In this special episode Will and BJ invited old time strongman Iron Tamer David Whitley to discuss how to overcome mental barriers that keep you from doing difficult things. The episode covers how David overcomes mental barriers when performing feats of strength and how that applies to overcoming difficulties as a programmer.
Iron Tamer Dave Whitley is a motivational speaker and strongman based in Nashville TN. He is the author of the book Superhuman YOU and has performed all over the US as well as internationally in Italy, the UK, Czech Republic, Australia and Korea. He was featured in the German documentary Kraftakt, a film about strength.
He performs around the world using feats of strength such as bending steel bars, spikes and wrenches, tearing decks of card, twisting horse shoes, driving a nail through a board with his hand and breaking chains. The feats he performs are used as an illustration of the mindset needed to accomplish the impossible. His purpose is to inspire the audience to leave their limitations behind and become the greatest possible version of themselves.
05:56 Thought Process When Doing Something Epic
Inspiration can come from just about anywhere. Once you see something you know that if can be done. You will have to put in work to make it happen. First you have to start with inspiration. Next you have to imagine what you want to do. Then you act on it.
“Everybody has some sort of super human power.”
Inspiration is the spark of an idea. It might seem ridiculous at first. At this point the how doesn’t matter because you first must decide to do something. The only thing that can get in your way is fear.
10:15 Breaking the Coconut
“To willingly reject instruction on something is one of the most pristine forms of arrogance that you can have.”
The process for deciding to do something is part physical and mental. For feats of strength there is what the body is capable of doing and the physiology of what the body can do. You have to start where you are and build up from there. The other part is mental. Find a mentor that has the attributes that you want or need to accomplish your task. Ask for guidance and take on those attributes.
17:04 Overcoming Setbacks
“I was the chubby kid with a studder…and I figured if people are going to laugh at me I want to be in charge of it.”
Take things that are setbacks or sources of pain and use them to grow. As a child David had trouble even speaking in front of fellow classmates now he holds seminars for hundreds of people.
19:25 Getting Close to the Goal
The more you do something the better you will become. As you continue to practice and do a thing you will gain confidence in your abilities. To become a better coder you need to write code. Getting into it and actually coding will do more for your progress as a developer than reading or watching training videos. Getting closer to your goal doesn’t change what you are doing, instead what you do becomes more refined.
“Research your own experience; absorb what is useful, reject what is useless and add what is essentially your own.” ~ Bruce Lee from Tao of Jeet Kune Do
Don’t be afraid to fail. Failure is what causes growth. It’s how you learn what not to do or what doesn’t work. When you were a child you didn’t start learning to walk, fall down and never try to walk again. Take that same attitude to learning to do something new or something great. Reset your mentality to see failure as a learning experience.
24:25 Finding the Failure Point
“With feats of strength it’s almost always a mental thing.”
You have to find the points of failure in order to know the next hurdle to get over. The fear of hurting oneself or making irreparable damage is worse than the actual pain when starting something new especially with feats of strength. There is a difference between discomfort and pain and actually being in danger. Fear and pain are warning signs, fear is the mental and pain the physical. Once you get over the fear and know that you aren’t in danger the pain becomes just a signal.
35:15 Rest and Revocery
“Everything comes at a price. The question is what is the price and how are you going to pay.”
Everything you do comes at a price. Studying and training to be a better coder costs time and money. Push yourself but don’t max out all the time. Push a little further than you did the day before. The idea is to feel better after training by pushing a little further than you did before but not past your own limit. Limits exist for a reason and when you try to constantly push past them you can get injured or burnt out.
39:43 After Reaching a Goal
“Usually drink beer.”
What you do after reaching your goal will depend on the goal you’ve reached. If you reach it earlier or with less effort look at where you can grow from there. Ask yourself what is the next step or how can I do something more amazing.
42:30 How To Start Being Awesome
Once you have an idea can you imagine yourself doing or being what you want. Imagine yourself doing what you want or being the person you want to be. You cannot make it somewhere if you can’t see where that place is. You cannot do something that you can’t imagine yourself doing.
“It’s easier to remember something than it is to create something.”
Get very vivid with your imagination. Create an environment where you will not be disturbed and get into a relaxed mental state. Picture yourself doing what you want to do. Don’t watch yourself do it but imagine that act itself.
Once you’ve imagined yourself doing something, take action to get there. If all you do is imagine it you’ll never accomplish anything. Get out there and practice, get our there and code.
This uses a sewn on tiny tile to detect sips using the accelerometer in the tiny tile. It then sends that data to Meshblu where you can perform actions based on sips taken using your koozie. Some possible applications include new IoT drinking games or helping to make sure you drink enough water in a day.
Tricks of the Trade
Deserve Victory! There’s two concepts that go hand in hand when you want to achieve something. Don’t take things that you didn’t earn. On the other side once you do earn it accept that you earned it. Both of these are insidious because they hinder your growth.