Book Review of The Art of Learning: An Inner Journey To Optimal Performance by Josh Waitzkin

This is my review of the fascinating story of Josh’s journey from chess prodigy to push hands world champion. Below are some of the highlights of this wonderful read. A friend gave me this book because it is one of her favorites. You can buy the book on amazon Paper back $11.66 or kindle $11.99.

He was the inspiration for the movie Searching for Bobby Fisher” – Book and Movie

His dedication to learning and studying to be great is amazing.  I had no clue about the world of competitive chess including the mentors and coaching necessary to excel.

He was an athletic kid who discovered chess at the age of six and it was almost as if he understood parts of the game intuitively.

Searching for the next bobby fisher. Is a book and movie his dad wrote about him.

He tells many a story about his time spent learning and competing in the world of chess.

He looked back at some moments in chess he called the “Soft Zones” when he became part of the moment.  He studied that and has tips and techniques for creating these moments when necessary.

He tells how he dealt with challenges and distractions from music to players kicking him, shaking the board etc.  Often he would turn a challenge or distraction into an advantage.  Start thinking to the beat of the music, not to react to the kicks by being distracted.  Taking a break to go and run sprints or climb stairs to regain focus.

“Mental resilience is arguably the most critical trait of a world-class performer, and it should be nurtured continuously….When uncomfortable, my instinct is not to avoid thediscomfort but to become at peace with it….My instinct is always to seek out challenges as opposed to avoiding them.”  p 60

He then talks about his downward spiral in chess competitions.

I took from this a few things:

I like his explanation of playing chess the way that matched his personality and when he didn’t he didn’t play as well.  – so he wasn’t working through his strengths.

He notes “pressing for wins in equal positions often results in losing” – you need to really know your circumstances especially after things have changed from one where you were at an advantage and now are not at one.  Pressing forward as if you still have an advantage can be costly.

How can you apply this to life and business?

The film Searching for Bobby Fischer came out when he as 16 – and this added fame as a challenge and distraction.

“As a competitor I’ve come to understand that the distance between winning and losing is minute, and, moreover, that there are ways to steal winds from themaw of defeat.  All great performers have learned this lesson.” p 63

He talks about being present rather than being stuck in time.

He speaks about two coaches with very different techniques – one nurturing and the other shock and awe of breaking you down.

He mentions reading the books “On the road”, The Dharma Bums and the Tao Te Ching.  – “The Tao Te Ching’s windom cnters on releasing obstructions to our natural insight, seeing false constructs for what they are and leaving them behind.”

While  competing in chess he He was introducted to Tai Chi and then later Push Hands competitions

And  moved on to Martial Arts and eventually winning world championships.  Once again the dedicated he has for learning and competing is amazing.  He has a drive for challenging himself and getting the most out of himself.

Then chapter on “Investment in Loss” – you need to be challenged enough that you lose and then learn from it to advance.

“Investment in loss is giving yourself ot the learning process”

“…it is essential to have a libverating incremental approach that allows for times when you are not in a peak performance state.  We must take responsibility for ourselfes, and not expect the rest of the world to understand what I takes to become the best that we can become.”  Great ones are willing to get burned time and agin as they sharpen their swords in the fire.”  Michael Jordan making more last minute shots…also missing more

Making smaller circles. Chapter 11 – breaking things down into small steps – be the tortoise who continues prodding along on your goals.

12 Using adversity

3 Critical steps in a resilient performer’s evolving relationship to chaotic situations.

1.       “First we have to learn to be at peace with imperfection.” p 126

2.       …Learn to use imperfection to our advantage

3.       Create ripples in our consciousness…so we are constantly inspired whether or not external conditions are inspiring.:

When it came to competing in martial arts he took a challenge of having a hurt right arm to learn to use his left.

The challenge of dealing wit illegal hits lead him to learn ow to deal wit the fear of being hurt and learning to protect himself which took away the opponents advantage of using the illegal techniques.

He also learned to concede certain moves of holds thus conserving his energy and putting a wrinkle in the opponents plans. – much like his practicing the end game of chess and thus being better when getting to that part of the game.

