The Biology of Success Leading to Success

Discussion in 'Trials' started by motobene, Jun 25, 2018.

  1. motobene

    motobene Motoing for 46 years

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    ...and the opposite.

    I was very disappointed in my performance in the nationals this year. Third in Senior 60 Western (worse if I don't ride Donner in September), and third in the Eastern.

    The cause, I like say, was not being all there mentally/spiritually, and battling myself at times. Also just plain bad luck - whatever that really is.

    I had an inkling of some deeper motive force, but it was fuzzy. Then I recently happened upon the work of clinical psychologist and philosopher Dr. Jordan Peterson on YouTube, watching some hundred hours of his work and public interface. I was intrigued by his deep thinking on a wide array of subjects, one of which regards the many components of what makes success.



    This guy thinks and can talk about it.

    So I bought his 2nd book, 12 Rules for Life - an Antidote to Chaos. His first book is far more meaty, scientifically, so I decided to start with a work more for public consumption
    ...which I am just getting into.

    In rule one, he focuses on the neuropsychologysociology of lobsters, who share serotonin neurotransmitter systems with us. Fascinating stuff.

    So what the heck do lobsters have to do with trials competition? Well, the facts regarding how things work in natural systems, and how I can reflect on that and work on ways to affect serotonin... how I have some modicum of control over the serotonin system through adaptability and neuroplasticity... that's why.

    There is this feedback loop of success and increased serotonin, with increased confidence, happiness, and success. This leads to inequality of outcome, 1%-ers, men like Bou - and a few others - come to dominate a niche.

    As for the rest of us, the so called 99%, we can work with this immutable biological system to affect outcomes. To quote Solomon in Proverbs 23:7, "As a man thinks, so is he." I suppose, as a man thinks, so he rides!

    I have have long and often been of two minds about many things. One regards how much I want to be competitive, and how much I want to be helpful, and how much I fight myself in the inner life. The outcome of my nationals effort in 2018 reflects precisely on this battleground, and I aim to improve on this because how I see myself and which battles I wish to fight, is how things will turn out. I gave critical feedback to the fellow who went on in two more events to wrest #2 from me. He was missing something critical regarding use of momentum, and I, the helpful one, handed it to him on a platter.

    No illusions about being a Bou or the handful of the top guys. But at my level, I see room for improvement, and that starts with the inner life.

    I don't know if much of this struggle of duality makes sense. Know where I'm going with this?
    #1
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  2. heffergm

    heffergm Long timer

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    Don't worry, the new world order is equality of outcome. Pretty soon someone will be mailing you your underserved trophy.
    #2
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  3. MATTY

