In his book “Life is Not a Game of Perfect” Bob Rotella describes 26 rules he wants the readers to learn about. While mainly working with people who play golf, to him these rules describe what people did whom he saw achieve extraordinary things.
The rules focus on what he calls real talent. That is, as he describes it, “the traits and attitudes that help people achieve greatness.”
I wouldn’t call them rules as I see them more as principles, but that is nuance in my understanding. I’d describe a rule as something one has to learn to follow, whereas a principle will be something the reader needs to learn to implement in the situations he encounters.
An important point is that neither a rule nor a principle comes with a guarantee that it will work. But the rule might create more of the impression that it must work. The principle I see as inviting more responsibility and autonomy from the one seeking to implement these principles.
To become acquainted with the principles Rotella describes the best use of time is to read the book itself. Many of the details only become understandable within the context of the book and through the examples he shares.
However, one of them may serve as an invitation to read or think, it’s #16. He writes: “I don’t often use the term ‘positive thinking.’ I like the term ‘honest thinking,’ because that’s what confidence really is.”
I might be biased as the idea of focusing on what is positive or the invitation to think positive rarely feels right for me. It’s because such ideas depend on the contrast between positive and negative. Creating these opposites requires a judgment to be accessible and to be able to transform it into an attitude that is perceived as positive.
The idea to use the term ‘honest thinking’ instead changes this. People might still tend to try to judge their thinking, behavior, or attitude, but they also have to come up with a reasoning that makes visible why it is honest.
It’s an invitation to observe what is really happening instead of how one perceives it.
It doesn’t happen by itself, but the better one gets at this, the more options become available.