The eye takes in over 1mb of data per second.
The conscience brain can process 4 bits at any one time.
The primitive brain determines threat or reward.
The feeling brain releases chemical messages; emotions are the effect of these chemical messages.
The threat response is the release of adrenalin or cortisol, which prepare us for a fight or flight response.
The reward response is the release of dopamine, oxytocin, or serotonin, which make us feel good or motivate us to continue.
Lesson: By being grateful I reprogram from a threat response to a reward response; I spend more time in pleasure and happy; I attract more pleasure and happy.
The Power of Your Words
by Craig L. Manning
His early story starts at 7:00. Human interest background.
His story starts at 15:30. Recommended.
The Boys in the Boat
by Daniel James Brown.
To see a winning crew in action is to witness a perfect harmony in which everything is right. . . . That is the formula for endurance and success: rowing with the heart and head as well as physical strength. —George Yeoman Pocock. p 321.
Men as fit as you, when your everyday strength is gone, can draw on a mysterious reservoir of power far greater. Then it is that you can reach for the stars. That is the way champions are made. —George Yeoman Pocock. p 343.
Where is the spiritual value of rowing? . . . The losing of self entirely to the cooperative effort of the crew as a whole. —George Yeoman Pocock. p 353.
Harmony, balance, and rhythm. They’re the three things that stay with you your whole life. Without them civilization is out of whack. And that’s why an oarsman, when he goes out in life, he can fight it, he can handle life. That’s what he gets from rowing. —George Yeoman Pocock. p 357.
[Purpose and Plan of Joe Rantz…]
And yet the notion of Olympic gold had begun to work its way into his psyche. A medal would be real and solid. Something nobody could deny or take away. It surprised him how much it had begun to mean to him. He figured maybe it had something to do with Thula [wicked stepmother]. Or with his father. Certainly it had something to do with Joyce [future wife]. At any rate, he felt more and more that he had to get to Berlin. Getting to Berlin, though, hinged on making the varsity crew. Making the varsity crew hinged first of all on paying or another year of school. And paying for school hinged on strapping on a harness and lowering himself over the edge of a cliff in the morning. p 196.
Pocock pulled out a thin sheet of cedar, one that had been milled down to three-eights of an inch for the skin of a shell. He flexed the wood and had Joe do the same. He talked about camber and the life it imparted to a shell when wood was put under tension. He talked about the underlying strength of the individual fibers in cedar and how, coupled with their resilience, they gave the wood its ability to bounce back and resume its shape, whole and intact, or how, under steam and pressure, they could take a new form and hold it forever. The ability to yield, to bend, to give way, to accommodate, he said, was sometimes a source of strength in men as well as in wood, so long as it was helmed by inner resolve and by principle. p 215.
He [Pocock] suggested that Joe think of a well-rowed race as a symphony, and himself as just one player in the orchestra. If one fellow in an orchestra was playing out of tune, or playing at a different tempo, the whole piece would naturally be ruined. That’s the way it was with rowing. What mattered more than how hard a man rowed was how well everything he did in the boat harmonized with what the other fellows were doing. And a man couldn’t harmonize with his crewmates unless he opened his heart to them. He had to care about his crew. It wasn’t just the rowing but his crewmates that he had to give himself up to, even if it meant getting his feelings hurt. p 234-235.
[I relate to this]
For Joe, who had spent the last six years doggedly making his own way in the world, who had forged his identity on stoic self-reliance, nothing was more frightening than allowing himself to depend on others. People let you down. People leave you behind. Depending on people, trusting them—it’s what gets you hurt. But trust seemed to be at the heart of what Pocock was asking. Harmonize with the other fellows, Pocock said. There was a kind of absolute truth in that, something he needed to come to terms with. p 237.
Joe rowed that day as he had never been able to row before—as Pocock had told him to row, giving himself up to the crew’s effort entirely, rowing as if he were an extension of the man in front of him and the man behind him, following Hume’s stroke flawlessly, transmitting it back to Shorty behind him in one continuous flow of muscle and wood. It felt to Joe like a transformation, as if some kind of magic had come over him. The nearest thing to it he could remember was the night as a freshman when he had found himself out on Lake Union with the lights of Seattle twinkling on the water and the breaths of his crewmates synchronized with his in white plumes in the dark, cold air. Now, as he climbed out of the boat in the twilight, he realized that the transformations wan’t so much that he was trying to do what Pocock had said as that this was a bunch of boys with whom he could do it. He just trusted them. In the end, it was that simple. [Coach] Ulbrickson wrote in the logbook, “Changed [Joe] Rantz and Hatch and it helped a lot.” p 240.
