[PODCAST] Mental Control Under Pressure, with Lanny Basham

Download Listen in a New Window iTunes Stitcher SoundCloud Leave a Review Clammr It Subscribe via RSS Subscribe on Android Lanny Bassham started off life as a loser. In elementary school, he could never win any of the races, so he decided he’d have a better chance in team sports. When trying out for Little League baseball, he was the last person picked, put out in right field and promptly got hit by the ball right between the eyes. Then he tried out […]

Are You Tolerating Too Much?

Wait, Renita, what are you talking about? Don’t you always say we have to get comfortable being uncomfortable? Well, let’s make a distinction between two kinds of uncomfortable: there’s the discomfort of going into the unknown, the unfamiliar, taking action when we don’t know how it’ll play out. And then there’s the discomfort where we put up with some very familiar aspect of our lives that serves no greater purpose — a lack of challenge at work, an unethical boss, […]

9 Ways You’re Already Mentally Tough

As you know, I think a lot about “mental toughness” and how we can train ourselves to have more of it. But I also think we can get so caught up noticing the times we aren’t mentally tough that we overlook or discount the instances when we are.  Mental toughness doesn’t have to be reserved for some high-stakes situation where we grit our teeth, put our head down and forge on. In my playbook, at least, it can simply be a moment where we overcome a part of […]

The Iceberg Illusion of Success: Don’t Be Fooled Because You Can’t See The Failures

During one of my piano lessons at The Juilliard School, my teacher told me I “played like a mouse” and asked me if I had considered going to law school. At my taekwon-do black belt test, I failed to pass the first time round because I didn’t break the boards (and it took another 12 months until I did). At business school, surrounded by “quant jocks” while I didn’t even know how to use Excel, I finished the first semester at […]

The Time I Got Busted Not Paying Attention

On Saturday afternoons, I take one of my favorite class workouts, Forza, based on samurai sword fighting, with martial arts fitness instructor Ilaria Montagnani. After the warm-up and technical exercises, we learn two combinations, each a series of 16 moves – half cuts, diagonals, horizontals, for example – combined with squats and specific footwork moving backward, forward, sideways and diagonally. Once we’ve learned the combination, we repeat it, without stopping, for five to six minutes. For years now, we’ve done […]

How To Avoid the Main Pitfall of Success

Roger Federer, the great tennis champion, has been playing tennis for 30 years, since he was four years old. In a practice session before the US Open, he was tired. Federer wanted, as Michael Terry tells the story, to cut practice short. ”That’s when I started to run in and hit returns,” he said later. “I hit a couple for a winner. They were, like, ridiculous.” He tried it again in the next two practice sessions, to see if it actually would […]

How To Get Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

The Navy SEALs have a saying: “Get comfortable being uncomfortable.” Sounds like an oxymoron but, of course, if we want to grow, we need to get used to being outside our comfort zone. The thing is, our modern lives are all about ease and instant gratification. We don’t like the discomfort of a slow Internet connection, much less voluntarily exposing ourselves to potential rejection or failure. But that’s not where the magic – the growth, the learning – happens. So […]

Fight-or-Flight: It’s Now Optional

Imagine it’s 1 million BC and you’re Zog, the caveman. Every day you wake up with one mission: to go out and hunt for food to feed you and your family. At the same time, you have to constantly be on the lookout for the predators that want to eat you. That primitive, automatic instinct that prepares us to “fight” or “flee” from a perceived attack or threat to our survival came in very handy when we ran into a […]