The Power of an Empty Head

“…the opponent in one’s head is greater than the one on the other side of the net!”

– Tim Gallwey, The Inner Game of Tennis

Why does “dumb” so often beat “smart?” It’s not just a matter of “wasting effort” by “overthinking the game.” It’s a matter of building up blockers that don’t need to exist in the first place! The power of an empty head is that it won’t create those blockers.

The art OF sports and business — and even the art of  doing art itself — is the ability to turn your brain on and off, at the right times.


About danspira

My blog is at: My face in real life appears at a higher resolution, although I do feel pixelated sometimes.

Posted on March 26, 2009, in Business, Learning, Life, Productivity. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.

  1. this is sooo true, and it’s a problem i come across at the competitions.

    the ability to “silence the voices”… quite difficult it seems for me.

    it’s not just overthinking.. but also distracting… the ability to be “in the now”… argh so difficult!

  2. now, now, nareg.

  3. Calme toi bien!

    This idea also explains why those with higher “processing speed” levels will often do badly in negotiations or difficult conversations. In dialogue, they are three steps ahead and have created all sorts of imagined “opponents” — reasons to either concede too quickly or react too hotly.

  4. smg: thanks, dude… i was about to lose it there almost 😉

    dan: interesting you mention that. there’s this dude at my pingpong club.. he’s a chess genius. canadian champion. grandmaster status… anyhoo.. this dude is worse than i am when it comes to “being in the now”. there could be a speck of dust on the table and he can’t concentrate on the game until he cleans it off… maybe you’re on to something here.

    not sure it;s about “higher processing speed” but more about overanalysing mind? maybe an overly selfconscious mind?

    how about an overly environment conscious mind? too tuned in to the surroundings to be able to focus.

    i’m working on that last theory. 🙂

  1. Pingback: What is the Opposite of Anger? « Meme Menagerie

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