Chapter Searching for the zone

Starts with this chapter “How can I learn to enter the zone at will, make it a way of life? How can I maintain my focus under pressure, stay serene and principled under fire, overcome distraction?  What do I do when my emotions get out of control?”

In this chapter he talks about some techniques he learned when he went to the Human Performance Institute formerly LGE in Orlando, Florida.

He realized he performed better after a relaxation break – so use time between moves to take a break.  Quarterbacks and NBA stars also implemented this.

Clear you mind

And also a training technique of cardio vascular interval training – getting his heart rate up to 170 take a minute break to get it down to 144  and then go hard again.

This helped him with his ability to relax and recover between arduous thought processes in a chess game.

Chapter – Building Your Trigger

He gives techniques for dealing with stress and how to create routines to get into the zone.  And how to shorten getting into the zone for all of us so we can turn it on and focus when we need to.

Example what is a time when time flies by?  Preceding this time add some other enjoyable activities then end with the time you are in the zone.

Then you shorten the time spent doing the preceding events and or use those times before you want to be in the zone/attentive at a meeting for example rather than doing the thing you are naturally in the zone doing.

Meditation – Thought being just practice it and realize you will have thoughts but release them and come back to focus on your breath.

Chapter Making Sandals

Deals with what to do with your feelings and emotions.

Can you do you take those emotions and channel them into a deeper focus?

“Then there are those elite performers who use emotion, observing their moment and then channeling everything into a deeper focus that generates a uniquely flavored creativity.” p 200

He covers thoughts around anger, ego, and fear.

“I had to develop the habit of taking on my technical weaknesses whenever someone pushed my limits instead of falling back into a self-protective indignant pose. Once that adjustment was made, I was free to learn. If someone got into my head, they were doing me a favor, exposing a weakness. They were giving me a valuable opportunity to expand my threshold for turbulence. Dirty players were my best teachers. ”  p 206

“The only way to succeed is to acknowledge reality and funnel it, take the nerves and use them. We must be prepared for imperfection.  If we rely on having no nerves, on not being thrown off by a big miss, or on the exact replication of a certain mindset, then when the pressure is high enough, or when the pain is to piercing to ignore, ore ideal state will shatter”

On how the Great chess player Garry Kasparov – champion for nearly 20 years dealt with a lack of confidence in an upcoming match

“Garry responded that he would try to play the chess moves that he would have played if he were feeling confident.  He would pretend to feel confident, and hopefully trigger the state.”

Kate Hagerty Interview: Intuition, Purpose and Life Coaching

In this week’s podcast, I had a great conversation with Kate Hagerty, a career, life purpose, intuitive and relationship coach. We met at Toast Masters and known each other for several years. Kate used to work in the corporate world for 30 years – in sales, marketing and advertising – making her way up the ladder and on the verge of making it to top of the play field, she realized that she needed something more from life.

Below are some of the great points during our conversation.

Turning point – being unhappy and just didn’t care about the results. Kate began to ask herself some powerful questions about what she really want to do with her life – she was miserable and unhappy and she didn’t want to continue having to deal with that.

Most people not really clear about their purpose.

Growing up, she had an intuitive gift but ignored it.

“You are gifted and keep moving.”

Working with people once didn’t really get anywhere.

It’s smart to start paying attention to your intuition.

Turn off the ‘chatter’ part of the brain to focus more on the more important things.

Start meditating.

When you step out of the house in the morning, pay attention – there are lots of interesting things happening around.

What you look for, you can find.

“Miracle Morning” – focus on what thought and see where that leads you.

We are so hard on ourselves and expect we are going to be good at meditation the first time we try it – some people need guided meditation, some need silence or music. It’s a challenge. It’s a process.

Kate got very unhappy in 2011 and tried different coaching certifications – to figure out herself and help her clients.

Do you want your health or do you want your benefits?

“I will never tell someone miserable to quit tomorrow.” Kate

You can be an empathic person but if you haven’t gone through something and suddenly meet someone who has, you can’t really completely understand.

