Act Naturally

in books, review

I recently read The Inner Game of Tennis by W. Timothy Gallwey.

It's a short book and a bit old (1972), but I found it to have a lot of good insight about how we cripple ourselves by trying too hard to perform.

Gallwey makes frequent reference to our two "selves", who he refers to as Self 1 and Self 2.

Self 1 is our ego and the narrator in our head. Self 2 is our instinctual self and has no voice.

Self 2 has an uncanny way of getting things done and improving through observation, but Self 1's demands and insecurities are always getting in the way.

By quieting Self 1 and allowing Self 2 to improve "itself" through quiet focus and observation, we can improve performance in just about everything.

The book describes various techniques to achieve this and much more besides which can probably help almost anyone do better at an activity that requires effort.