Getting Over the Fear Factor and Focusing at the 2018 Olympics

I’ve been watching the Olympics and I love it. Watching the best of the best of each country compete with the best of other countries is fascinating. There are a few interesting things I’ve noticed.

The best truly have the ability to focus on what is at hand. They let the thousands of hours they’ve practiced take over and they just do it. They don’t let the crowds or the pressure get to them. It’s just about the sport. Later, when asked how they did it and what they thought about while doing it, they simply answer something like: I just focused on what I needed to do and that was it. Most said they were not nervous. Interestingly enough, there may have been someone better but that person didn’t have the same focus as the winners, or they let themselves get distracted.

I find this interesting because these athletes are really getting an award for extreme focus and bringing it when it’s most important. I admire their intense focus on the task at hand.

The other thing I find interesting is that the older athletes are more focused on not getting hurt or injured and they may not give it their all as they get older. The teenagers and twenty somethings have no fear about that at all and they just go. I’m thinking of the snowboarders and some of the crazy stunts they perform. After being seriously injured a few months ago, Shawn White said in an interview that he didn’t even recognize himself in the mirror and he was terrified and needed to get over that fear and just focus on the task at hand. And he did just that.

I’ve heard that the brain isn’t fully developed until we reach the age of 25 which is why teenagers make some stupid decisions. I remember doing some stupid things at that age that may have killed me. I wasn’t really thinking I could possibly die. That fear comes with age.

Bode Miller chose not to compete at the 2018 Olympics, and was interviewed a few months ago and asked why. He said he didn’t want to be injured. The interviewer asked if he was really worried about that? Bode said, yes, of course. I could be injured, paralyzed or even die. And after watching the men’s downhill and slalom skiers crash one after another and some being air lifted out….he is right. Bode is actually once of the announcers at this Olympics and he has insight that the other announcers simply don’t have. But in the 2002 Olympics, Bode Miller was good because he didn’t seem to care about that at all. He was called crazy. It’s amazing how well these athletes perform if they are not worried about getting hurt.

It’s clear to me that much of the success of these athletes is mental. They have to mentally be able to control their fears and focus. Most of us can’t do this on a normal day, but imagine if we could? What could we accomplish by overcoming them? It’s fun to think about it.

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Attempting to Work on Several Big Projects at the Same Time Can be Overwhelming

Lately, I feel like I am running around taking care of little stuff and getting nothing done at the end of the day. I have been busy, but certainly not productive. I have mental lists of everything I need to get done, but I continue to add things to them without getting some things accomplished, and they keep piling up. This feels overwhelming. I need some quiet time to organize my thoughts and focus on what really needs to be accomplished. I am working on projects at work, projects for school, and a business idea I’m trying to flush out. It seems like a lot.

When I’m at work, I have consistent interruptions that take me this way for 20 minutes and another way for 2 hours. I may need to come in over the weekend to get everything organized there so I can work without interruption.

When I’m at home, I have distractions and things that I feel like should be done but they may not necessarily be what I should be focusing on.

Writing things down and making lists helps me to feel more productive. Now finding the time to do everything will be they key. Luckily, I have some support at work and people who can help me focus on that.

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Continuing Education Helps Me to Continue to Learn and Grow

I’m working on my final doctorate class and should be done with it by the end of the month. I’ve already started working on my project in a hope to have at least half of what is needed for my first project class done. I’ve been told that that class takes the full 16 weeks to complete and some people need extra time or have to take the class again. The class sets the foundation for the rest of the project and needs to be complete. I’d like to get it done in the first 16 weeks.

The process of going back to school has been interesting. At first, it was difficult to take advice from the mentors. I felt like I was a pretty good teacher myself, and taking advice from a few (what I considered to be) sub-par teachers was difficult. One of my friends who is getting her doctorate in nursing called it “humbling”.

Then I started getting into the swing of things and enjoyed doing the work in the classes. I used assignments to apply directly to my work or some topic I was interested in, or came up with crazy business ideas and products.

Some of the projects had me questioning some processes at work which were not as efficient. We’ve made some changes as a result, and amazingly one of them worked out really well and we have been enrolling quite a few more people as a result. Another project allowed me to find a substantial amount of money that was sitting in inventory that was no longer used. Again, interesting.

Part of me realizes that this will be the last time in my life when I will officially be going to school for an extended period of time. I’m trying to relish it while I can. As much as I learn from textbooks, I’m not sure I will pull one out for the fun of it years from now.

It’s also been interesting to see the different ways that other students respond to mentors, classes, and individual assignments. Mentors I like, others don’t. Classes I love, others just want to get through quickly. We created a private Facebook page for some other higher education doctorate of business students. It’s been useful to ask questions and get advice from others who have similar focus. We are all at different stages of our education and some have been able to provide good advice. I’m hoping one of the women who started with me will finish around the same time so we can walk together at graduation in August of 2019.