Even though it’s scary, it is worthy in the end because it’s exciting – you are doing what you’re supposed to do.

Tell the truth without being mean.

You’re usually the average of the 5 people you spend your time with.

Are we supportive of each other? Do we support and learn from one another?

Don’t be around toxic people. Just because they’re family doesn’t mean you have to be around them.

Accountability partners are key to being successful for some people.

For a ‘solopreneur’ – you got to have an array of people to help you out.

Delegate the things you hate to do so you can focus on the things you love.

James Altucher – write down at least 10 ideas a day

Kate’s 8 Ways to Increase Your Intuition

(1) Meditate

(2) Work with angel or oracle cards

 (3) Pay attention when you step out of the house with all five senses

(4) Test out the intuitive hunches you get; try following one and not following another and see what you experience

(5) Feel instead of think

(6) Listen to your body

(7) Learn from the past

(8) Do not call yourself crazy; trust what you “get”

To learn more about Kate, visit her website at

About Kate Hagerty

Kate is a Career, Life Purpose & Relationship Intuitive Coach. She helps professionals discover their true life purpose and the specific next steps they need to take to align their life with what they REALLY came here to do, so they can finally find peace, clarity and direction. Learn more at




Book Review of The Go-Giver: A Little Story about a Powerful Business Idea

I just had the amazing time of reading this powerful book The Go-Giver: A Little Story about a Powerful Business Idea by Bob Burg, John David Mann. 

It is a captivating book that shines new light to the old adage “Give and you shall receive.” I highly recommend this book for those who are just starting their business, planning on starting one or even those who’ve been in the game for a long time.

The Go-Giver is the story of a young man named Joe, very ambitious and determined to reach the greats, who has always been on the lookout for success. Joe is a quintessential go-getter, though he felt like the more he reaches his arms out to achieve something and the harder he plays, the farther he seemed was in getting the results he wanted . Below are some of the key points I absolutely loved in this book. Enjoy!

Five Laws of Stratospheric Success.

  1. THE Law of Value:   Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment.  – The First Law determines how valuable you are.
  2. The Law of Compensation : Your income is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them.  – the Second Law that determines how much you actually do earn.
  3. The Law of Influence: You influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interests first.
  4. The Law of Authenticity: The most valuable gift you have to offer I yourself.
  5. The Law of Receptivity: The key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving.

“Typically, the more successful they are, the more willing they are to share their secrets with others.”

Lesson: find successful mentors via books, blogs, YouTube or in real life when you can.

“But to get really, really big, to reach the kind of stratospheric success we’re talking about, people need to have something on the inside, something that’s genuine.’”

Lesson: let your genuine show, share your inspiration and interests     

The secret of “Giving” – give more value than people pay for.  In business you must give before you receive.  Must make and save money before you profit from money.

“So you’re saying, successful people keep their focus on what they’re…giving, sharing”

“Most of us have grown up seeing the world as a place of limitation rather than as a place of inexhaustible treasures. A world of competition rather than one of co-creation.”

“Here’s what you do get—you get what you expect.”

So make sure you have positive expectations for yourself, for others as well as for outcomes.

“Or put it another way: What you focus on is what you get. “

Go looking for the best in people, and you’ll be amazed at how much talent, ingenuity, empathy and good will you’ll find.

Lesson: once again change your outlook to change the outcome.  Look for the positives and the opportunities you want and you are much more likely to find them.  Change any negative outlooks into positive ones.

“The world treats you more or less the way you expect to be treated.”

The Law of Compensation

“I need you to agree that you will test every Law I show you by actually trying it out. Not by thinking about it, not by talking about it, but by applying it in your life.”

Lesson: taking action in applying something you learn is the only way to change your life, your future.  And habits are only formed when you take action.  I look at sharing ideas with others as taking action.  Otherwise what good is it to have a lot of knowledge?     

“The guy radiates success,” he thought. “It’s not just money, it’s something far more powerful than money.”

“A very useful thing to remember: appearances can be deceiving.”

Underneath that jovial, bigger-than-life Italian chef persona there was a powerful sense of focus and intention.

