It's a Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

My favorite TV show growing up was Mister Rogers' Neighborhood. I think I was a big fan of the little train that went around the set, but I also liked the whole shoe tying business. There was one lesson that the entire show was designed to teach. Every activity has three parts:

  1. Preparation
  2. Activity
  3. Cleanup

Somehow I failed to internalize this scheme (but I could still probably put a train set together in five minutes). To this day I blast through step 1, and often skip step 3 entirely. I'm trying to work this process into my Samurai Diet. More on this later.

I've recently spent some time working with Jared Tendler, the performance coach. He prescribes a three step process for every activity:

  1. Warm up
  2. Performance
  3. Cool down and review

This process works for poker, golf, music, martial arts, and pretty much whatever else you apply it to. The idea is to prepare yourself to perform at your highest level. Then to perform without second guessing yourself or worrying about improvement. Finally, you extract the lessons from the session and release the activity from the front of your mind. Sound familiar?

Incidentally, both of these outlines are identical to the shape of a good story. I guess it's time to try write my life into a more coherent narrative. Won't you be my neighbor?

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