Saturday, 1 February 2014

Riding on Auto Pilot

Sports psychologist Inga Wolframm conducted a study of 73 U.S. show jumpers and riders.

Upon evaluating gender, competition level, years’ experience, and mental skill, Wolframm found there was a significant difference in automaticity (essentially, the ability to do something without consciously thinking about it) between top-level and amateur riders. She also observed a significant difference in negative thinking between male and female riders: Women tended to think more negatively than men.

Ultimately, Wolframm concluded that the longer you participate in a sport, the better you become at using mental skill. "Your body simply reacts without thinking about it," she explained. "This is important because of how quickly a horse reacts. The better you are, the more automated your skills."

Isn’t that what wisdom is?

A wise rider has ridden enough horses, in enough venues, in enough conditions that they have a “never mind, carry on” default to any interruption.

In life, we all have our automatic responses –defaults. We think, speak and act without planning to.

· Honestly recognizing our counter-productive knee jerk responses

· Interrupting those defaults

· Gradually changing those negative auto pilot patterns into positive ones

“For I know what they are inclined to do even today”… God speaking in the Bible, 
Deuteronomy 31:21