  • “Everyone likes to be appreciated.”
  • “And that’s the Golden Rule of business,”
  • “All things being equal—”
  • “—people will do business with and refer business to those people they know, like and trust.”

“A bad restaurant, tries to give just enough food and service, both in quantity and quality, to justify the money it takes from the customer. A good restaurant strives to give the most quantity and quality for the money it takes.

“But a great restaurant— ahh, a great restaurant strives to defy imagination! Its goal is to provide a higher quality of food and service than any amount of money could possibly pay for

“Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment.”


  1. “The first question should be, ‘Does it serve?
  2. Does it add value to others?’
    1. If the answer to that question is yes, then you can go ahead and ask,
    2. Does it make money?’”


“Exceed people’s expectations, and they’ll pay you even more.”

“But the point isn’t to have them pay you more, it’s to give them more. You give, give, give. Why?” “Because you love to. It’s not a strategy, it’s a way of life. And when you do,” he added with a big grin, “then very, very profitable things begin to happen.”

This is what many of the successful people online are doing these days, they give away lots of advice and content for free and in many cases most of their content and advice for free and this leads to opportunities.     

What would you do for free?  Give for free?

“All the great fortunes in the world have been created by men and women who had a greater passion for what they were giving—their product, service or idea—than for what they were getting”

THE LAW OF VALUE   Your true worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment.

5: The Law of Compensation     

“True worth is determined by how much more you give in value than you take in payment     “

“The First Law determines how valuable you are,”

“Your income is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them.”

“Or to put it another way, your compensation is directly proportional to how many lives you touch.” And the impact your make on those lives

Lesson: so if you are trying to make more money how can you server more people?  This is obvious to those of us in business and is usually the question we all try to answer to get more sales.

This makes me think of all the new ways to attract customers which include:

  • free content on YouTube
  • free or cheap ebooks or whitepapers which explain what you do
  • growth hacking strategies where you build growth into your product or offering

“If you want more success, find a way to serve more people. It’s that simple.”

“It also means there are no limitations on what you can earn, because you can always find more people to serve.”

If you are a personal coach you can reach more people when you record your coaching and offer it online.  You record it once and thousands or millions of people can learn from you.


The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., ‘Everybody can be great because anybody can serve.’

‘Everybody can be successful because anybody can give.’”


Your income is determined by how many people you serve and how well you serve them. Some of these tasks she enjoyed more than others. However, she approached each one as though she loved it. She did this by reminding herself that, regardless of how much or how little she cared for the task itself, she relished the opportunity to survive, save and serve. 661

“Survive, save and serve?” 664

“They are the three universal reasons for working.”

  1. Survive—to meet your basic living needs.
  2. Save—to go beyond your basic needs and expand your life.
  3. And serve—to make a contribution to the world around you.”

“Changing my focus from seeing what I could git to what I could give was when my career started to take off. Started to. But in a business like mine—actually, in any business—you also need to know how to develop a network

I don’t necessarily mean your customers or clients. I mean a network of people who know you, like you and trust you

This could be a spouse, an accountability partner, a business partner, parents or friends who all want to see you succeed or as the book says they always have you in the backs of their minds.  And you feel the same about them.


They might never buy a thing from you, but they’ve always got you in the backs of their minds.”

“They’re people who are personally invested in seeing you succeed, you see? And of course, that’s because you’re the same way about them. They’re your army of personal walking ambassadors.

“You want to know what makes that kind of network happen?  Stop keeping score”

“Just that. Don’t keep track. That’s not networking—that’s poker. You know how people say ‘win-win’?”

“Always look for the solution where you both come out ahead.”

I often want others to succeed so there are other people to hang out with during the working week!  So a win-win could be to help others find financial freedom so they can spend more time with you.  This can be applied to a spouse as well.

“That’s right, and it sounds great—in theory. But most of the time, what people call ‘win-win’ is really just a disguised way of keeping track. Making sure we all come out even, that nobody gets the advantage. Even-Steven. I scratched your back, so now you owe me.” He shook his head sadly. “When you base your relationships—in business or anywhere else in your life—on who owes who what, that’s not being a friend. That’s being a creditor.”