There was a straightforward reason for what was happening. The boys in the Clipper had been winnowed down by punishing competition, and in the winnowing a kind of common character had issued forth: they were all skilled, they were all tough, they were all fiercely determined, but they were also all good-hearted. Every one of them had come from humble origins or been humbled by the ravages of the hard times in which they had grown up. Each in his own way, they had all learned that nothing could be taken for granted in life, that for all their strength and good looks and youth, forces were at work in the world that were greater than they. The challenges they had faced together had taught them humility—the need to subsume their individual egos for the sake of the boat as a whole—and humility was the common gateway through which they were able now to come together and begin to do what they had not been able to do before. p 241.
They nodded and agreed with him. The spring campaign—the instant fellowship they had all felt when they took to the water together for the first time, their commanding victory over Cal on Lake Washington, their stunning come-from-behind triumph at Poughkeepsie, and their almost effortless qualifying race earlier that day—had more than convinced them that together they were capable of greatness. None of them doubted anyone else in the boat. But believing in one another was not really at issue anymore. What was more difficult was being sure about one’s self. The caustic chemicals of fear continued to surge in their brains and in their guts. p 279.
[Coach] Al Ulbrickson also made a few, much briefer, remarks to the press. When asked how he accounted for his varsity’s success this year, he went straight to the heart of the matter: “Every man in the boat had absolute confidence in every one of his mates. . . . Why they won cannot be attributed to individuals, not even to stroke Don Hume. Heartfelt cooperation all spring was responsible for the victory.” p 283.
[On the 1936 Olympic team on the way to Berlin…]
They were now representatives of something much larger that themselves—a way of life, a shared set of values. Liberty was perhaps the most fundamental of those values. But the things that held them together—trust in each other, mutual respect, humility, fair play, watching out for one another—those were also part of what America meant to all of them. And right along with a passion for liberty, those were the things they were about to take to Berlin and lay before the world when they took to the water at Gruenau. p 289.
[Master Mind Alliance]
Yet even as they fretted and fumed, something else was quietly at work among Ulbrickson’s boys. As they began to see traces of tension and nervousness in one another, they began instinctively to draw closer together. They took to huddling on the float before and after workouts, talking about what, precisely, they could do to make each row better than the one before, looking one another in the eye, speaking earnestly. Joking and horseplay fell by the wayside. They began to grow serious in a way they had never been before. Each of them knew that a defining moment in his life was nearly at hand; none wanted to waste it. And none wanted to waste it for the others. p 326.
Anxiety had bubbled in Joe’s belly all morning, but it started now to give way to a tenuous sense of calm, more determined than nervous. Just before they’d left the shell house, the boys had huddled briefly. If Don Hume had the guts to row this race, they’d agreed, the rest of them just flat out weren’t going to let him down. p 340.
[Answering the Call]
Immediately after the race, even as he sat gasping for air in the Husky Clipper while it drifted down the Langer See beyond the finish line, an expansive sense of calm had enveloped him. In the last desperate few hundred meters of the race, in the searing pain and bewildering noise of that final furious sprint, there had come a singular moment when Joe realized with startling clarity that there was nothing more he could do to win the race, beyond what he was already doing. Except for one thing. He could finally abandon all doubt, trust absolutely without reservation that he and the boy in front of him and the boys behind him would all do precisely what they needed to do at precisely the instant they needed to do it. He had known in that instant that there could be no hesitation, no shred of indecision. He had had no choice but to throw himself into each stroke as if he were throwing himself off of a cliff into a void, with unquestioned faith that the others would be there to save him from catching the whole weight of the shell on his blade. And he had done it. Over and over, forty-four times per minute he had hurled himself blindly into his future, not just believing but knowing that the other boys would be there for him, all of them, moment by precious moment. p 355.
The Boys in the Boat. Daniel James Brown.