Think Better Newsletter
The Think Better Newsletter is a short weekly email with tips on how to think better about your training, both your formal training program and the Hidden Training Program. It expands on and branches out from the topics covered within the book, to help you think strategically about specific areas of your life.
I keep it simple. It's 1 idea, 1 system, and 1 question, in 1 email per week. It's less than 5 minutes start to finish.
- The idea covers a story, framework, or concept where we can think better.
- The system gives a simple strategy for getting better results.
- The question gives you one thing to think about for the next week.
Read the newsletter that coaches and athletes just like you are using to think better, train better, and make the leap!
And as a special bonus, when you sign up you get Chapter One: What is a "Leap"?** for FREE!
** Multiple readers--both runners and non-runners alike--have told me that this single chapter fundamentally changed how they thought about improvement. I expect it will do the same for you.
AND you get exclusive access to my monthly progress reports detailing my sales, my marketing efforts, what's working and what isn't on this self-publishing journey. If you've ever considered writing a book--and you should, we all have at least one in us!--then this will give you some insight into what my journey looks like.
5/19/22: The subtle influences of the right books - Vonnegut's Cat's Cradle as a treatise on engagement?; clocks and how we tell time; Dejima and and ancient Japanese shrine
4/28/22: The key to controlling your confidence - what self-efficacy is; why self-efficacy matters; the six factors that help us boost our self-efficacy (aka confidence)
4/21/22: The power of "pacing and leading" - persuading in emotionally charged situations; why pacing and leading works; tips for "pacing" another person
4/14/22: Knowing your limits is a superpower - how experiences that push us to the limit build confidence; the power of vicarious experience; building confidence by building up past experiences
4/7/22: Creating a new routine often comes down to...the mango - how a small reward helped motivate me to do sit-ups; the three (or maybe four) steps to every habit; what makes a good reward
3/31/22: How acting "as if" affects feelings and results - 3 rules to live by; acting "as if" and feelings following actions; results follow actions; pretend positively
3/24/22: Smart athletes don't set SMART goals - The many problems with the SMART goal-setting methodology; goals should be meaningful and challenging
3/17/22: Russia and preparation based on lies - Why Russia's preparation was so poor; the relative costs of truthful preparation vs unprepared failure; why preparation must be based on truth
3/10/22: Why big decisions feel so hard (intro to the Newman Design Squiggle) - Newman Design Squiggle; early stages always confusing; 3P's framework for evaluating opportunities
3/3/22: The role of perspective in developing accountability - responsibility for evaluation, execution, and planning is tied to past, present, future; coaches focus on responsibility; athletes work toward accountability
2/24/22: The difference between Responsibility and Accountability - responsibility is about actions; accountability is about outcomes; 5 stages of responsibility
2/17/22: "Context is that which is scarce." - context is critical for understanding the world; fundamental attribution error; "could I be missing important context here?"
2/10/22: The Discipline Illusion: why discipline = freedom - Discipline Illusion makes routines seem limiting; why systems work; true freedom is being able to do more of what you want or need to do
2/3/22: The power of a centering breath - simulating high pressure environments; depressurizing stressful situations; how to take an effective centering breath
1/27/22: How to ask better clarifying questions - most communication is poor; 3 components of every message; "Based on our conversation about A, it sounds like B is the case. Is that correct?"
1/20/22: Rational confidence vs emotional confidence - rational confidence vs emotional confidence; failure of nerve continued; the importance of preparation for building confidence
1/13/22: Challenging assumptions and Failures of Nerve and Imagination - Failures of nerve vs failures of imagination; why they hurt us; how challenging assumptions overcomes them
12/23/21: Wishing you a Merry Christmas - Merry Christmas!
12/9/21: Make your goals meaningful - 3 main components of a goal; why this target?; meaning is what drives motivation
12/2/21: Performances indicate ability, not potential - the "talent trap"; performances are tied to a point in time; associate performance to effort, not talent
11/25/21: Traditions, priorities, and giving thanks - similarities of traditions and systems; thank you to those who have helped me on this journey
11/18/21: Tarkine Shoes and the importance of agency - Tarkine Shoes has launched; agency as a superpower; everything in the world was created by someone, so create!
11/11/21: Embracing constraints as focusing factors - haiku are a product of constraints; use constraints to get unstuck; what if you only had half the resources?