“You want to know the Third Law of Stratospheric Success?”

“Watch out for the other guy. Watch out for his interests. Watch his back. Forget about fifty-fifty, son. Fifty-fifty’s a losing proposition. The only winning proposition is one hundred percent. Make your win about the other person, go after what he wants.

“Forget win-win—focus on the other person’s win “

The Third Law, the Law of Influence:   “Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interests first.”

“Your influence is determined by how abundantly you place other people’s interests first.” 751

“Because if you place the other person’s interests first, your interests will always be taken care of. Always. Some people call it enlightened self-interest. Watch out for what other people need, with the faith that when you do, you’ll get what you need.”

What creates influence? Putting other people’s interests first.

  1. Helping
  2. Encouraging
  3. Teaching

Givers Attract “They love to give. That’s why they’re attractive. Givers attract

“Givers attract,” … “And that’s why the Law of Influence works. Because it magnetizes you.”

The next part of the book is referencing an interaction between a husband and wife where they each get 30 minutes to talk about their day with each other:

Fifty-fifty’s a losing proposition. It was Sam, of course. Even-Steven. I scratched your back, so now you owe me…that’s not being a friend, that’s being a creditor. 

The Law of Authenticity

A genuinely sound business principle will apply anywhere in life—in your friendships, in your marriage, anywhere. That’s the true bottom line. Not whether it simply improves your financial balance sheet, but whether it improves your life’s balance sheet.”

“I believe there is one reason, and only one reason, that we have stayed together so long and are as happy together today as we were forty-eight years ago—more so, in fact. That reason is this: I care more about my wife’s happiness than I do about my own. All I’ve ever wanted to do since the day I met her is make her happy. And here’s the truly remarkable thing—she seems to want the same thing for me.”

    The next part of the book is when a lady is speaking at a conference, she recounts when she came to the conference as a down and out real-estate agent. 

“… importance of adding value to what you sell. ‘Whatever it is you sell,’ he told us, 942

‘Whatever it is,’ he said, ‘you can excel by adding value. If you need money,’ he said, ‘add value. And if you need a lot of money, add a lot of value.’

‘What if you need a lot of money fast?’ … ‘Then find a way to add a lot of value fast

“I learned something that day. When I said that my life as a mom, wife and household manager left me with nothing the marketplace wanted, I was wrong. There was something else I’d learned over those years, and that was how to be a friend. How to care. How to make people feel good about themselves. And that, my friends, is something the marketplace wants very much—always has, always will.

Reminds me of the saying people will always remember how you made them feel.   

“The speaker at that symposium had said, Add value. I had nothing to add but myself. “And, apparently, that was exactly what’d been missing.” 975

I’m here because I have the awesome responsibility and honor of selling you something far more valuable than a house.  “What I’m here to sell you on is you.

“People, remember this: no matter what your training, no matter what your skills, no matter what area you’re in, you are your most important commodity. The most valuable gift you have to offer is you

“Reaching any goal you set takes ten percent specific knowledge or technical skills—ten percent, max. The other ninety-plus percent is people skills. “

The core of it is who you are. It starts with you. “As long as you’re trying to be someone else, or putting on some act or behavior someone else taught you, you have no possibility of truly reaching people. The most valuable thing you have to give people is yourself. No matter what you think you’re selling, what you’re really offering is you.”

“You want people skills?” she repeated. “Then be a person.” She looked around from face to face. “Can you do that? Will you do that?”

She looked to the left and to the right, again, meeting the gaze of dozens of individuals. “It’s worth ten thousand times more than all the closing techniques that ever have been or ever will be invented.

“It’s called authenticity


The Fourth Law THE LAW OF AUTHENTICITY: The most valuable gift you have to offer is yourself.

The Law of Receptivity

How many of us have heard it is better to give than receive?  How many have taken this to heart and accepted it as true?

