Posted on: 11th Oct 2016 by: Andy Hill
I had the pleasure yesterday or attending the Vistage Open Day at Titanic Belfast with the world- renowned sports psychologist Professor Steve Peters. Professor Peters has worked with Olympic gold medalists like Chris Hoy & Victoria Pendleton, 5 time snooker world champion Ronnie O'Sullivan and various sporting teams like Liverpool Football Club and the English National team. Sir Dave Brailsford has described Peters as "the best appointment I've ever made."
I first heard of Professor Peters in 2014 when my wife bought me the Chimp Paradox. The Chimp Paradox is Peters' best selling book that references his theory that your inner chimp controls a large percentage of the decisions you make everyday. Yesterday's seminar was titled Optimising the Performance of the Human Mind and together with 150 other business people i listened to Professor Peters for about seven hours.
These were my five major takeaways from yesterday -
Be aware of your inner chimp and understand how powerful it can be. A simple example of your inner chimp. You receive a rude email and angrily send a response only to regret your response about ten minutes later and think, "why on earth did i send that!!!" That is your inner chimp telling you "I'm not taking that, i'm letting this person know what i think." Even the most calm and methodical individuals can let their inner chimp control them.
There is no such thing as will power. Contentious, i know but Professor Peters gave scientific reasoning about why will power was a myth.
Finding your stone of life. Imagine your are 90 years old and on your death bed and your great grandson runs in and asks, "what one piece of advice would you give me?" Now your answer to this should become your stone of life, if you say "be happy and enjoy every day of your life" then you should live by this mantra everyday. Professor Peters referenced Steve Jobs and how his outlook on life changed once he was diagnosed with a terminal illness.
The fridge door syndrome. Professor Peters was adamant about this point, he said that putting your kids' pictures on the fridge door sends the wrong message to children. Your daughter / son returns home from their first day of school with a drawing of the family. Before your daughter/ son hands over their picture tell them they are loved, you are proud and they are fantastic. Kids will realise life is about doing your best instead of how pretty the picture is.
Do your best. I know this is a fairly obvious one and not exactly ground breaking but Professor Peters used some examples of world class sports stars doubting their own ability. This is to do with your inner chimp being scared, afraid and not wanting you to succeed. My takeaway from this was that most people, regardless of skill and talent have doubts of their own ability. I have ran successful businesses for over 10 years and can still, honestly say i have doubts about my own ability.
I have heard 100s of speakers over the years and i think Professor Peters was probably the best speaker i've ever heard. He managed to combine scientific theory with real world practical examples and some of the exercises gave me eureka moments for my life and business. I would recommend anyone to read the Chimp Paradox or if you get the chance attend one of Professor Peters' workshops.
If you want to know anything else about yesterday's presentation or about Vistage then drop me a message on LinkedIn. I joined Vistage in February and through my group and my chair Kate Marshall have made huge steps in my personal and business goals.
Andy Hill is the MD of Dokoo Digital a social media marketing agency based in Holywood, Northern Ireland. You can find out more at www.dokoo.com.
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