How to Think Clearly Under Pressure

New Zealand All Black assistant coach, Gilbert Enoka has transformed the All Black’s players mental strength to perform under situations of great pressure.
He has told his players that it’s not important to be at your Best, all of the time.
That, he explains, is what burns players out.
Instead he promotes being your best at the times where it counts most.  Those times usually happen when the pressure is at it’s highest.
To help players do this, he enlisted outside help from a British company, Gazing Performance Systems, that was initially set up to help sales companies.Blue Headed Thinking
Gazing’s premise is that when you are thinking clearly and your attention is fully engaged, you will make your best decisions.  This they call Blue Headed Thinking.
When you are distracted, experiencing intrusive thoughts, which might manifest itself in stress, frustration and anger, you are in  Red Headed Thinking.
Angry red head

“The brain is made up of three parts: instinct, emotion and thinking,” Enoka said. “What often happens under pressure is that your thinking shuts down so you are relying on emotion and instinct. That in turn means you can no longer pick up the cues and information to make good decisions.”

“To pull yourself from red-head back to blue-head thinking you need to give yourself an anchor to refocus your attention.”

“These anchors have to be immediately accessible but are different for each individual so Thorn would throw water over himself, Richie McCaw would stamp his feet, Kieran Read would stare at the farthest point in the stadium. All these strategies re-engage the player in the moment and back into blue-head mode.”

And these strategies individual players have trained themselves in and pulled off last minute heroics when it counted most.

So what anchor can you use to pull yourself into Blue Headed Thinking, out of the tBuddhahinly resourced brain state of the Red Headed Thinking?

I like the one  Buddhists do with their thumb and forefinger.  They hold their fingers in a touching position, much like the “OK” symbol, during their deep meditation with the intention of creating an ‘Anchor” with their hand position.  During the day, in times of stress, they put their two fingers together to access their bank of peace and equanimity.


Want to be a Blue Headed Thinker, in hot pursuit of your goals?  Email me.



Playing Above The Line.

There’s a simple concept called “Playing Above the Line” that you can use to gauge at what level you are playing at; in your life, your business, your career, your sAbove the line 2ports, your love life, your family life and wherever you are playing in your life.


You are playing “below the line” when you are the “Victim of the world.”  You look for someone or something to blame, you have excuses for everything you are not doing and you are in denial about the things that are happening for you right now.

 Your productivity and output in this state is practically zero.

 Think about it:

How much time in your life, do you spend playing below the line?

What do you get out of playing below the line?

 …and then there is playing “Above the Line”

 This is where you take responsibility for what is happening to you, the state of things around you and the state of things within you.

 This is where you strap it on Princess.  This is where you take charge and do whatever you can do to take your situation to where you want it to be.

 This is where your “Master of Your Own Destiny” lives.  There are no excuses, no-one to blame and you are authentically engaging with whatever threat, situation or issue that’s standing between you and where you want to be.

 Your productivity and output in this state is HIGH.

Think about it:

 How much time in your life, do you spend playing above the line?

 What do you get out of playing above the line?

It’s your choice, where you choose to play.

You use this line to see where you are currently playing, you don’t make yourself wrong if you are playing below the line, you simply choose what you want, wherever you see yourself playing.


Want to play above the line in hot pursuit of your goals?  Email me.

Inspiration is the flipside of motivation

What I’ve learnt:

On Failure:
It’s just like success, except you learn more.

On Work:
The silver fox dances in the moment, seizing the learning, not from any curriculum, established wisdom, or text, but from the learner themselves.

On Love:
It’s astonishing where you find it, it always involves a deep respect and it always leaves you stronger.

You always hear more when you be quiet inside.

What I’ve learnt about:

Swimming with Sharks:
Know where the exits are at all times, always have an alternative income and be very, very aware.

Growing old:
The silver fox walks silently, softly and lightly in the shine of the moon.

Playing Safe:
The most dangerous game is playing safe.

Comfort Zone:
Your life begins at the edge of your comfort zone.

No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, Yes!

It’s one of the habits of great shoppers and dressers.
You learn to only look for the best, what suits your purpose and your intentions and what suits you.
Saying “No”, is one of the muscles of the discerning, the perceptive and the ones who are looking for the best possible fit.
Content 3
…and, in the age of constant, new and never-ending content being made available
through the internet, delivered across a variety of technology platforms, we need to make choices – decisions more often than we ever have.
This is where the word “No” comes in.
You simply have to use it more often.
Because you don’t have the time to waiver in your decisions – there’s simply too many to make in a day.  You need to make crisp, quick, ruthless decisionsoften.
“But I really like browsing – what’s wrong with that?”
You can spend your whole life browsing, putting off the moment of choice and you will end up with…nothing.  Browsing swallows up your precious time in your life, your action and participation muscles get lazy…and before you know it, your life is one big passive browse, which might seem like heaven…and then you die.
For action based and goal focused people, you really have to learn this habit – browsing is a seductive and time gobbling pastime.
Content 4
No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, Yes!
…and you’ll end up with the best, have more time and live a more exciting life.
Be prepared to say “No!”


Want to be the Best You you can be?  Email me.


Why Incentives are Demotivating us in the 21st Century…

Of course everything has changed since last century.

…but in business, the tried and true “Stick and the Carrot” style of motivation is still regarded highly by business management, even though science tells us that it doesn’t work with complex tasks requiring greater thought and effort.

In fact, incentives are proven to worsen our performance.

Danial Pink describes what works now in this video:

Want to learn how to motivate your team?  Email me.