This was very interesting to me since I’d rather give than receive, this chapter points out how that really doesn’t work.  Also I realized that if you are a giver you need to only give to those who are open to receive and in many cases those who are going to receive help and multiply it with their own work. 

“It’s not better to give than to receive. It’s insane to try to give and not receive. “Trying not to receive is not only foolish, it’s arrogant. When someone gives you a gift, what gives you the right to refuse it—to deny their right to give?

“In fact, every giving can happen only because it is also a receiving.”

Every giving can happen only because it is also a receiving….

“All the giving in the world won’t bring success, won’t create the results you want, unless you also make yourself willing and able to receive in like measure. Because if you don’t let yourself receive, you’re refusing the gifts of others—and you shut down the flow.

This makes me think of the law of attraction. If you are not open to receiving then you will not have as many opportunities to receive.

Because human beings are born with appetite, nothing is more naturally geared toward being receptive than a baby, and if the secret of staying young, vibrant and vital throughout life is to hang onto those most precious characteristics we all have as children but which get drummed out of us— like having big dreams, being curious, and believing in yourself— then one of those characteristics is being open to receiving, being hungry to receive, being ravenous to receive!”

“So the secret to success,” Joe went on, “to gaining it, to having it, is to give, give, give. The secret to getting is giving. And the secret to giving is making yourself open to receiving

“The Law of Receptivity.”

The Fifth Law THE LAW OF RECEPTIVITY   The key to effective giving is to stay open to receiving. 1190

“The point is not what you do. Not what you accomplish. It’s who you are. 1217

Review of Mastermind Talks Podcast: Personal Branding, You’re Doing It Wrong

I recently listened to this amazing Mastermind Talks podcast with Jason Gaignard when he interviewed Joey Coleman about personal branding. Joey is a celebrated speaker and has done coaching in over a decade – mostly on personal branding framework.

If you’re an entrepreneur, you’re missing on a lot if your personal branding is unclear – it is of utmost importance to focus on your personal brand, its attributes and what really your business stands for. It will also get you clarity on where your business is headed.

Below are some of the best points spoken about in the podcast:

  • How you package and present yourself/your brand is hugely important.
  • What is a personal brand?
  • Personal brand is the image that is created in a person’s mind when they connect with your name, specific skills and reputation.
  • It is what people perceive – it’s making conscious choices. When you meet a person, you are instantly and constantly formulating opinions. By default, people judge and critique.
  • There’s 2 aspects: what you think of your personal brand and what others think.
  • Your personal brand enters the room the same time as you do. Are you happy about what other people have to say about your personal brand?
  • Philip McKernan – the more successful we become, the less we recognize how successful we are.
  • Getting outside perspective helps us identify the things we are great at that we often do not acknowledge.
  • All of us have natural skills – and now we have learned skills and you can be world class with our learned skills.
  • Being able to take complex ideas and make them simple, persuade people how to get things done.
  • A friend is not someone who tell you what you want to hear, a friends is someone who tells you what you NEED to.
  • Friends, mentors to give you feedback about your personal brand
  • Clarify and explore, look into what you want your personal brand to be.
  • What would do for the rest of your life even if you don’t get paid to do it? There should be a piece of your current job that you want to be part of your personal brand.
  • (Self-assessment) Strength-finders, DISC, Kolbe Test
  • There’s a voice inside you that knows what you are best at.
  • It’s the pursuit that makes it more exciting.
  • The most successful people I know have a lot of things they’re passionate about – they don’t go all in on one things because then you’ll be one-dimensional. Multi-dimensional people are more successful.
  • There is a skill you have you don’t have to lead with a particular skill. – just because you’re good at fixing things doesn’t mean you have to lead with that.
  • Be more specific, more clear about what you do and who you serve.
  • The human brain can only associate 2-3 areas in an individual we know.
  • 3 Step Process – investigation, Refining, Packaging
  • Reinventing your personal brand every 5-7 years.
  • Philip McKernan – Where you’re busy seeking out opportunities we often miss the possibilities.
  • 5 years – making a vision for your personal brand/business for 5 years is more manageable.
  • I want to go deep in dozens of different areas, I want to go medium in hundreds of different areas and I want go shallow or at least have a small understanding on thousands of different areas in life, because that’s what keeps it interesting for me. – Joey Coleman
  • As you are getting more comfortable with your personal brand, you get to make unconventional choices.

