Many years ago while preparing for the Beijing Olympic Games, Duncan Free and I were in the thickest and heaviest of human fatigue. This was due in large part to a commitment to challenge their capacity fully prior to the Games and to re-find their best form if not find new levels of performance. With the struggles of fatigue like a fog on a dark night on a country road.

What I was seeking was to make sense of the annoying, often strange waves of feelings which were arising. Little thinks would trigger relations and many things seems bigger that reality would suggest. Grasping at words and like swatting at mosquitoes was common and inflections, gestures could easily been seen or taken the wrong way. Fatigue was like compounding interest and would pay dividends eventually at the Games but the short term highlights many things which drove a curiosity to find out more and understanding the behaviours, biases, intuitions, speculations, mistakes and the role coast of feeling in control and helpless. 

At this time a book by author Dan Ariely was a fantastic ally for the experience, reactions and response I was going through. The book was, Predictably Irrational. Based on the book and the help through that period as a resource it then lead to many an internet search for Dan's work and links to other resources. Here is another connection to a remarkable interview by Unmistakable Creatives' Srini Roa, host and founder. 


From their site:

Overcoming Learned Helplessness and Understanding Irrational Behavior with Dan Ariely 

In this interview Dan Ariely discusses overcoming learned helplessness, understanding irrational behavior, and managing time in an effective and meaningful way. 

NYT Best-selling author and behavioral economist, Dan Ariely, shares his perspectives on suffering, irrational behavior, and how most time management systems allow others to hijack our time.

In this episode, hear:

  • What causes people to be more resilient?
  • Overcoming “learned” helplessness
  • Language’s impact on our experiences
  • Time management and deathbed regrets
  • How our intuitions sometimes mislead us
  • How most time management systems allow others to hijack our time obviously has many more podcasts worth checking out.

Back to the Games then... How did this help. Well under a great deal of stress during the event a back injury almost derailed our plans but greater awareness relating to many of the experiments shared in Predictably Irrational and some of what is now mentioned in a podcast like this one enable greater insight, clarity and aided better decisions. It helped with a two days process which could have been the difference between our gold medal success and an outcome much less satisfying and effective. 

Having access to people and resources like this one really does help make sense of many thing would do and what we see others do and once I started wrapping my head around things better I was able to handle tough situations better. In our World thats the difference between Gold and a potato medal. Nothing wrong with potatoes as we found out from a potato farm on the border of Queensland and NSW while up their on this training camp before Beijing, but the better to eat than having hanging around your neck when you get forth place.

Hope you enjoy the resources. Until next time, be aware, be smart, be together and be awesome.