Friday, March 02, 2007

Success Secrets - More on Doug Newburg

In a recent post, I mentioned an interview with Doug Newburg, and expert on the psychology of outstanding performers in all fields. He has developed a psychological model called the “Resonance Performance Mode” to gain insight into how high-performers think and act, and also how this model can help the rest of us achieve higher levels of excellence in what we do. There is an excellent paper on this subject , Resonance, Leadership, and the Purpose of Life which, it seems, is permissible to read, but not quote. I strongly urge people to read this excellent paper.

Another paper on the Resonance Performance Model , available online, is entitled “The process of performance of youg track athletes: A resonance-based intervention”.

The researchers created a methodology for applying and evaluating the Resonance Performance Model as their subjects (Student athletes) went about their sport and their lives over a period of 10 weeks.

Here are a few points that the study dealt with:

The athletes learned to identify and describe their Dream feelings - - the feelings that they want to feel when they are performing at their best

Though journaling, repeated interviews with the researchers, and other techniques, the athletes were able to more carefully refine the nature of their Dream feeling. They were able to discover what actions (internally, and in their outer world) aided them in achieving those states (such as eating habits, their choice of social situation, etc).

A fascinating finding: The athletes were then able to use this “reflection” technique to change their behaviors so as to be able to get back to the “dream feeling” in their competition more easily. In other words, beyond the technique of “visualization”, these athletes were able to use the “revisiting” of the Dream feeling as a motivation to change their behaviors, moving them more efficiently towards the feelings they were seeking.

To me, it is logical to believe that only a very small part of the population (those with very high abilities in introspection) could achieve this particular feedback loop without being guided as to how to do so. However, the results of such a process in any pursuit of excellence in our lives, could have an exponentially positive l effect on the success of all of our endeavors.

As I mentioned in my earlier post on this subject, this line of thought seems to me to be a step beyond the traditional methodology of goal-setting. Where goal-achieving seems more like working against an “obstacle”, it seems to me that using the re-capture of an ideal state as a motivation tool is the difference between “pushing against” a closed door, and being magnetically “pulled” toward a higher plane of experience. It also seems logical to me that the mind seeks “states” and not “things”.

In my own life, a few years back, I found that every night that I drank alcohol, I woke up either with an upset stomach, or a headache, or even just a “polluted” feeling dragging me around all day. I realized, as I grew clearer on this, that I valued a clear head, and the absence of physiological “static” more than I valued the drink of alcohol. On a given night, I could “project myself” into the next morning, desiring to have that “clear-headed” feeling without impediments to my functioning. So, I don’t drink alcohol very often. I find I can use the “magnetic pull” toward that good “morning” feeling. It doesn’t really feel like “abstinence”, because I am remembering how good I feel in the morning, and also, how bad I feel if I have had a few drinks the night before. I think the “Resonance” process is a good explanation for this. I look forward to some experimental journaling to pull me toward more “Dream” states in other parts of my life.

I must also mention how gratifying it is to see more and more rigorous studies of "success processes" that many of us believed were true, now confrming our intuitions. I recently mentioed some studies of the unconscious here and here.

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