Get out of your own way!
This is the first post in the Book of the Month category.
I believe books are an open door to other people’s experiences, knowledge, successes as well as failures. They give you the opportunity to learn from other people’s life and actions. What it actually means, is that you can gain knowledge and skills without having to go through the usual trial and error learning method, saving you time, energy, nerves and more than likely money. Since I understood that, I try to read everyday.
My last month’s book was:
The Inner Game of Work by W. Timothy Gallway
This is one book of a series from the same author on the inner dialogue we have with ourselves in a coaching context. W. Timothy Gallway started his coaching career in the field of tennis. This is where he observed the inner mechanisms at play during his coaching and came up with the Inner Game concept. After that he applied his concept to other fields such as golf and skiing before getting pulled in to the corporate world. This specific book is describing this concept in the workplace environment and how the observations he made in sports are also applicable to your daily job.
The whole concept is based on the author’s idea that we all have 2 inner selves:
- Self 1 – the invented self based on our environment and the judgment or expectations of the people we interact with. Self 1 is the voice in your head, either praising you or making you feel as a failure.
- Self 2 – the created self, the human being itself with all his innate potential, already realized or still hidden. Self 2 also represent the innate ability to learn and grow any of his capacities.
The author pictures Self 1 as a controlling voice in our head, telling us what to do based on the knowledge learned from the outside world (in opposition to our Inner Game) and judging our performance based on standard set by someone else. In that regard, Self 1 is an interference to our inner potential.
Self 2, in the other hand provides a non-judgmental way of growing by focusing on certain variable leading by an adaptation of our response to that variable and allowing us to improve. (e.g. By focusing on the speed of a tennis ball while playing, you “turn-off” controlling, doubt-creating Self 1 and allow Self 2 to take control over your next move. You have reduced your interference)
To best illustrate that, the author put it into a formula :
Performance = potential – interference
Throughout the book, W. T. Gallwey gives practical example how to apply that concept in your daily work.
- How to achieve better focus
- How to increase your joy at work
- How to create conscious focus
- The use of the STOP tool
- and more
I recommend that book for those who want to know more about how to find the balance between their performance, enjoyment and learning at work or for the self-development enthusiasts.
I will finish with an extract from the book that I find extremely well put :
I want to recommend a seminar that takes very little extra time and no extra money. It is, in my opinion, the best seminar ever designed. It’s not mine, but I’m a student in it and it is the source of my most valuable knowledge, skill, and personal development.it is highly interactive and has 3-D graphics. Best of all, it is perfectly designed to teach me exactly what I most need to learn. This seminar is your everyday life. You’ve been enrolled in it since you were born.
W. Timothy Gallwey