Getting a doctorate in business is a 5+ years commitment. I was able to shave off about a year by completing most classes in a month instead of eight weeks.

In my masters program, it was the classes I loved and the project was a pain to complete. It wasn’t even the same project by the end because I wasn’t as clear as I could be. Because I know more now, I expect my project to run a little more smoothly. I feel like I have a pretty good focus of what I want to do and I know I have a stronger will to fight for it this time. I suspect that this project will not only be my favorite part of my doctorate program, but may also take me on a journey even after I’m done with school. It’s an amazing topic and one I feel quite passionate about. I’m excited to start working on it and see where it takes me.

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When the Sun is Out I’m in a Better Mood

It’s amazing how much better I feel when the sun is out. Sometimes it’s the difference between having a good day, and having a great day. A few years ago, we had a few months of cloudy days during the winter, and I believe I had seasonal affective disorder (SAD). It was compounded by a low vitamin D level, but it became increasingly clear to me that I needed the sun. I flew to San Diego during that time and it was rainy and cloudy there the whole time too. Sometimes just feeling the sun on my face is fantastic. It’s uplifting and can be just what I need to make it through the rest of my day.

I’m looking forward to the nice weather here over the next few days.

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What is Happening on College Campuses When Students Protest Free Speech?

I recently watched a story on CBS Sunday Morning that showed a wave of protests around the country on college campuses. This are not your typical protests, but instead the students are actively protesting speakers who have been invited by other students to speak on one topic or another. Video showed that the protests start yelling over the speaker whenever they attempt to speak. They come with signs stating things like we don’t want to hear what you have to say. And this is happening around the country regularly.

When individual protesters are interviewed, they state they don’t want to hear what the speaker has to say. The interviewer asks what about the other students who want to hear them and if they don’t what to hear it, then why show up. The student just respond that they don’t want them on the campus at all.

One speaker had written a book where a small part of the research mentioned in the book showed that black students don’t do as well on tests as white students. And the author mentions that the tests are somewhat biased to white students and that may be the reason for the discrepancy. The protesting students don’t care. They immediately started yelling as soon as the author opens their mouth.

The students claimed they don’t care about freedom of speech because again, the speaker has something to say that they don’t want to hear and they want to censor that. They don’t want to hear any opinion that doesn’t match their own. They don’t want to hear opposing views. They are essentially saying free speech doesn’t matter…just their opinion does.

Another side note that is amazing to me is that the students are not reprimanded or expelled on these college campuses. Administration isn’t doing anything about it, and some of these schools are public institutions. Where free speech should be upheld. The students who show up to hear the speakers are not allowed because of these protests. They are not getting the education they are paying for. And most likely, the college has gone to considerable expense to bring that speaker there.

I must admit this generation scares me a little. Some part of me, worries that the Internet has made everyone an instant critic and given voice to everyone. I’m not sure I need to hear about someone’s lunch, or the salesperson who made them mad that day. But then again, I just leave Facebook and do something else. I don’t actively protest that my opinion is the only one that needs to be heard.

The link to the story is below. I have done additional research after watching this video.

CBS Sunday Morning News Story

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The Blinkist App Includes One Free Book a Day and It’s Interesting

I recently downloaded the Blinkist app. It’s an app that has taken entire books and gives you the main information in about a 20 minute read. You can pay for a subscription and have instant access to thousands of books and the audio version. Or you can get one book a day (of their choosing) for free. I’ve opted for the free version to try it out and also because I don’t have hours everyday to go through books anyway. It’s been eye opening.

I enjoy getting this short, well written overview of different subjects each day. I’ve found myself using and telling other people about what I read. For instance on Sunday, I learned that the ancient tribes in New Mexico pulled out the trees to create these massive (what we call today) ruins, and in the process they destroyed the underground eco water system that allowed these trees to survive for thousands of years. Then they were unable to get water there and had to move from the area. Today, trees still have difficulty growing in New Mexico as a result. I find this extremely interesting.

Anyway, if you have a few minutes everyday to learn something….I highly recommend the Blinkist app.

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The 52 Lists Project Update

The 52 Lists Project book is going well. I love 💕 💕 making lists and these questions/comments are thought provoking, funny, touching, and reflective. This morning, I completed “List the Happiest Moments of Your Life so Far” and I realized that this list could be a guide for how to have more happy days. By looking at the similar themes it may actually be easy to create that.

I think that when we look back on our life and come to the realization that we’d do things differently if we could do it all over…that those things we’d do differently are really guides for how we should act in the future. For example, if we decide that we didn’t push ourselves or situations enough in the past, then this is something we should focus on in the future.

Then I flipped through the book to see what I had completed already and I fell upon “Things you should ignore” and I had written “people who annoy me”…that’s it, nothing more and it made me laugh out loud.

Because I have so much going on this year, I cancelled the A SImple Year 2018 course and hope to do it next year instead. I think this book requires just enough attention for me to keep my focus and make some changes in this year.

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