Recap of the 3 Step Process:


  • What are the elements of your personal brand? All the things you love, all the things you’re fantastic at. What are these specific things you are world-class in.


  • Pick and choose which one you want to go after? If someone hears your name, they thing about these things?


  • How can I share this with the world? How can I position myself with these types of project? How can I get it out? How can I make my brand unique?

If you are interested, subscribe to Mastermind Talks podcast on iTunes if you are an Apple user and Stitcher for Android.

The Mindful Athlete by George Mumford Book Review

I came across this book The Mindful Athlete: Secrets to Pure Performance by George Mumford and in this week’s podcast, I will share with you the inspirational passages I highlighted in this book.

Now, if you are a basketball fan, you would know who Phil Jackson is – amazing coach of former NBA champions Chicago Bulls and LA Lakers. He brought in George Mumford to transform their game and start winning.

George Mumford had a very interesting beginning – he was playing basketball for the University of Massachusetts when injuries forced him to walk away from the game he was truly passionate about. Things at home weren’t helping as his dad was an alcoholic so George started doing drugs starting from marijuana to pain medications like heroin. Through meditation, he was able to kick the addiction away.

Now, George is a well-respected public speaker and sports coach and in this book, he shares his story and strategies. Countless of basketball players, even the great Michael Jordan himself, credited Mumford for changing the way they played the game. His proven techniques transform the performance of anyone with a goal, be they an Olympian, weekend warrior, executive, hacker, or artist.

Below are some of my best highlights in the book to guide you through:

  • A lot of athletes think the trick to getting better is just to work harder but there is a great power in non-action and non-thinking. Just be fully present in the moment. – Phil Jackson
  • Life is available only in the present moment. Thich Nhat Hanh – what matters is what we are doing now.
  • Learning about stress management.
  • We are all chipping away to get to our masterpiece even if we grew up on the wrong side of the tracks. – you can become whoever you want.
  • We all have divine spark within in us. – there is something in us that we should express. Slowing down and thinking, “What do I really want to do in my life?” Our passions may change.
  • Buddha – my teaching is not a dogma. It is a method to teach reality, it’s just a finger pointing at the moon.
  • He talks about Buddha’s Eight-Fold Path and his 5 Spiritual Faculties: Diligence, Faith, Mindfulness, Concentration, Insight
  • Each of us is a completely unique creature.
  • Open your funky mind.
  • No one told him when he was young that he can alter his mind – he turned to drugs.
  • We emerge into the light not by denying our pain but by walking through it. Joan Borysenko, PhD
  • The only way out is always through. Robert Frost
  • There might not be the right time to start. – it’s the journey, the first attempt might not work, the second might not.
  • But as many of us know, taking little steps into the right direction eventually you’ll dig results. – start taking baby steps even if you fall down.
  • Be inquisitive – ask questions
  • God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to take the things I can.
  • Listen to your body.
  • If you do follow your bliss, you put yourself on a kind of track that has always been there waiting for you. And the life you ought to be living, is the one you’re living.
  • Read all the books available aligned to your passion and interests.
  • He talks about the five superpowers: mindfulness, concentration, insight, right effort and trust – the fourth power (right effort or diligence) is the energy that makes us steadfast in our practice
  • Lovingkindness: The Revolutionary Art of Happiness by Sharon Salzburg
  • You can train your brain to focus
  • We have evolved to pay attention to dangerous things
  • The minute your mind is elsewhere, the present moment is gone.
  • The brain is a muscle, practice everyday.
  • Baseball is 90% mental, the other is physical, the other half is physical. – Yogi Berri

There are numerous motivational passages in this book that I haven’t covered in this podcast but I’ll leave it to you to discover. I highly recommend this book, it’s not just about sports – the things discussed and written here are applicable to both your personal and professional lives, may it be facing a career crossroads or just simply going through some personal changes.