The British rowing team had not won a gold medal since 1912. By all measures, they didn’t have a good rowing program. Then something changed. In anticipation of the 2000 Sydney Olympics, the team developed a useful strategy that changed everything. They went from being an average rowing team to winning Olympic Gold.Within their one strategy is embedded several key principles that are essential to epic success. Additionally, within their strategy is a plethora of scientific backing in performance psychology.

psychology of success

In performance psychology, there is a concept known as “implementation intentions,” which is a strategy to plan for the worst — so you can perform your best.

Example: Often, endurance athletes have to pre-plan the conditions in which they will quit an event. If they don’t predetermine when they will stop, they will stop premature. Navy Seals have the 40% rule, which means you usually hit mental resistance at about 40% of your capacity — and that’s where most people quit.

If you have an implementation intention in place, you can overcome the tendency to stop when something starts becoming uncomfortable or difficult.

At the most basic level — an implementation intention is a pre-planned response to a specific obstacle.

What makes this idea so powerful is that — in addition to visualizing the achievement of a goal, you’re also visualizing the process. You’re thinking of all the ways it could go wrong. And you have a simple and triggered response to overcome any obstacle.

The best example I’ve ever heard of the use of implementation intentions was the British rowing team of the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

They developed a one-question response to EVERY SINGLE DECISION they made. This one question allowed them to measure every situation, decision, and obstacle — and to not get derailed where most people do.

With every decision or opportunity, every member of the team asked themselves: WILL IT MAKE THE BOAT GO FASTER?

Example: you get invited to a late night party the night before training. WILL IT MAKE THE BOAT GO FASTER?

If the answer is no… then the decision is no.

Tempted to eat a doughnut? WILL IT MAKE THE BOAT GO FASTER?

The British rowing team used this single question — a profound implementation intention — to quickly escalate their unity, skills, conditioning, and training.

Meditating on this story, Spartan Race founder and author of SPARTAN UP!, Joe De Sena, said … this type of thinking may seem extreme or extensive to some people. But the question is, ‘Do you really want to achieve your goal?’ If you do, then there are no excuses.

The question is: Do you want to compete with someone who has this mindset? Someone who is THIS deliberate about EVERY decision they make? Someone this thoughtful about their life, and how they respond to challenges?

The amount of time spent visualizing future

Another important consideration, embedded within this story is the amount of time spent visualizing the future.

It’s not necessary to spend every waking moment in the future. That actually stops you from living out the process of getting there. But with every decision, you’re reminded of the future you want.

How much time do you actually consider your future?

How definitive are you about something you want to see happen?

Do you remind yourself of your vision with every decision you make?

I’ve found that — the amount of time visualizing the future is important. Even if you spend 15–20 minutes per day thinking about, visualizing, and conspiring about your future — you’ll separate yourself from nearly everyone else.

Very few people think deeply about their future. They’re living day-to-day. They aren’t being incredibly thoughtful and strategic about very specific details they want to see happen in their future. Even if that’s just a social event with a friend.

When you give yourself time to really think about what you want to see happen, you start to get lots of insights into how to make it happen.

Lots of potential experiences and events don’t happen for people because — once they get the idea, they mentally note it and forget it. They don’t give themselves 15–20 minutes to write it down and really think about it to validate it, and then if validated, consciously create it. Very few people are thoughtful about their future.

You spend much time building your future, and you use every decision you make to get there. Furthermore, you use the leaps you make in your progression to re-write your future goals. You don’t get too stuck and narrow.

You have a fluid future — although deliberate. You’re definitive about experiencing the most growth possible. With every experience you have, you reconsider how to expand your future.


What would your life look like if you measured every decision you made against your future vision?

How much more intentional and thoughtful would the DETAILS of your life be if you spent more time in your future, thinking, scheming, planning, then ACTING?


original article reprinted

BENJAMIN P. HARDY|is a husband & father of 3

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Labour Day Weekend - the end of summer, not hockey season yet, so it must be CFL football season. The Blue Jays are out and the Flames are heading to China for pre-season? And today, the Stampeders take on the Eskimos. I'm in - but first a few opinionated comments from your favourite scribe:Labour Day Weekend – the end of summer, not hockey season yet, so it must be CFL football season. The Blue Jays are out and the Flames are heading to China for pre-season? And today, the Stampeders managed to squeak out a win over the Eskimos. Now that the business of a holiday Monday is taken care of – a few opinionated comments from your favourite scribe:


Please note the Canadian spelling of “labour.” That may play into my attempt at wisdom this weekend. I am addicted! Yes, addicted to news, information, press releases by people, or events that I am interested in, and Flipboard feeds. I am also incredibly skeptical – no surprise to those who are close to me, I’m sure. So, I just finished reading yet another editorial about the NAFTA negotiations that are currently going on, or not going on, between Mexico, Canada and the US. Trump, as usual is being an asshole, Trudeau is trying to be all things to all people, and the Mexican president is only in office a few more months and his successor is a left wing, free trade skeptic. What a crew! How did we ever get to this situation where it appears that the 3 stooges would have more credibility in this very important negotiation for all 3 countries. I am starting to think that if the other parties are not interested in a win-win-win deal (and we know Trump isn’t) then maybe we should have the balls to walk away and wait until sanity returns to the white house (no it sure isn’t in caps anymore).


