Manage Your Chimp!

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At the moment I’m reading The Chimp Paradox by Dr Steve Peters. I’m not a big fan of self-help books usually but I knew that Dr. Peters has had success helping athletes achieve their goals. He created a model for teaching people to understand how the mind works in practice in order to maximise sports performance but the model focuses on everyday personal mind management not just sports performance so I thought it might even help hopeless cases like me.

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Peters separates human mental function into the rational side of the brain, the more emotional ‘chimp’ side which needs to be managed to achieve high performance, and the computer which governs automatic behaviour and memory. I have only read about half of the book so far, so it’s unfair to judge but my initial feeling is that it’s a very useful, practical, clear and accessible guide to managing your own mind. I don’t really see much that’s new but maybe that will come in the second half of the book. Also, the book sometimes does that annoying thing that a lot of self-help books do where it spends ages describing the situation (telling you what you already know) and much less time describing what you can do about it.

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But Dr. Peters hasn’t just wandered in off the street.  In 2001 a former student at Sheffield recommended Peters to the British Cycling team and he moved to full-time work with the team in 2005.Olympic cyclists he helped include Chris Hoy and Victoria Pendleton. Peters worked very successfully with Ronnie O’Sullivan, helping him win his 4th and 5th World Snooker titles in 2012 and 2013 respectively. After the 2012 Olympics Peters was appointed by UK Athletics to work with the country’s high performance athletes. From November 2012 Peters worked with Liverpool F.C. and in March of this year he was recruited to help the England National Football Team (God help him). So I’m thinking he must have something valuable here, even if it isn’t anything all that new or radical.

I’ll read the rest of the book and let you know. That’s if I’m not too busy getting a gold medal in the next Olympics.

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Giant Sand Castle

How enormous is that castle on the left of the picture? I took the photo on Rhyl beach. I used to go to Rhyl all the time when I was a kid and I remember it being really nice. I used to make sand castles back then in the good old days. When I go there now I see a faded, shabby, broken-down town. It’s heart-breaking really. A lot of these coastal seaside towns have struggled since the growth of affordable air travel in the seventies. Why go to crap town in Britain for your holiday and get rained on when you can go to a crap town in Spain and get sunburnt? I was also distraught to see that Rhyl Sun Centre had closed down. This was a big, beach themed swimming pool that I went to so many times as a boy. There’s something really poignant about abandoned leisure attractions. Maybe I’m just looking at the place through a haze of nostalgia because back then I was a nipper with no worries or responsibilities as opposed to now when I have a job, a house, a car, and plenty of bills. I’m a bit of a sucker for nostalgia even nostalgia isn’t as good as it used to be. Still had a nice day on the beach though and it didn’t rain once. Thanks to Alice, I even got to make sand castles like a I did in the good old days.

The Music I have on Repeat

 

I can’t get enough of this track at the moment; Walking with Elephants by Ten Walls. I was cleaning out the spare room yesterday and I just had this one track on repeat for the whole 3-hour procedure. And I still wasn’t sick of it even after that. I know absolutely nothing about Ten Walls. There seems to be very little info on the net either so I have no idea to whom or what I’m listening to. But I like it anyway.

Weird Stuff. But it’s Culture! And it’s Kafka! So it must be OK

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The man was writhing around in black slime with two other shiny, black creatures as he slowly turned into an insect. Yes, it’s Sky Arts channel on a Tuesday night.

The production was at The Royal Opera House by Arthur Pita. Edward Watson was playing the main role in an adaptation of Kafka’s classic novel The Metamorphosis. I’d already read the book which is why I watched the adaptation. And I absolutely loved the dance theatre version. It was weird and atmospheric and horrifying. It was more horrifying than lots of horror films because of the weird atmosphere. There’s no dialogue of course and everything is communicated through movement which makes it seem like your worst kind of nightmare ever.

This is proof that culture doesn’t have to be posh and remote, that art doesn’t have to be dull and self-indulgent. The Metamorphosis was culture and Kafka and cool!

Hot Foot

Summer has arrived in England. Many people are not wearing shirts especially old men with light blue moobs. People are going to the shops wearing red nylon shorts that they usually wear to bed. Some have rooted around in the suitcase on top of the wardrobe and dug out dusty, orange, toe post flip flops. Most of us will sit out in the garden sweating like pigs and gasping. Can’t wait to eat some uncooked sausages off the barbie later.