Channeling deeper focus with emotions (Josh Waitzkin)

I’m definitely one to try and suppress emotion at times, which is why I love how Josh Waitzkin thinks about using emotions to one’s unique advantage. This quote is from his book, The Art of Learning: A Journey in the Pursuit of Excellence.

“There are performers who recognize the disruptive potential of emotions and try to turn them off, become cold, detached, steely. For some personalities this might work, although in my opinion denial tends to melt down when the pressure becomes fierce. Then there are those elite performers who use emotion, observing their moment and then channeling everything into a deeper focus that generates a uniquely flavored creativity. This is an interesting, resilient approach based on flexibility and subtle introspective awareness. Instead of being bullied by or denying their unconscious, these [performers] let their internal movements flavor their fires.”

Being still is uncomfortable.

Sadie Lincoln, co-founder and CEO of Barre3 talks about why she doesn’t want to grow her business.

I’m actually not focused on growing bigger anymore with the company. We’ve paused franchising for now. We’re just holding. We’re being still. And we’re being uncomfortable and still. Being still is uncomfortable. It’s very analogous to [being] in class, or when you try to meditate… it’s hard.

It’s hard to be still because it’s a real inner mirror thing. You have to check in and see things. So if you look at a company as a person, we’ve decided to meditate for a moment

We started to be courted by a lot of institutional bankers. Pure Barre (a comp) was sold for $121 million… and the story we kept hearing is “who’s gonna be number 2?… and you can be valued at a gazillion dollars”… so we started to entertain a bunch of conversations.

There’s lots of choice out there.

And I kind of feel like I want to be a bit of a rebel

I just want to protect what I have, versus “make it giant” and I want to show the business community that you can do it that way.

There’s not that many people saying that in the business community. The value of not growing. The value of not selling.