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In today’s podcast, I have a conversation with bestselling author Matt Fitzgerald, author of the book How Bad Do You Want It?: Mastering the Psychology of Mind Over Muscle. Matt is an endurance athlete and writer who has been a student of running, triathlon, and other endurance sports for decades.
Matt also studies the limits of human performance in relation to your brain, what you believe, and how you can improve performance in all parts of your life simply by shifting how you think. Practically, Matt’s advice is universally applicable, whether you’re an endurance athlete, Olympic weightlifter, gymnast, CrossFitter, weekend warrior, or simply interested in peak performance.
I got a ton out of both reading his book and talking with him for ninety minutes. Here are a few of the things I took away:
- You have to ask yourself, “How bad do you want it?” Do you want it bad enough to put everything else aside, throw caution to the wind, let go of your perception of things — the way you’ve always known them to be — to allow room for something else, something greater than you ever thought possible in the pursuit of your goals?
- There are old models that most of us to this day hold true, beliefs about the limits of our performance based on our history and experience, body, muscles, strength, stamina, agility, endurance, etc. We believe that in order to improve these things physically must change. But what if that weren’t true? What if shifts in our mind — in the way we think and process information, the how, what, and why of it all — could have a greater impact than physical training? What if we all have an extra gear (or three) inside that’s waiting to be tapped into? Imagine what can happen in your performance (in a competition or in the boardroom) when you learn how to unleash this power?
- There are many different strategies to finding these gears, but each has the effect of allowing you to access higher levels of performance, enabling you to become better than ever before. As Matt puts it: “We never truly encounter our ultimate physical limits. The limit of our performance is always the result of a choice we make — we simply choose not to go faster.”
- One of the most important things is to find the approach that suits you, and to set yourself up to find success through inward-facing goals, results that are not externally or competition driven. Find your “why,” then align your training to honor it.
If you’ve ever competed in anything as an amateur or professional, or you are driven to perform at a high level in life, business, or in the hobbies you pursue, listen in on this conversation with Matt and share it with anyone else you think might benefit. There are huge learnings and huge gains to be had!
The Power of One — By Bryce Courtenay
T.J. Murphy — Website of writer and former endurance athlete.
Siri Lindley — Triathlete coach and former athlete.
Mark Allen — Six-time Ironman champion and triathlon coach.
Dave Scott — Interview with six-time Ironman champion and hall-of-famer.
Scott Tinley — Website of two-time Ironman champion.
Cadel Evans — Australian cyclist and winner of the 2011 Tour de France.