Personal Development: Exercise Your Mind for Success

My 5-year-old was balancing on one foot on the edge of the bed frame last night.  She fell off and immediately said, “watch, I’ll do it better next time.” (And she did). Being the ever-conscious parent that I am, I tried to seize the moment for a “life lesson.”  I told her that she was right, with anything she wanted to do she would be become better at it with practice. For example, if she practiced being nice, it would become easier to be nice.  (A concept that needs practicing when it comes to her 2-year-old brother). As I made the bed, I started thinking about how true this was.  And it doesn’t just apply to gymnastics and spelling and things of the sort.  It applies to being nice, and to treating people right, and to developing positive self-talk. Our physical body gets better at things as we practice them, as does our mind.  It’s called developing habits.  It reminds me of a story Denis Waitley tells about his work with world class athletes. This won’t be a perfect telling of the story, but Denis talks about conducting tests where they ask the athletes to visualize running the race they are training for.  When they monitor the athlete’s body during the visualization, they find that the same muscles fire as do when they are actually running the race. The body is so conditioned by practice that the race can be run in the mind.  The body reacts automatically. And so does the mind.  If trained properly.  Let’s look at a simple example.  Someone cuts you off in traffic.  You...