“Life does not consist mainly of facts and happenings. It consists mainly of the storm of thoughts that is forever blowing through one’s head.” Mark Twain
Twain was right: Most of what we see is not “out there.” Most of what we see is produced in our own minds. Don’t believe it? Read the following paragraph.
Aoccdrnig to rseearch at an Elingsh uinervtisy, it deons’t mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, olny taht the frist and lsat ltteres are in the rghit pcleas. The rset can be a toatl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae we do not raed ervey lteter by ilstef, but the wrod as a wlohe.
This scrambled paragraph is a perfect demonstration of how the brain works to create meaning from even the most messed-up circumstances by focusing on some information and ignoring the rest. Do you ignore as much information in the rest of your life? The answer is yes. We’re constantly ignoring parts of the world because our brains have categorized the information as nonessential. But sometimes not seeing this “nonessential” information can trip us up.
To make sense of our world, we need to learn what to pay attention to and what to ignore.
In our swimming world this happens every day we train or race. Some information we discard as nonessential. The question we need to ask ourselves is, “Do I really want to discard or ignore this information?”
This process of selecting or ignoring is an ongoing one. As you become more aware of what is necessary to swim faster and be more competitive you will keep certain things and let others go. Think of some examples, perhaps using things from last season that you now realize were not helpful and ask yourself, “Have I let go of it?” You can also think of things you wished you had not ignored since they would have helped you in your pursuit of faster swimming. What are some of those things?