    MATTY BORDER RAIDER

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    Your over thinking things fella and being too hard on yourself from what vibe i get back from your post, mental approach attitude call it what you will can be knocked sideways through many things. Developing a approach to preparing yourself for competition is important and i like to go in with at least a clear chain of thoughts not always easy with family work financial concerns in this day and age,It might sound a popular term but rolling with the punches is not so far off the mark, i chose to see that term as going with the flow. What is happening is happening for a reason if thats personal physical or from outside influences i dont know, but if you can not remove any or all these from the equation you dont have a clear mind and if you dont have a clear mind you can be compromised in performance.
    Some things in life we can not control fully these things we must accept or learn to tolerate or mentally set aside from our primary thoughts when competing, this is often very difficult to achieve depending on an individuals mentality.
    Waffling on generalizing is pretty much about as far as an outsider can go without really being close to the person concerned, but one can hope that in such generalizing, something switches a light on and it helps said individual. through the LULL because thats all it is a lull in performance.
    Your drive will vary it is geared by so many things and a good first step to sorting out your mental drive / competitiveness, is to recognize at least one key reason your lacking drive/ momentum /flow.
    When i settle down and work out for myself whats going wrong i then set about trying to work around remove or face head on the issues, to clear the way mentally for achieving what is an acceptable performance for me.
    If something is there blocking you mentally that can not be removed you have to try and think of a way you can set it aside at key points in time when you need your mental capacity elsewhere other than bogged down in baggage you have to carry but at least at these critical times you need to mentally put it down.
    Quite how you do this is down to the individual everybody is different.
    I tick like this and it works for me.
    When im in a lull i do as i said recognize key issues side issues often nothing to do with the job in hand. I draw a line under what i can do i do what i can to address the problem then i mentally satisfy myself that i done all i can leave it be and my words now. LET IT DEVELOP.
    This in my life is how i have always cleared my mind and it works the most part i suppose i try to be reasonable and do my bit let it go after that, meanwhile im on for action.
    Now this agin is ME! when im in a lull, i do take things to heart more than i should and i recognize this and i tend to handle it by withdrawing from social banter and debate, be polite but get focused stage your mindset there switch off concentrate dont be thrown by talk coment anything, you know what you got is capable you know you can do it and mentaly build yourself off that stage.
    When your waiting again switch off be aware whats going on when your due on, but never mind what billy z or tony d etc performed like, let the crowd chat away to their hearts content look interested but IGNORE everything.
    Now when its your turn hopefully you can have set aside secondary issues and problems, and can start to do what its all about being there and enjoying it.
    Just do it be totally focused from start to Finnish, and come back in knowing you did the best you possibly could. No one can do any more than that.
    Much of what i said above i do apply to trials / hill clim bing. But i will admit i am mainly full on competitive in shooting sports /clay shooting .
    And i think i should pass on one piece of advice an old competition clay shooter told me 45 years ago , he said to me, more comps are won by pulling the competition to pieces mentally in the car park cafe or waiting line than are ever done on firing points.
    #3
  4. heffergm

    heffergm Long timer

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    Your first sentence was "You're over thinking things", after which follow many paragraphs about thought process. :mind blown:
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  5. 2whlrcr

    2whlrcr gooligan

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    I didn't read all of the above, but the Cliff notes are...you don't compete at the National level for 20? years, show up one year and expect to win? That's either misplaced confidence or arrogance. I'd say most people were pretty impressed by your performance to be on podium,
    No
    #5
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  6. MATTY

    MATTY BORDER RAIDER

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    Well im sorry you feel that way, i just tried to impart fully how i see mentally preparing myself for competition, when things are not going perfect.
    #6
  7. 10K

    10K Trail Runner

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    First world problems, " I'm the 3rd best trials rider in my age group though out the country", woe is me. :ace
    #7
  8. jonnyc21

    jonnyc21 Trials Ninja

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    :imaposer

    Where I am sure your comment is mostly in jest... I would have to at least say I am sure this was bene imparting his thinking on how to improve his mindset for the future and not a complaint. Though I could see how it might seem that way.

    Thanks for sharing bene, and also MATTY.
    #8
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  9. heffergm

    heffergm Long timer

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    I'm just messing with you ;)
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  10. Nodabs

    Nodabs Been here awhile

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    Confidence and optimism will make you a winner in life. But life has a way of knocking both out of your grasp.
    Thinking, analyzing, rehashing, are the ways of a thinking man.
    But remember that depression is the thinking man’s burden. Try to learn how to let go and move forward.
    #10
  11. fprintf

    fprintf Been here awhile

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    I'm not a competitor in trials just yet, but am in other areas of life. I must say I've never been 3rd nationally ranked in anything much less what I do pretty well (sailing). So you have that going for you. I would also say that your observation on the #2 rider seemed to be helpful coaching. I always dislike seeing someone question their motives when they help a competitor to a higher position than themselves. But I get it, you want #2 or #1 and maybe jealous that they were able to achieve it where you couldn't?

    Personally I'd be more thrilled at my observations helping people achieve greatness than my own. But that isn't for everyone. Perhaps you also need someone equally skilled as you to observe just a little something about what you are doing wrong to propel you to the next tier. At work this would be seeking out a mentor or two, which isn't easy when you are at or just beyond the peak. Just last week I was listening to a talk about a very senior leader in my company and he said that his mentor was now a subordinate - someone who was very good at observing, at coaching and giving advice. I thought this was unique and perhaps applicable to your situation.