Funny how time changes things. The rage that I felt yesterday about all things political seems to have calmed down this morning. Perhaps that is because it is still dark outside. I’m not sure how much longer the rage free zone will last but for now I can enjoy reading a new novel by Wilbur Smith, ASSEIGAI. If you like BIG adventure, he’s your guy. I’ve been an avid fan for more than 35 years.

We watched a movie last night, that was recommended by our friends G and N, on Netflix called, “The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.” It was quite good and much more enjoyable with the closed captioning on, which I mentioned in a recent post. 


We now get to what is really keeping me awake this night – pipelines. It is naive to think that we can somehow clean up the planet by locking in the world’s second largest deposit of oil. The human race is still totally reliant on oil for everything from transportation, to food, to clothing, to heating, and most things technological including the device you are reading this on. I agree that environmental assessments are appropriate as we determine the feasibility of any large scale project but why does this seem to only apply to the oil industry? How about the impact made by wind farms, solar panel arrays, housing, tourism, agriculture, manufacturing, medicine and more.

The fact is, oil production in Canada is one of the most ethical, environmentally safe, human rights responsible, regulated, wealth sharing, democratically controlled operations in the world. Every single corner and every single resident of Canada shares in the benefits created by the oil industry through corporate and personal taxes and reinvested profits. If we are going to research and experiment with alternative sources of energy, where will the money come from to finance it if we shut down one of the country’s biggest wealth generators?

In addition to studying and revealing the negative impacts of various energy projects, we need to bring some balance to the process. Why are we not looking at the positive social and economic aspects and making these part of the process. This would allow us to look at a balanced discussion and reach a decision with all of the risks factored in including the cost of NOT going forward.

In the meantime, we still need oil to make our world work so why do we continue to buy it from regimes that are misogynistic, corrupt, terror sponsoring and totalitarian instead of accessing it from our own back yard? The court’s rejection of the Kinder Morgan pipeline project made me angry at first but I wonder if this could be a gift horse in disguise. Perhaps Alberta and Saskatchewan should begin to build some world class refineries and begin shipping higher value product instead of raw materials.


In my never ending battle with technology, I have done something stupid again. Amazon is transitioning the availability and management of hard copy books from Create Space to Kindle Direct Publishing and I thought I would get a jump start on the process. In the act of changing, I also decided to change the cover on my West Coast Trail book and discovered that I needed to change the book size and have the cover rejigged, etc. Needless to say, my book is not available until I have done a whole bunch of things and that won’t happen until next month. So, for you fans who insist on buying another copy of that bestseller in paperback, sorry. I should mention however, that it is still available in digital format everywhere.


A bit of an update for you: I am taking a self-imposed break from social media for a week or two and will not be accessing Facebook, Instagram, my website, et al. While in hiding I will be celebrating, yet another, birthday. Yes, that’s right, I am turning 35 again. Now 35 is my mental age, not to be confused with my maturity level which still hovers around 14. In case you feel so declined or obligated to now wish me a Happy Birthday on Facebook, I’m afraid I won’t be responding, so thank you in advance. Gifts of cash in small unmarked bills are always appreciated – see, I told you – 14!

Now, if I haven’t completely turned you off and you would like to get notified of future musings, then please feel free to fill in your email address and should wisdom strike me, you will receive notification to your inbox. Cheers.

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If you have ever been to Hawaii, then like me, you discovered paradise and it has become one of your favorite places on earth. The first time we went, we did a cruise and saw Oahu, Kauai, Maui and the Big Island, five stops in all with an additional sail down to Kiribati, a few miles north of the equator. We fell in love with the place, of course, and decided to return to both Maui and Kauai – paradise indeed. Like most, we toyed with finding some way to spend much more time there. You can never spend enough time in paradise. On our first visit, I read James Michener’s, HAWAII, a great read if you haven’t done so.

I have always loved books full of adventure, action and strong characters set in exotic locales. I remember the first series of books I borrowed at the Kitchener library as a young lad that told about the exploits of a bush pilot set in Northern Ontario (my definition of exotic locales has changed over the years). I’ve been hooked ever since.

Fast forward to a series set in Hawaii, a strong female lead character, various sinister ne’er-do-wells, lots of action and danger, and naturally the unparalleled beauty of the islands themselves. Lei is an intelligent, but flawed detective, who gets herself into some tight spots both personally and professionally.  With the help of a strong supporting cast, she manages to solve the crimes but at great personal cost. One of the reasons I like her character is that she is highly unconventional which creates issues with her superiors. She always seems to be on the edge of being fired or killed or both.

Since the series of books are set in Hawaii, we might assume that this would be a good “beach read.” We would be right and we might wonder why I am reviewing the first book in the Lei Crime Series, “Blood Orchids,” by Toby Neal at this time of the year. First of all, it was a series of books I could not put down and every time of year is a good one when Hawaii is the background setting. The book gets a 4 1/2 star rating, out of 5, from the over 2,000 reviews on Amazon, so that’s a pretty good indication of its popularity.

Our heroine, Lei, discovers the bodies of two teenage girls, one of whom she had busted recently. The teenagers lifestyles bring back many memories of Lei’s own youth and as she continues to investigate the murders, she can’t shake the feeling of being stalked herself. The book reveals a dark side to paradise but the reader will find it easy to ride along with Lei to hunt the killer who seems to take great pleasure in knowing more about her than he should. Is he playing with her? And, why do we always assume the murderer is a “he?”

You can access the boxed set of the first books in the series here.

By the way, got a Kindle or the Kindle app, you are gonna love the price!

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