Yesterday was the first time I had read a book cover-to-cover in one day in a long time. Though a sick daughter who just needed to rest all day was a big part of why this happened, the fact that With Winning In Mind by Lanny Bassham was also a big part of the rapid page turning.
I originally picked up this recommendation from either Tony Robbins or Tim Ferris, I am certain they have both mentioned it before. For background, Lanny had a career as a competitive shooter throughout the 1970s. After being physically prepared to win the gold at the 1972 Olympics but losing out on the mental side, he spent four years looking at the mentality of high performance. After winning gold in 1976 he turned his techniques into what he calls the Mental Management system, which is what the book goes into detail explaining.
Overall the book is very targeted and tactical. Even with large type and large page margins, the book is still less than 180 pages. Which is perfect because the whole point of the book is to give you specific advice to change right now.
The biggest focus of the book, and really the whole system, is what Lanny calls The Triad State. This is the idea that in order to perform at your peak you need to get your Conscious, Subconscious and Self Image into alignment. None of these three things are new ideas but the many example he gives and specific tactics for bringing them into alignment are really interesting.
When the conscious mind is quiet, the subconscious can to its best work.
If you do not take control of your life, others surely will.
Step #1 (In reference to his goal setting system): Determine a goal worth trading your life for.
How to Use This Book
Though there are several gems in here that could be pulled out for a variety of purposes, there are two primary purposes which seem best suited for the advice in these pages.
#1: Attainment of Extreme Performance
This is what Lanny has spent his career helping people achieve. Taken in total, his system is meant to help you identify high end goals you have for your life and go after them relentlessly. Most of his ideas are focused in the realm of sports and I believe you would have to do some thinking to adjust the system for other purposes, but it is still a great place to start.
#2: Making Small Changes to your Day to Day Life or Self
The final section on building your self image is really great. He offers a number of real world examples of how to use the same techniques he describes for winning a gold medal to make small adjustments to how you live your life. Want to work out more? You need to be a person who works out more. Want to stop smoking? You need to be a person who hates cigarettes. If you haven’t yet bought into the power of visualization and beliefs, these pages might push you over the edge.