How do you use the power of your mind? In the weight room, my workout partner prepares himself for a really heavy bench press lift by vividly imagining a guy in college who tried to steal his girlfriend. And by visualizing this nemesis, he mentally takes himself back in time and gets really mad. He feels the anger. And he says it fuels his strength and his subsequent accomplishment with the lift.
It's amazing to me that he can still get so worked up about something that happened thirty years ago. But he can. And he uses it well. But I can't do that. I take a really different approach.
When I lie down on the bench with three hundred pounds or more looming over me, I go to a happy place. I imagine a beautiful day at the beach near my home. The sand is soft, and just the right hue of very light beige, the sky is an amazing blue, with a few little puffy white clouds floating by, over to the east and the water is a stunning aquamarine, with great waves tossing off sparkling whitecaps.
My workout partner likes to call this my "Puppies, Butterflies, and Rainbows Approach." But it works. It Zens me out and lifts me up. It's exactly what I need. I don't try to talk my friend out of his college rage re-creation, despite my worries about his blood pressure. And he doesn't try to get me away from those cute little puppies on the beach. We use different approaches, but to the same end - to get our minds into a place where we can draw more deeply on the resources we have, in order to face the challenge that confronts us.
What do you do? Should you do more? Those puppies could use some attention.