Beautiful Models: (Practical) Oscillation
To turn it on, learn to turn it off. (Josh Waitzkin, The Art of learning)
One of my most beautiful memories of Marcelo Garcia is at the World Championships, right before going into the semi-finals.
Everyone’s screaming, yelling. He’s sleeping. Sleeping in the bleachers. You’d wake him up. He’d sort of stumble into the ring. You’ve never seen a guy more relaxed before going into a World Championship fight. He can turn it off so deeply, and man, when he goes in the ring, you can’t turn it on with any more intensity than he can. His ability to turn it off is directly aligned with how intensely he can turn it on.
(Josh Waitzkin in conversation with Tim Ferris)
Fragments from imaginary dialogues
“This is such an important life principle. I like to call it the Oscillation principle. Undulating – to use Josh’s terminology – between periods of stress and recovery, engagement and disengagement, on and off.
A key aspect of the principle is that the quality of engagement depends on the quality of disengagement. To be fully on, one must be fully off. Deep focus requires proportionally deep rest.”
“Any actionable insights?”
“Let us think what deep rest means. It means deep relaxation. Rest depends on one’s capacity to relax. One way to think of it is in terms of tension. While on, you’re accumulating tension. While off, through relaxation, you’re releasing tension.
The practice lies in finding the method of releasing tension that works best for you, and gradually condensing it so that it takes less and less time.”