The Difference a Day Can Make

And just like that... it was gone.

"At first I didn't want to think too hard about it. Sometimes when you look too closely you can't see things clearly anymore."

Apparently I looked too closely.

Relaxed focus ---> the zone ---> optimal performance ---> excellent results ---> self-reflection ---> tense focus ---> not the zone.

It doesn't seem that self-reflection should be a negative, and I can't say that it caused me to become self-conscious. The truth is that I don't know why last night's session turned bad. That's not so say that I played horrible or lost a bunch of money. But I did become frustrated to the point where I cut short my work for the evening.


  1. are there any concrete things that you can identify that differentiate "the zone" from "not the zone"? or is it entirely intangibles/"feel"?

  2. A lot of it's feel, but there are tangible aspects. The complete absence of self-doubt is one. Being self-aware as opposed to self-conscious is another. It's mostly about thinking what you need to be thinking instead of all of the useless stuff that clutters the brain. Being in a good frame of mind involves letting those useless (or harmful) thoughts pass through. Being in the zone involves not even having those thoughts.