Book Notes – Mental Training

The following are my notes on the book The Art of Mental Training – A Guide to Performance Excellence by DC Gonzalez. My friend started reading it to me the other day and it seemed relevant to my current mindset. I just finished the book and took some notes on each chapter:

Never look where you don’t want to go.

A bad attitude can ruin your life.
Failing is merely an opportunity to improve.
Keep internal-dialogue positive.
Remain hopeful.
To take control, make the decision to do so.
Decide to maintain a positive attitude.

Recall past and present scenes of success.
Enjoy the feelings these mini-movies stir-up.
Imagine and feel future successes with vivid intensity.
Let triumph surge as scenes play within the mind.

Rushing results in mistakes.
Don’t rush, “smooth is fast”.
Catch negative chatter and replace it with positivity.
All performance, good and bad, originates in the mind.
For any event, first practice it in the mind.
Visualize scenes that stir feelings of victory.

Believe you can win.
Relax, then imagine yourself succeeding.

Confidence begins in the imagination: see and feel the victory.
Keep repeating scenes of success within the mind.
Picture challenges being overcome.
Shut out images and feelings of defeat.
Feed the mind only with achievement.
Relax, then through repeated rehearsals, see it and feel it.

Use relaxation to shut down the criticizing part of the mind.
From there, show your desires to the deeper, “doing” part of the mind.
Create movies that illustrate what you want to accomplish,
captivating movies that evoke emotion as you watch them play.

To have a trained mind, practice training the mind.

Anger degrades performance.
A well-trained mind reins in anger.
Who is in control? Is it anger? I am.
I am calm, cool, and collected.
The energy of the anger can be redirected and repurposed.
Never betray the trust others have in you by demonstrating your anger.

Either you control anger or anger controls you.
You decide.

We can’t control every situation,
but we can always control our response.
Disappointment is okay, just don’t dwell on it.
Think instead of your comeback and eventual triumph.

Goals aren’t instantaneously accomplished, failure happens.
Do not fear this failure, doing so will hinder your progress.
Do not seek to perform flawlessly, mistakes are part of the path.
Do not criticize yourself, simply use failure as feedback to learn from.

Fear is a reaction of the mind, and the mind can be managed.
Focus on the breath to keep the mind from wandering.
Then use reason to talk yourself out of being afraid.
Always interrupt negative thoughts, replacing them with positivity.
In any situation the only energy you feel is excitement,
don’t interpret it as fear.

When the pressure’s on, don’t be afraid of looking bad.
Focus on something else — something outside rather than inside.

Pressure originates in the mind, and the mind can be managed.
Pressure pushes you to rush; rushing results in poor performance.
To perform well, remain calm.
Exhale not only air, but tension and anxiety.
Relax your muscles.
I’m calm, cool, and collected.
Zoom out, widen your perspective.
Feel as though you have nothing to lose.
Enjoy the performance, forget about outcomes.

Criticizing yourself leads to poor performance.
Silence the critic.
When adversity strikes, speak only in positive terms to yourself.
Encourage yourself to succeed.

Too high of an intensity leads to poor performance and burn-out,
seek an appropriate level of intensity.

Follow your dream, letting it drive you on a path.
Without a dream you’re going nowhere.
Clearly define what you want.
Vividly imagine the life you want to live.

Your goals are good if they inspire you to action.
They should spur improvement through a desire to achieve.
Goals should be beyond reach, requiring effort to attain.
Set long-term as well as daily goals.
Goals must come from within, discover what you really want.
A goal is only what you want — not what you don’t want.
Believe you can achieve your goals.

Commit to a goal and put effort into it.
Don’t coast, keep improving.

Use weaknesses as challenges to overcome.
Work to turn weaknesses into strengths.

Your mental state is a result of your thoughts.
You can change your thoughts and consequently your mental state.
What does the internal-dialogue of a winner sound like? Do that.
You’re engaged in a game of pretend, in this round be a winner.
How does a winner move his body? Do that.
You’re a winner, carry yourself as such.
How does a winner breathe? Do that.
You’re a winner, breathe smoothly and fully, relaxed.
By performing this process you become the winner.

When engaged, the goal is to become absorbed in the activity without chatter interrupting.
There’s no pressure, no anxiety when the mind is still.
Catch your mind when it wanders, then focus on breathing.

Visualize and rehearse in the mind.
Remove doubt.
When engaged in activity, leave the conscious mind out of it.
To be a winner, act like one.

Unlock self-imposed restraints.
If life changes your path, don’t distrust and over-analyze, accept it.
Create new goals and keep going.
Walk on and discover what awaits.
Trust life and believe in yourself (you can do it!).


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