Mental Teleportation | The Most Powerful Technology in the World of Sports – and Life
In Today’s Blog, You Will Learn:
- The Most Powerful Technology in the World of Sports – and Life
- The Difference Between Technology and Tools
- Why Humans Sometimes Bungle their Supreme Technology
- How to Turn this Dominating Technology in Your Favor
- Why Accelerating Language Transfer may not be the Answer
The Most Powerful Technology in the World of Sports – and Life.
Most scientists suggest that this indispensable human technology originated 150 to 200 million years ago. Over the eons that followed, it evolved, diverged, emerged, contracted, and surfaced across varying geographies along disparate timelines. However, once it grabbed onto the human species, it has never let go. This morphing technology continued its advancement to the powerful, sophisticated expertise it commands today. A case can be made that this one technology has played a more important role in our species’ recent evolution than have our genes.
In sports, champions leverage this powerful technology and gain advantages over their competitors. Religious and political leaders enjoy its pervasive nature. It is fluid. It streams around the world constantly, instantly. It controls business. It can be the difference between peacetime or war. It grounds the Internet, science, mathematics, and almost any area of study. It is the foundation of all human discovery or invention. It can control our brain chemistry – awake or asleep. It is with each of us every waking moment, 24-7, for as long as we live. It is one of the first essential learning skills that we thrust upon newborns. It dominates every aspect of our lives.
A person’s self-worth, successes, failures, depression, anxiety, love, hate, fear are all completely and utterly dominated by this one single inescapable technology. If you haven’t guessed, the superior technology that I am referring to is “language”. Language technology rules every aspect of human life on planet earth. It dominates our health and the health of our planet. Language is self-pollinating and coalesces into every element of being a human.
Language is closely associated with conceptual thought, problem-solving, and creativity. These unique assets make us by far the most adaptable of all animals and enable us to engage in highly abstract pursuits such as philosophy, art, and science that define us as human beings. I contend that the power of language technology is mental teleportation.
The Difference Between Technology and Tools
To be clear, language is a technology. By simple definition, technology is the skill, method, and process used to achieve a goal. Not to be confused with tools used by language. Computers, smartphones, the Internet and books are all tools used for the transfer of this technology. Language drives all of these tools.
The words ‘technology’ and ‘tool’ are sometimes mismatched and misused. Language is the application of knowledge for practical purposes. Even the binary system is a language technology in which information can be expressed by combinations of the digits 0 and 1. Language technology allows the transfer of information from one place, person, or group to another.
Your car, TV, radio, phone, laptop are all tools made possible through the technology of language. A simple kitchen appliance or the most complex airplane are tools used to carry out a particular function. Don’t confuse the tool with the technology. Language is the specialized technology that allows the interrelation of humanity within its society and its environment. All of our tools, apparatuses, instruments, equipment, devices, and gizmos need the technology of language to enable their design, creation, and utility. The wondrous tools are empty mechanical devices of no value without language. Language makes them useful and creates their power through functional utility.
Why Humans Sometimes Bungle Their Supreme Technology
Language permeates everywhere and into everything. This technology has shaped our entire existence.
Language is a vital part of human connection. Although all species have their ways of communicating, humans are the only ones that have developed cognitive language technology. Language is not only a key component of communication. It is also a key aspect of identity. Many processes of human cognition depend on language and its qualities. A human can perceive, understand, learn, and remember information presented in the form of language.
Language is essential in succeeding in business, creating tomorrow’s leaders, excelling in education, parenting, and many other life activities. The less desirable human activities also use language to control or manipulate. Think of troll activities whose use of language intentionally causes harm. Language can uplift, and language can corrupt.
If our technology of language is correspondingly crucial, why do many of us bungle our ability to harness its benefits — or worse, avoid its malignancy? More precisely, being unable to control the uptake and absorption of language’s effects can alter one’s mindset and mental health. Both internal and external language inputs are positive, negative, or neutral. What is positive for one may be neutral for another and so on.
It is said that language reflects, and at the same time, shapes our thoughts and, ultimately, our culture. And our culture, in turn, shapes our thoughts and language. The three strands of language, thought, and culture are so tightly woven that they cannot be pried apart. We know language influences mind states and mindset. Through language, the mind can manifest states of contentment, depression, power, triumph, disaster, bliss, and more.
