I think you're misrepresenting my view. We are mostly in agreement, I think.
Regardless of free will, a veto of thoughts (Libet et al., 1979) or complete determinism; it will always feel like one is making the decision. If there is a slight chance of self-directed neuroplasticity, then it is worth pursuing.
You equate willpower to force, to winning (?) - I think of it as self-control. Like remaining in the lotus position while lit on fire, or something like this:
I will argue, if I understood your post correctly, that the willpower you have used in other endeavors is a negative one. You wanted to be better than others, gain status or win a game. I am talking about attempting to gain total control of one's thoughts and bodily functions. The world is irrelevant, it's only how you react to it that is of importance. Internalize everything.
That kind of willpower works in trading, and it works in all other areas of life. The brute force type of willpower is probably the worst thing a trader can attempt....
I've been quite good at competitive sports, especially soccer. I have never focused on winning, though. I only envision what I need to do, the muscles I need to activate and then do it. No need for internal motivation, no need for emotional mumbo jumbo.
I'm still human, of course. Thus, I fail quite frequently -- but it's a very different view of the world to most. It's probably why I succeeded at trading within a month; I simply don't feel the need to be right or show off -- I just observe and act...
(This is written quite hastily in a drunken haze, so try to absorb the essence rather than the grammatical errors and egomaniacal portrayal of a non-ego personality )
The following user says Thank You to Lornz for this post:
Just to be clear, Ice Man has a mutation which allows him to do that, it's not something anybody can do if they apply themselves. You might as well try to grow taller through the power of positive thought.
I agree that I used a poor example, but this thread is about sports psychology -- not reality. I also don't have time to participate on message boards at the moment, so I tried not to get sucked into discussion regarding a field I am quite fascinated with.
As for regulating body temperature, I will refer you to my previous post about the Buddhist monks. There are also many examples with regard to freedivers. They usually combine exercise, yoga and meditation.
The best example is probably Stig Severinsen. He broke the world record by holding his breath for 20 minutes and 10 seconds:
@Deucalion will probably enjoy his comment about neuroplasticity.
I really don't like all the spirituality both he and Schwartz in includes. I'm not a very spiritual person, but I am very fascinated by the unconscious mind. I think the vastness of the brain's complexity is cheapened by invoking spirituality.
I've always been very aware of breathing as a way to control the mind. My mother, a former opera singer, taught me the benefits of practicing abdominal breathing at an early age. Then I read about biofeedback in high school and developed my own brand of meditation based on that. This was refined further after I discovered self-directed neuroplasticity. I had always believed in my power to shape myself, and used various methods to induce change in behavior and physiology, but this solidified my belief in the results beyond a potential placebo effect.
I'm done with this thread now and will confine my participation on this board to my journal. However, I would like to add that a deeper control of the body and mind is achievable, but the usual war metaphors, and other motivation based in anger, hinders one from reaching this deeper level. Under relatively normal circumstances, the world around oneself is largely irrelevant, it's how one reacts to it that shapes one's reality.
Last edited by Lornz; April 21st, 2012 at 09:44 AM.