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Inner Game of Work - Book Review

I like this book. The author shares many examples of how paying attention to tiny details can help you learn more effectively, and how a coach’s role isn’t to provide answers but rather to help draw the student’s awareness to the right things and encourage them to trust in their own learning process.

The Self 1 / Self 2 is perhaps the easy way to show the distinction. Self 1 is our over critical conscious mind that gets in our way in doing things. It is our inner component (what we think and how we talk to ourselves about what we are or aren't doing as we do it), Self 2 is the action body that does things, the outer component (physical skills, abilities, techniques)

As human beings we have a tendency to get into our own way. For example a small action of hitting a single tennis ball - player sees an approaching ball, then responds to it by moving into a position and striking the ball, producing results into action.

"Perception, Response and Results"

Usually after results and before next action, there is some thinking. this thinking becomes his interpretation resulting into a self image.

Words like ‘oh, here comes a difficult shot’ ‘you were terrible’ come from this. This interpretation undermines players ability and confidence thus affecting his next action. And the cycle continues

The key to success and top-performance is to ACT (Awareness, Choice, Trust).

Success arises from three resourceful states: awareness (knowing the present situation with clarity), choice (moving in a desired direction in the future) and trust (of one’s inner resources as the essential link). These three factors make for success in any field.

Awareness is non-judgmental awareness; it is awareness of what is.

Choice is the power to recognize where we want to go with clarity and precision and ownership of one’s power to take charge.

Trust is trusting the natural learning powers of one’s true self, Self 2.

This is the self that expresses our potential, “the vast reservoir of potential within each one of us” that contains our natural talents and abilities.

The Inner Game approach is about unlearning the personal and cultural habits that interfere with our ability to learn and perform. The approach was summarized in a simple formula: Performance = Potential – Interference

“Potential” includes all of our capabilities—actualised or latent—as well as our ability to learn; “Interference” represents the ways that we undermine the fulfillment or expression of our own capacities.