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A Gift for Sisyphus

A Gift for Sisyphus Want to listen to this edition? Click here: When do you choose to do very hard things? Some people take on all-comers — at least when they have the bandwidth. Some are reactive — they have something to prove. Others, still, are more strategic. What is your strategy? Can you sum it up in a sentence or two? What is your signal to go? To wait? To stop? For the record,

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The Skill of Doing Hard Things

The Skill of Doing Hard Things Want to listen to this edition? Click below. I dropped some cheques off with our landlord today. He ran for most of his life (he’s in his 80s now) and still works out regularly. Hard! I asked about his resting heart rate because this guy used to clock out at an impressive 40 beats per minute. Larry (The Landlord) would want me to tell you that he measured this

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Zoom In

We tend to think big when it comes to mastery. We increase scale and power. But we can go smaller too. One of the most useful tools I know for deepening your practice and experience is to zoom in. To start, we take something that—on its surface—appears to be binary. Yes or no. One or zero. And then we look for places where more subtle choices exist. We may even conjure some of them up.

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Slices of Friction

The goal is jazz. By that, I mean to be able to pick up your instrument of choice and just play—in a way that is both enjoyable and productive. We can call it deliberate practice, improvisation, or just playing around. Whatever the language, the process is something that satisfies both your feeling of pleasure and your sense of progress. Here, I’m speaking here about health behaviours. Just imagine feeling hungry just as you’re putting the

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It’s not about the math

Around seven years ago, I was sitting in a lecture theatre in Virginia. The audience was filled with hyper-educated collegiate strength coaches. In the spaces between their bald heads and meaty necks—I could see Natalia Verkhoshanksky. An accomplished sport scientist in her own right, she was also the daughter of the legendary Yuri Verkhoshanksky—who is credited as the father of plyometrics. A thick arm was raised and a question followed about precise percentages to be

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Frameworks to Grow Your Skills

There are some different frameworks for skill development. Pick the right one(s) and you will skip inefficient work and get right to the goodies. And by goodies, I mean rapid progress. Learning fast is fun! Here are some thoughts: The Big 3Maybe it’s the gym rat in me (or, as the ancient Greeks would have said, the palaestra addict) but I tend to think about things in exercise terms. So, let’s begin with frequency, duration,

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