It’s easy to understand why some people clumsily misjudge the power of language. The thousands of self-help books and courses designed to reset our internal stories are witness to the growing volatility of language-induced mental states. Social media, as one exploding example of harmful outlets of our language, is shaping our culture. It is changing right before our eyes (and ears). The disadvantages of social media are many and varied and can be characterized from innocuous consequences like decreased communication skills of our younger generation to harmful outcomes like cyberbullying.
In today’s world, more people suffer from low self-esteem, depression, and anxiety. Why? I venture to offer that this relentless technology of language is the culprit – and can be the cure. Words matter. A continuous diet of negativity creates a feedback loop that becomes harder and harder to break. We all build our personal stories, and for many, these stories are steeped in pessimism, cynicism, disapproval, and gloom. We’ve all known people who give off these vibes.
And, no doubt you’ve heard the phrase “Change your story and change your world.” Said another way, change your perception of language inputs and change your cognitive outputs. Advice for improving one’s self-respect, self-love, and self-forgiveness are echoed time and again as ways to combat the ubiquity of poisonous language.
How to Turn this Dominating Technology in Your Favor
For the humans that have figured out how to appropriately filter the internal inputs (self-talk or ‘monkey-chatter’ as I described it in a previous blog) and the external inputs (anything outside your own mind), the power of language is channeled. For those who need a little help refining their language uptake valve, here is an actionable change you can make today. Just 10 to 20 minutes intervals of mindfulness training every day can change your world. There are many guided courses to explore or simple breathing exercises from which to start. You can learn to use the technology of language to restructure a negative feedback loop into a positive one.
Using language to serve you, rather than imprison you, results in actively changing brain chemistry. Learning the skills of mindfulness will open doorways to mind-altering changes that will improve your life – guaranteed. The science behind this is well-documented. The study of neuroplasticity shows that not only the chemical transfer of neurons in the brain can be improved, but the structural connections of those neurons as well.
The first step in turning this dominating technology in your favor is to become aware of it. For language inputs that are not serving you well, ask yourself, “What purpose does this persistent negative language serve?” As an example of a destruction internal input, ask “What is the reason I continue to use language in my life that perpetuates the connection to a past experience (whatever trauma or painful event that may be)? ” “What purpose does the retelling and reliving of this serve?” An incessant destructive language loop cannot change the past event. By continuing to dwell on it, the power of language works against healing.
Mindfulness-driven language will blur the event and eventually it will disappear – allowing crystal clear focus on the present. As we start to design our new language and our new stories, we erase the old harmful ones. We get to choose to train in mindfulness or remain captive by the negative feedback loops that can haunt us forever. If we take ownership and do the work, we will see the results. Repeat language that is healthy for your brain and stop language that is not. Practice…and build the brain you want.
The same is true in dealing with external language inputs. You are in control of these as well. You get to choose how you interpret and react to any language stimulus. Mindfulness is something we can all cultivate.
Why Accelerating Language Transfer may not be the Answer
I’ve run across an interesting concept about potentially improving our use of the technology of language. Some believe that speeding up the rate of information uptake could lead to faster assimilation of information. I guess, in theory, this may be true; however, while one may absorb more, that does not necessarily translate into a better acclimation of intuitive nuances or accurate interpretations. Again, mindfulness plays the role of ‘regulator’. Slow down, be calm, and aware. Language overload is all around us.
Voracious readers love the thrill of learning new things and increasing their overall knowledge base. This does not mean plowing through books and basking in the sheer volume of their reads. Rather this means integrating usable and meaningful information with intention. There is a pearl of mindful wisdom and balance in improving one’s use of the technology of language.
Think about weight training. There are great benefits in pushing our bodies to become stronger. Yet, if we don’t allow for rest and recovery, our workouts will not yield the results we are seeking. It could lead to further wear and tear and more injuries.