    I'll add, that I find your contributions here very insightful. Clearly there are a lot of people that are taking great value from your contributions. I hope you feel the same way in your quest for #1.
    #11
  12. jonnyc21

    jonnyc21 Trials Ninja

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    I know bene well enough to be sure it isn't likely jealousy, I would suspect it's more likely a glad I could help but bummer I didn't see something at the same time that could have helped me improve as well.

    But I will let bene correct me if he really was jealous. :dunno

    I mean, who would want there help to provide the answer to give there competition the hand up that helps them take the upper hand? I would be glad for them but still have wanted to win enough to be disappointed I couldn't pull it off.
    #12
  13. DyrWolf

    DyrWolf Long timer

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    I used to live next door to a psychologist. We had a mutual friend that was in a car accident. Jack said there are no accidents that Bob didn’t want to get where he was going. I don’t believe there are no accidents but yesterday I think I experienced the not wanting to get where I was going.
    Yesterday was wet and slick and steep. My goal of the day was not to get hurt. I have a vacation coming up that is very important to me. A week in Canada kayaking with my daughter. I fell a few times, always early in a section.The start to 6 was clean or 5. Problem was the clean line was most dangerous. I turned the corner and looked up the hill rolling on I just lost the front end a fell , just stupid at the base of the hill. First words out of my mouth were at least I don’t have to come back down. Today I was wondering if in the back of my mind I really didn’t want to get up? I was looking up prepared to go up but had a accident.
    #13
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  14. lineaway

    lineaway Long timer

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    Well Bene, you only have one more year till I will be a young Pup in your class! Good luck next Year!
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  15. heffergm

    heffergm Long timer

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    You need to decide what you're there for. If it's a good finish AND some friendly helping, BS'ing, etc during the trial, you're always going to have at least marginally conflicted interests, even if it's only because you're willing to stop and have a conversation when you should be focusing on the section you're walking.

    Which is all fine, and if you can pull off 3rd in class with both those goals in play, all the better. But if the goal is to crush the competition, you have to be dedicated to that, which means keeping focused on it for the entirety. I think this is one place where a good minder probably helps a lot, as they're coach and motivator constantly in your ear to help maintain that focus. But again, can't just be a riding buddy. Has to be someone dedicated to your goal of winning).

    Short version:
    Define the goal (win, fun, a mix, etc)
    Don't be distracted from the goal
    Enlist support in achieving the goal (minder, beer, minder with beer... again, depending on the goal)

    I think this is why Wayne is so good. Obviously he can ride, but his focus is absolute once things start, and he doesn't let up until his last card is turned in. His goal is clearly to win. It comes at the expense of some personal interaction sometimes, but I totally respect that his priorities are very obvious.
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  16. lineaway

    lineaway Long timer

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    After looking at the results again for the east and west, you did damn well considering your competition. All of your fellow riders have ridden nationals for years and years. You are the least experienced. Hard to grasp with all the riding you have done through the years, but that is the meat of it. Hope to see you in California!
    #16
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  17. Norman Foley

    Norman Foley Devotee of the Husqvarna

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    Just what heffergm said in different words.... A riding buddy who has been successful in multiple disciplines, always says: "Plan the work and then work the plan!" The choice of plan is yours.

    Focus and watch what Ryan does with Pat's air filter changes! Good luck in California!
    #17
  18. motobene

    motobene Motoing for 46 years

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    VERY interesting replies!

    What I find interesting was to be ascribed motives I didn't think I transmitted. But I deserve it.

    The self is the good ship we ride through space-time, so as cool headed and analytical as one might be (or want to be), cracking open the door of inner struggle and watching juices ooze out makes for a mild public spectacle.

    As for the role of the serotonin feedback loop, maybe this wasn't the right venue....:dllama:
    #18
  19. motobene

    motobene Motoing for 46 years

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    Hey you know I always delight in competition. My fellow riders are just fellow travelers. It's that guy between the ears that's the asshole....

    For those of you in Rio Linda, that means me :-)
    #19
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  20. lineaway

    lineaway Long timer

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    By the way, being the only one around to see the awkward crash you had in Roswell the 2nd day I think it was just awesome you soldiered on!:bow
    #20