“I like pressure. If I am not on the edge of failure, I’m not being sufficiently challenged.”
– Jewel, singer
“The struggle and frustration you feel at the edges of your abilities—that uncomfortable burn of “almost, almost”—is the sensation of constructing new neural connections, a phenomenon that the UCLA psychologist Robert Bjork calls “desirable difficulty.” Your brain works just like your muscles: no pain, no gain.”
– Daniel Coyle, in The Little Book of Talent
A true competitor desires to be pushed to the edge of their abilities. At the edge of our abilities is where development occurs, where true improvement takes place, and where greatness is achieved. The edge of our abilities is also where the largest amount of discomfort lies. The Heart of the Competitor enjoys and seeks out this discomfort; they enjoy the pressure. The Heart of the Competitor turns the pressure into pleasure.
The pressure that comes from teetering on the edge of failure is the proper challenge. We can identify this because it has been researched and is known that this uncomfortable feeling that arises within us is our brain working to make new connections, to establish new programs. While we are working physically to learn a new skill, our brain is also working physically to make new connections and establish new neural pathways.
The Heart of the Competitor believes in the following mantras, “Turn Pressure into Pleasure” and “Desire Difficulty.” When using these two mantras, the competitor seeks out difficulties because true learning and growth occurs there. While desiring the difficulties, the competitor enjoys the pressure that comes with performing.
Question of the Day:
Today, seek out a learning experience at the edge of your abilities. During this experience, how did this help you turn pressure into pleasure?