William James is known as the father of American psychology. He once said:

“Everybody should do at least two things each day that he hates to do, just for practice.”

I call this mental cross-training.

There will always be things you dislike doing–laundry, homework, making sales calls, practicing, or eating healthy, for instance. But what if we didn’t feel like doing these things and did them anyway? How would that make us feel? I would guess that it would make us feel pretty good; it would make us feel proud. That would give us confidence. And it would give us momentum. That’s part of mental toughness.

Winners do what losers don’t feel like doing.

In other words…

You have to get comfortable being uncomfortable.

Begin today.


Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they’ve got a second.

The pain of pushing through goes away.

The pride of going all-out stays forever.


I’m reading two amazing books right now – “Bounce” by Matthew Sayed and “The Genius in All of Us” by David Shenk.

Here is a great quote that starts “The Genius in All of Us”…

Compared with what we ought to be, we are only half awake. Our fires are damped, our drafts are checked. We are making use of only a small part of our physical and mental resources…Stating the thing broadly, the human individual lives far within his limits. -WILLIAM JAMES

What a great quote. And tomorrow, as promised, I will talk about how Roger Federer does not have faster reflexes than you and me…


William James said, “Everybody should do at least two things each day that he hates to do, just for practice.”

Eleanor Roosevelt said, “Do one thing every day that scares you.”

Ed Tseng says, “Do one thing every day that is distracting to you, to improve your focus.”

Recently, I practiced yoga, while my girlfriend, Sarah was doing a pilates video. It was yoga that I was doing, but it was really mental cross-training. I knew that it would test my focus, and it certainly was challenging. I caught myself a few times listening to the pilates video, but I accepted it and re-focused on my yoga practice. I felt an inner calm and didn’t let the external factors affect me.

When we’re on the tennis court, at work, in school or in line at the grocery store, there will be distractions. They may be spectators, co-workers, friends or an annoying stranger.

We can’t control those things.

We can only control our reactions to those challenges.

So the next time you feel yourself getting distracted, do the following exercise:

Take a deep diaphragmatic breath (from the stomach vs the chest), in through the nose for four seconds, then exhale out through your nose for four seconds. Continue for several breaths. This will bring you back to the present moment and help you re-gain your focus.

What will you do today (intentionally) that will distract you?


“Human beings, by changing the inner beliefs of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.”

Today’s message is especially dedicated to the great David Ostermann Gartner from Slovenia.

Yesterday I talked about acting differently than how you feel.

This is one of the keys to peak performance in sports, and life.

“Act as if” is also one of the principles that I talk about in my book. Most people only use a fraction of the potential that they have. Why? Because they think, “I can’t” more than they think, “I can.” They act according to how they feel. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

In Eastern philosophy, when you are pushed, you pull and when you are pulled, you push. You should fight fire with water. You should fight anger with love. And you should fight “I can’t” with “I can.”

I know what you’re thinking, “How can I do this?”

It’s easy…

Act as if…it were impossible to fail.

That’s all.

Thanks for reading.