11/04/21: Is it possible to care too much? - the role of caring in success; caring about process vs results; considering extreme cases to make tough decisions
10/28/21: How to make criticism constructive - all criticism is fair; communication is rarely perfect; how to convert criticism to effort-based terms
10/21/21: Combat negative bias with an "awesomeness journal" - dealing with the negative voices in our heads; what is an "awesomeness journal"; tracking your wins
10/14/21: The most important training lesson - musculoskeletal system vs other systems in your body; taking it slowly; building "down weeks" into your training
10/07/21: A simple system to improve your hydration (and a free resource) - importance of systems for areas like hydration; make routines "previously considered"; my pre-conditional rule and my Seven Sip system
09/30/21: Intentions are not a primary metric for success - intentions are important but not the most important; primary metrics should be tied to feedback loops; being publicly accountable drives better behaviors
09/23/21: Are you staying focused on the right metric for success? - the wrong metric can make success feel like failure; process metrics account for context; know what your metric is before you start
09/16/21: Training plans, forecasts, and nailing your core assumptions - forecasts are never "right"; specific numbers give the illusion of certainty; keep reviewing your assumptions when the details seem off
09/09/21: Use word cues to focus better in challenging situations - word cues as a tool for controlling your focus; anticipate how you will feel in tough situations
09/02/21: A three-part system for creating good first impressions - have a strategy for when you meet new people; my three-part system: be excited, curious, and complimentary
08/26/21: Using attribution theory to combat impostor syndrome - how to recognize impostor syndrome; uncontrollable factors drive most of our impostor syndrome; how to use effort-based statements to improve it
08/19/21: Why we should prioritize controllability over accuracy - the three dimensions of attribution theory; why controllability is the most important; Green's Razor: a rule for analyzing performance
08/12/21: The four factors that explain every outcome - intro to attribution theory; word choice and patterns of thinking; considering the words you choose and what they reinforce
08/05/21: Keep your eyes open for win-win situations - thoughts on ties at the Olympics; win-lose situations are often created by us; if you see a win-win, ask for it
07/29/21: Twisties, yips, dartitis, and prioritizing mental health - twisties in gymnastics; explicit vs implicit behaviors; mental health and physical health; the importance of telling others and getting support
07/22/21: Your body will reject the lies you tell yourself - what happens when you lie to yourself; "results don't speak for themselves"; emphasizing truth in preparation
07/15/21: What is your decision-making default? - coaches following "norms"; imitate, repeat or calculate; law of conservation of mental energy; when to follow each method
07/08/21: The benefits of an explorative mindset - races as opportunities to try new things; execution mindset vs explorative mindset; "let's see what I can do."
07/01/21: What factors do...and do not...contribute to happiness - two factor theory of motivation; hygiene factors vs motivating factors; strategies for each type of factor
06/24/21: The reason everything happens for a reason - we get to decide reasons, we connect the dots; the importance of actively learning from experience
06/17/21: The power of naming your emotions - the strain of living a life that isn't aligned to your values; emotions as a form of energy; why naming emotions helps you to control them
06/10/21: Results are, by definition, what the system was designed to create - systems and processes and organizations are designed to produce results; bad results are due to bad design; humility and accountability play a role in improving systems
06/03/21: Mastery is a measure of execution, not results - what aging tells us about mastery; results and mastery are not 1:1 related; my five levels of mastery; a more productive definition of mastery
05/27/21: When positive is preferable to perfect (What to do when you just don't care) - we can't care about everything 100%; positive is sustainable, perfect is not; visualizing this via the Momentum Model
05/20/21: Breakthroughs result from bold commitments - Shannon Rowbury on how to have breakthroughs; letting go and focusing on execution; my Risk scale highlighting boldness as a measure of execution
05/13/21: One simple question to avoid (most) careless mistakes - examples of careless mistakes; four types of mistakes; "if this goes bad, what will be the most likely reason?"
05/06/21: What does "chasing life" mean to you? - my definition of chasing life; who are you meant to be and what are your priorities?; the importance of making difficult decisions
04/29/21: Simplify vs Optimize - which should you do right now? - simplifying is about taking the next step, optimizing is about getting the best result; how much change do you need to make?; simplify first, then optimize
04/22/21: A simple, functional mental framework that gets results - functional frameworks vs factual frameworks, accountability without control, and why "there's always something you can do."
04/15/21: Building a habit for quickly regaining focus - triggers and routines to regain focus; "After I do X, I will do Y"
04/08/21: How to use strong emotions to identify poor expectations - expectations are result of our "brain factory"; tracking predictions; strong emotions come from poor expectations
04/01/21: Can your North Star goals pass a value check? - if you achieved your goal would you be happy?; "be the person before you become the person"; have to enjoy the lifestyle more than the results
03/25/21: What exactly is the Hidden Training Program - formal training plan vs hidden training plan; what do you really need to do to be successful?; engagement unlocks the hidden training program
03/18/21: The "invisible" high costs of excess friction - friction can't be eliminated, but it can be reduced; effects of friction on feedback loops and compounding gains; identifying the one thing causing the most friction
03/11/21: How much friction are you trying to overcome? - a simple definition of friction; friction as a product of your environment; make a list of the friction in your life
03/04/21: Curiosity's Connection to Engagement - curiosity affects passion and motivation; ask more questions
02/25/21: The Leap Cycle of improvement - the three phases of a leap cycle; the transition periods between phases; the importance of consistency, recovery and repeating the cycle many times
02/18/21: The difference between passion and motivation - a definition of passion; a definition of motivation; the roles each play in creating engagement; finding the right activities to engage in
02/11/21: The benefits of self-referenced goal-setting - what are norm-referenced goals and self-referenced goals?; three benefits of self-referenced goals: context, transferability; freedom to test
02/04/21: Understanding "potential" in training - potential understood as a personal limit; ability is talent molded by effort over time; ability changes in leaps
01/28/21: Introducing the Venn diagram of training feedback loops (aka, what kind of runner are you?) - the three key words in a Venn diagram; four types of runners: leapers, cruisers, grinders, sparklers; which aspect of training each should focus on
01/21/21: 3 words that determine positive feedback loops - a diagram of a feedback loop; how quality, recovery, and consistency are best understood
01/14/21: The importance of making THE CHOICE - we commit to what we choose more than what is given to us; being our best is a choice; use physical reminders to stay focused on it
01/06/21: How to better embrace change by thinking differently - "better necessarily implies different"; three ways to do the same thing, but better; "why do I do it this way?"
12/30/20: How to read a running book - three principles for reading a book; a system based on searching out info, retaining it, and sharing it