Saturday, August 23, 2008


"Suppose you're in your office ... a pretty stenographer you've seen before comes into the room and you watch her ... She takes off her gloves, opens her purse and dumps it out on the table. ... She has two dimes and a nickel — and a cardboard match box. She leaves the nickel on the desk, puts the two dimes back into her purse and takes her black gloves to the stove. ... Just then your telephone rings. The girl picks it up, says hello — listens — and says deliberately into the phone, "I've never owned a pair of black gloves in my life." She hangs up ... and you glance around very suddenly and see another man in the office, watching every move the girl makes .... "
"Go on," said Boxley smiling. "What happens?"
"I don't know," said Stahr. "I was just making pictures."

— The Last Tycoon, F. Scott Fitzgerald

Don't you just love words and the power of the mind to form those words into pictures?

I've read a little about visualization as a training aid, especially for swimming. Where you visualize the perfect stroke: Long and smooth, just the right kick, gliding through the water with little drag. They say if you visualize correctly it actually trains your body to move the way your mind visualizes it. Remember the "Little Engine That Could"? "I think I can! I think I can!"

Here's what Colin Barr and Steve Katai say in their book, "The Complete Idiot's Guide To Triathlon Training" about the power of imagining success and the power of the mind:

"PICTURE YOURSELF SUCCEEDING: Don't just think you can; KNOW you can. Believe in yourself. Have confidence in your abilities to achieve your goals and dreams. The magic behind all great accomplishments begins with this self-belief. Sometimes we feel down on ourselves and doubt our abilities, but that's normal. When it happens, take a step back and regroup by replacing the negative thoughts with positive ones and remember you can accomplish anything with the right state of mind.

"A lot of research supports the power of visualization. The general theory is that thought has the ability to create feelings and emotions that impact behavior and, ultimately, reality. In other words, when you think about success day in and day out, you eventually will create that success.

"It all begins with a single thought. If you wake up every morning, look yourself in the mirror and say, 'I'm going to ...' Eventually it will happen. The power of thought and intention is very real and can very easily be applied to triathlon. Visualize yourself in the swim: your stroke is smooth, your breathing is under control and you found a good draft off someone's feet. Imagine having a great T1, bike segment, T2, and run. Imagine crossing the finish line. Put those strong positive beliefs out there. When you do, the door to manifesting these beliefs in reality opens to you.

"If you fill your head with negative thoughts, you'll eventually make those negative thoughts your reality. Think positive. Know you can do this!"
— The Complete Idiot's Guide To Triathlon Training.

It also helps to write those positive words down, maybe even in story form such as the scene at the beginning of this blog, and make positive pictures of your success in your mind. Of course, prayer works, too. "I know I can! I know I can!"


LeAnn said...

I needed this...thank you.

BTW..the rice and spam thing is called spam musubi..and I LOVE LOVE spam. I grew up eating it and when I feel homesick, I buy a can of spam at the store, and cook some rice, and I feel at home again.

debbie said...

I Love Positive thinking. Positive attitudes too. Strange as it is, I really believe it works. Along time ago I swear it is the reason I got the promotion I wanted at work. I didn't change the way I did things, Just every Morning I said to myself today I will be told about my new job. Not long after, I was. But thanks for reminding me to take that kind of control again. Lets see what positive energy can do this time!!!!


What do you do when you don't have time to go out on location to do urban sketching? My time is very limited and I often don't have ...