Dan Wagner, ROY, TED discussed on Sean Carroll's Mindscape: Science, Society, Philosophy, Culture, Arts, and Ideas


That roy chinese thought so the the central they face attention. They had this. They want you to get into a state of spontaneity. They want you to be relaxed into try. But how do you consciously try to not try. Yeah how can you consciously try to be spontaneous when you know that. That's the key to success so you're in a situation where you know you have to relax. And how do you try to do that. And so i- argued in my dissertation and then later my first academic book on this topic that i call this the paradox of way. How do you try not to try. It's a direct paradox. you can't hit is a genuine paradox. you can't solve it later on. When i wrote a trade book about this zone. My first trade books called try not to try. I did i point out. How just cognitively. It's a paradox. Because you're you're activating the part of your brain that you're trying to shut down when you're trying not to try kids along the paradox. Dan wagner the late. Dan wagner talked about with the. Don't think of the white bear. Say that to you you think. Activating concept have to share this wonderful story. You told them your ted talk about mind ball. Oh yes of mine. Yeah so this is a. I love this game because it it takes that tension and boils down to just the the smallest space possible so mind ball is as you two ends of a table. You've got this metal ball between you and the goal is to push the metal ball to the other end of the table and it falls in some hoan. Let it does that you win. But of course the trick is you're pushing with your mind and you're hooked up to the way works. You're hooked up to he g martyr and it's measuring alpha and theta waves. So that's the signature. Your brain kicks off when you're relaxed. When you're you're not trying and the more the way the game is set up the more alpha and theta waves you produce the more force you exert on the ball off so the way to win at mine ball as to not try to win. That's genius and it's it's genius. It's a per- perfect microcosm of this tension. Right and the the first time i played it. I was oh dude. I'm a professor chinese loss of the. Because i played against the neuroscientists who ran the exhibit. When she kicked my ass is so good at it. It's funny because i started out. I had my eyes closed. And i can hear you hear the ball moving around so you know something's happening and i opened my eyes and i was winning so the ball was mostly down to the other end of the table and i thought oh i'm winning. I am pretty good at this. As soon as i thought that has started rolling back toward me and then had served panicking way way and it just didn't it didn't work. And she said she developed tricks to win at this game so she would just as soon as the game started she would think about her favorite vacation on this beach and remembering what it was like a line in the sand but this is a great. You know what i argue in the trade book actually is. This is a attention we face in our lives. All the time where you're on our first date and you know that to make a good impression you should be charming and relaxed and you feel confident But how you feeling that. Way yeah And then professional athletes and performers. No that they perform at their best when they're relaxed in the zone and they live in constant fear of choking ride live in constant fear of that feeling. I had when the ball started rolling back toward me and i was like oh not a new way..

Coming up next