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Beating the Odds

The Genius of Obsession

Legend (or fact) has it that Albert Einstein stumbled on the Theory of Relativity when he spied the clock in a public square.

Actually, “stumbling” is the wrong word. If Einstein had not been thinking about mysteries of the universe, seeing the clock would not have meant anything to him.

But Einstein had a deep fascination with physics, so he found inspiration and insight in the clock. It was a case of, “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”

Today marks the birthday of a man who changed the world with his deep curiosity. All week long we’ve been discussing how to access the genius within you. You can summarize it with a quote from Ralph Waldo Emerson. It goes: “We become what we think about all day long.”

Einstein thought of physics. Steve Jobs thought about computers. Conrad Hilton thought about hospitality. It’s said (perhaps not accurately) that Hilton’s last words were, “Make sure the shower curtain is inside the tub.”

To discover the genius inside you, immerse yourself in something. Music. Art. Comedy. Film. Sport.

My friend and colleague Gary Pritchard, a certified mental trainer, likes to say, “Make your decisions on the person you’d like to be, not the person you are.”

Those decisions begin with the way you think and how often you think it.

John Dunning, a championship volleyball coach, said in one of his instructional videos, “I really shouldn’t drive, because I never think about anything but volleyball.”

An even more extreme example comes from ancient Greek mathematician Archimedes, who was studying when his city was being invaded. One account says his last words referred to drawings in the dust. He said, “I beg of you, do not disturb this.”

Get immersed in something. That was, when you look at a clock, it may tell you something more than the time.

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Thank you for visiting Total Game Plan. If your team, group or business needs a motivational speaker, please email coachtully @ totalgameplan.com. Here are some other resources for your success:

Think Better, Win More!” will give you a mental game to match your physical game.

To get better at anything, check out “The Improvement Factor: How Winners Turn Practice into Success.”

Do you coach females? Are you a female athlete, or the parent of one? Here’s “Was It Something I Said? A Guide to Coaching Female Athletes” by Vanessa Sullivan and Mike Tully

Need some motivation? Everyone needs it now and then. Open any page of “Thank God You’re Lazy! The Instant Cure for What’s Holding You Back” by Dr. Rob Gilbert and Mike Tully.

Are you a teacher, boss or sports coach? Here’s “Ten Things Great Coaches Know” by Mike Tully and Gary Pritchard.


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