The same is true for learning. I’ve set a goal to push through 3-5 books every week. I enjoy researching and find I’m ‘in the zone’ when I am particularly engrossed in a fascinating topic. That said, I know I must pace myself and carve out precious quiet time for mindful meditation during my day. I need these periods of complete pause to resharpen my focus. By allowing myself the time to stop and listen to the moments of silence, I find great clarity. These pauses are where language and learning are processed and how ideas begin to fold together.
I believe this pulsing between hard work (learning) with periods of quiet (reflection) works best.
I have also found that by intentionally doing this kind of mindful interval training, the moments of silence increase in power. Give it a try, and see if it can work for you.
In working through the topic of this blog, I wanted to relay a real-life sports example that embodies how one can successfully use the power of this human technology we call language in competition. One of our Body Helix Ambassadors and my personal friend, Stuart Saiki, has agreed to share his experience during the 2021 Atlanta Senior Invitational Men’s Tennis Tournament Championship Match. For those of you who compete, here is an opportunity to get inside a champion’s head to see how he used the power of language.
This is a special treat for me, and I believe Stuart’s story will bring great insights. Thank you, Stuart, for sharing your story. Champions do think differently.
Due to COVID19, those of us who thrive on competition were sorely affected by the (necessary) cancellation of tournaments. Although we found ways to continue to train hard and practice our mechanics, we weren’t able to experience real competitive match-play. And, there is a difference. The difference is the mental preparedness and resilience needed for formal competition. Managing my nerves during match play is a skill that requires constant practice. One technique I use during a match is to minimize outside thoughts and emotions. I choose to concentrate on the current shot or strategy – the present moment.
After finally resuming tournament play, I was excited and pleased that my training and practice had been rewarded as I advanced to the final round in singles. However, I admit that I let my emotions (my internal language) get the best of me. That lack of official match play had worked its way into my head. For those of you conversant in tennis, this happened during 4 consecutive match points. After winning the first set, I was ahead 6-2 in the second set tiebreaker. I needed one more point to win the tiebreaker, set, and championship. With this lead, my internal language was telling me that I had already won – before actually finishing the match. This is rarely a good idea. The tiebreaker progressed to a score of 6-6. How did this happen? I was so disappointed that I was no longer concentrating on the task at hand – playing tennis. I was listening to the internal language and allowing the distraction. I proceeded to lose that second set – a textbook collapse in tennis!
Now, I had to change my mindset to concentrate on the third set. During the change-over, I convinced myself that if I was on brink of winning the match in the second set, I could surely do it again in the third set. I needed to control my outside thoughts and emotions. I knew I could filter the internal language and attain clear focus. With this confidence, I continued the fight. After another very close and competitive set, I was able to edge by with the tournament win.
A method I practice during matches is to concentrate on the process instead of the outcome. Winning or losing a match is no longer a finite event, rather it is a chance to test my process. I lost this mindset temporarily in the second set. And, it cost me the set. I regained my process thinking and language for the third set. Another language technology that I use, whether I win or lose, is to record my analysis of the match and improvements needed in my journal. I challenge myself, “Can I execute an effective high percentage shot over and over again?” These techniques are parts of the constant work I do to improve every aspect of my game – not the least of which is internal language and focus.
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It is my greatest hope that you will implement some tips from our Bio-Cultivating and Neural-Cultivating blogs. Further, it is my hope you will be inspired to pass these learnings along to family and friends. We all have people in our lives who have the desire but lack the accurate information to improve their health. It is frustrating to sift through the bombardment of data and the misinformation in today’s world. It’s no wonder some give up in frustration. I believe that we deserve the healthiest choices that honest modern science can offer. It is my mission to help as many of us as possible get and stay healthy.
As a tennis coach myself, I found the compression industry to be unacceptable for our needs. I set out on a journey to help you and your students. I know we all get beat up. The harder we compete, the more we get injured. All compression is not created equal! At Body Helix, we start with an unapologetic obsession for exceptional quality. Our design philosophy is to create modern, innovative gear that surpasses that which is offered in the global marketplace. As a privately held, Veteran-owned, North Carolina company we challenge global leaders to elevate their compression game or step aside. It’s compression gear designed by tennis players for tennis players.
Be well and stay focused on cultivating your health, your mind, and your solitude. If I can help you further never hesitate to reach out to me.
Move Through It.
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