January Book of the Month: Life As Sport

By: Arin Segal, @ArinSegal

Reading, not only about the industry you are in, but other industries is one of the most valuable tools to success. Now, many will argue that learning isn’t only done in a book, and while I completely agree, reading can do wonders for your conversational abilities and can open your eyes to new ways to approach decisions. Personally, I aim to read one book a week in addition to plenty of articles. Sometimes it’s a mindless book, other times it centers on business and occasionally I’ll read a biography or history book. Each month, I’ll be spotlighting a book or two from my expanding bookshelf.

Dr. Jonathan Fader’s ‘Life as Sport’ adapts Dr. Fader’s sports performance psychology methods to business and life in general. A batter in a slump and a sales person not reaching their goals are more similar than you might think and a simple change in attitude and mindset can make a world of difference.

The ‘DOT Model’ or ‘Doing, Outcome, Thinking’ model that is shared within the book and is a main thread breaks down how our thoughts and actions impact the outcome. Since it’s still early enough in the year, let’s use resolutions as the example. Say your goal or desired outcome is to get a job after graduation.

Well, they don’t just fall out of the sky and land on your lap. It will take a bit of work to get there. Now that we have the outcome (O), let’s set what we will do (D).

This typically requires something more physical – i.e., connecting with a new person from the industry each week, reading 5 articles each morning, or spending 10 minutes visualizing what that job looks like. You can have multiple items in this category. The point is that it is fluid and will adapt as you get closer to the desired outcome.

The final piece is thinking (T) and what I, personally, believe can be the most forgotten, but important, part of the puzzle. This is everything from positive self-talk to a mantra or setting small attainable goals. In the example of a job search, there will ultimately be a lot of interviews that don’t work in your favor, but rather than get down on yourself for not getting the job, think about what you learned.

Find the positives in the experience and be grateful you got that far. Sometimes it has nothing to do with your background and is simply that you don’t fit a specific culture, or your personality isn’t a match with the potential boss.

The DOT Method, along with Dr. Fader’s Mastery Map, are both explained in depth in the book, using both athletes and business people as examples. What it all comes down to, I think, is positive self-talk, knowing you will both fail and have successes, but the mental approach to both is what makes the difference.

Grab a copy of Life as Sport here and let me know what you think!  

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