Thursday, January 05, 2017

Thresholding. by Badger Johnson


In any human activity or plan one of the hardest things to do but actually the most important is to achieve action and then consistency.

Any action is started as a feeling or subconsciously we might desire something, then we have a thought coalesce, and then a potential builds up. That potential may or may not reach the threshold for realization, and if it does there’s a ‘spike’ and the action is begun or accomplished.

So what is the point of knowing this? It’s to find ways to bring that subconscious desire to fruition. One way is to lower the threshold. If we can lower it enough, remove inertia, we can have the desire happen with less of a potential and it ‘just happens’.

We want to learn how to develop habits, how to make something that is now extraordinary ordinary so that you don’t need a lot of inspiration.

Typically, people try to build up inspiration, and after a while even the most rousing song or idea fades and it doesn’t work. So they move to other things, ergogenic aids, getting a training partner, going to a training camp.

But the truth is it must be from the internal. You can’t use external things reliably for long, to cause that action potential to fire. We habituate and there is the enemy of progress and training. We exhaust the synapses and habituate and the goal becomes less important.

Paradoxically, as we get closer and closer to the maximum trained state the body and mind try to play tricks to get us to stop, to rest, to do something else. It’s a distraction mechanism. It has to be thwarted or overcome.

So when you make your plans, try to lower the threshold needed. Pre-prepare your food, your equipment your itinerary so that when you wake up all of that is ready. Often your lowest action potential state is when you just wake up (for others it might not be that way).

Have your gear laid out the night before. Portion out your food and get it ready. Make sure the car is gassed up the tires pumped up on the bike. Don’t have an equipment failure or a prep failure increase the action potential.

One other thing you can do is make something a ‘no choice’ activity. IOW, you don’t have a three or four or five day a week thing. You do it seven days a week and there is no ‘choice’, only a ‘when’ not an ‘if’.

Next: Coaching, good or bad, self-coaching revisited.

~Badger Johnson
Aug 2, 2016

Please check out Badger Johnson's other essays:

NOTE:  My sincerest appreciation for Badger's gracious consent for permission to archive his essay to my site.
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