New Delhi, Sep 20 (PTI) The power of self-talk can do wonders to sportspersons and athletes, as a hundredth of a second improvement in their performance can mean the difference between a silver and a gold medal, says a new book on mind management.
In 'The Science of Mind Management', spiritual teacher Swami Mukundananda cites the achievements of boxing legend Muhammad Ali and British runner Roger Bannister to drive home this point. He says sportspersons and athletes repeatedly speak to themselves to bring their body-mind-intellect to a state of peak performance.
Ali's indoctrination of himself with 'I am the greatest' is well-known, he says.
'However, his is not the only example of self-talk amongst champions. Practically all sports champs at the higher competitive levels stimulate themselves with self-talk such as 'you need to relax', 'stay calm', 'stay focused', and so on. They do it either verbally or silently in the mind,' Mukundananda writes.
On the feat of Bannister, the first to run the mile in less than four minutes, the author says the medical student refused to believe that the barrier was unbreakable.
'His subconscious became programmed accordingly, and consequently, on May 6, 1954, with minimal training, he ran the mile in 3 minutes 59.4 seconds,' he says.
According to Mukundananda, the miracle that followed Bannister's achievement was astonishing.
'Just 45 days later, his competitor, John Landy, ran a mile in 3 minutes 58 seconds. The matter did not stop there. In the same year, 29 runners broke the four-minute barrier. The next year, 237 runners clocked the sub-four-minute mile. What had suddenly changed? Bannister's feat had altered the self-talk of all middle distance runners to 'It can be done… It can be done',' he writes.
He describes this deliberate self-talk for the purpose of programming the mind as 'positive affirmation' which, he says, capitalises on the power of repetition.
'When a message is iterated again and again, it goes deep within and is internalised. In mind management, positive affirmations have a significant role to play. We can use it to develop a positive personality, full of optimism, faith, courage, perseverance, and purpose,' he argues.
In the book, brought out by Westland Publications, Mukundananda charts four different aspects of the human mind and lays down a clear path towards mastering it. Through anecdotes, real-life accounts and stories from the Vedic scriptures, he seeks to guide readers on the road to winning their inner battle.
He talks about techniques like contemplation, self-affirmation, visualisation, yoga, meditation and surrendering to the supreme among others which, he says, can transform lives. PTI ZMN RDS RDS