, Jack. loc. 2270 a blissful state when tossing a baseball with his boy, and nothing else in the world seemed to exist. loc. 2273 all people have one or two activities that move them in this manner, loc. 2274 The next step in the process is the critical one: after he had fully internalized his routine, I suggested that he do it the morning before going to an important meeting. loc. 2297 Let me emphasize that your personal routine should be determined by your individual tastes. If Dennis had so chosen, he could have done cartwheels, somersaults, screamed into the wind, and then taken a swim before playing catch with his son, loc. 2303