The Home of Steven Barnes
Author, Teacher, Screenwriter

Monday, February 06, 2006


Just came back from the Futurehealth brain functioning conference in Palm Springs.  I gave several lectures, and attended a few, in-between hanging out with my daughter Nicki, and driving back early on Sunday to watch the Superbowl with my wife.  I can’t believe I just watched a football game.  Ah, well…
We’re going to talk a bit about some of the things I learned there. 
Nothing radical, but to have long-held beliefs so clearly reinforced is of great value.  No, I’m not going to say something new every time you visit my blog or open one of my e-mails.  I’m going to talk about the most important, core aspects of performance, and relate them to writing, relationships, and fitness.  That’s it, folks.  There are plenty of places to get other info on the Web.  Lifewriting is about results in these three arenas.
The most interesting person I met at the conference this time around was a gentleman named Nathaniel Zinsser, Phd. He runs the Human Performance Lab at West Point…in other words, he is responsible for keeping our warriors alive, functioning, and guarding our ramparts under killer stress.  I don’t care where you are on the political spectrum—we all want these young men and women to perform brilliantly, humanely,  efficiently…and to come home safely.  And Dr. Zinsser (who is also a Sandan in Shotokan karate…you could see it instantly in his bearing) is one of the real gurus in this field. 

And of course, what he had to say applies to all arenas.  We’re going to start with his thoughts, and my thoughts on them.  His first observation was that:
“Success is all about confidence.”  Re-read that.  Before we go forward, ask yourself what confidence means to you, in all of its positive and negative aspects.  WHAT IS CONFIDENCE?  Because, according to one of the world’s great experts, your ability to achieve anything you desire in life is going to rely upon your storehouse of this quality.  What is it?  How do we get it?  How do we lose it?

One of the best ways to increase confidence is to increase the clarity with which you envision your goals.  Spend ten to twenty minutes a day just envisioning the results you want. Clearly.  As sharply as possible.  Imagine what it will feel like.  Look like.  Sound like.  Do this first thing in the morning.  Where will you live?  How happy will your family be?  What will your body look like? Increase this clarity: really GO FOR IT.  Feel the satisfaction.  There will be obstacles…but you mustn’t let them get in the way.  Keep your eyes on the prize, people.  Writing…relationships…fitness…it doesn’t matter.  An important part of our psyche is goal-driven.  If we ignore it, we can drift aimlessly, and lose our chances for success and happiness. 

Ten to twenty minutes.  What in the world is more important than creating your future?

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