A friend of mine’s parents are both television producers for the BBC. They used to work on a variety of tasks including live video mixing for important events. To my knowledge this can be a very challenging task, it involves watching several sets of images from various camera sources and editing or mixing those images down into a continuous stream within a one minute delay of the actual event that is being filmed AND delivering it as live television to millions of viewers. Now, according to my friend, around the time of a smoking and drinking ban in all BBC workplaces stress levels went so high that the consequent level of mistakes, divorces and illnesses amongst live TV crews threatened to cripple the BBC’s ability to cover live events. This is in the time before satellite television so you can just imagine the pressure of an angry nation unable to get their weekly football.
I don’t know if you’ve ever thought about it, but video editing is an extremely powerful tool. Some may say that those who know the tricks of the TV and how to edit images to portray the message that they wish to communicate have dangerous power. Italian Prime Minister, Silvio Berlusconi, is also a media mogul who owns all of the main Italian media channels, the largest TV stations and newspapers. It has often been the subject of study how well-edited TV presentations were responsible for this man’s rise to power. What we see on the news and the perceptions we derive are highly dependent on what has been left out as much as one has been put in.
Your brain works in a similar way and the perceptions you have now are in some way at least shaped by the way you’re re-presenting pictures or videos to your brain. Have you ever considered the power you have to edit those internal movies and the consequences editing? You will often find that the ability to review mental video of a performance or event is a key mark of genius. What takes genius even further is the ability to edit that video, correct any mistakes, and run it with the perfect result.
When entering a performance situation it is highly likely that your nervous system will recognise the context it is in and start triggering relevant information, including your previous performances. All of this information will contribute to how you are feeling about yourself, at the very least, and have consequences for your self-confidence and your automatic or unconscious perception of yourself and the environment you are in. Depending on the information collected in your nervous system, this can be help or a hindrance.
Consider those events that you keep on thinking about that run through your mind over and over again. There may be some times in your life where you couldn’t Stop those images and videos from running through your mind and you really wish you could. In those situations the feelings that go along with the video are perhaps not the most constructive. Let’s say you’re a golfer on one of those long walks between holes who has had plenty of time to think about how bad that last swing was. The video of that last wing has been going around and around in your mind and in effect you have been rehearsing it perfectly. This rehearsal has passed through your nervous system triggering micro-muscle movements and is now a well trodden path in your muscle memory. By the time you get to your next hole, your mind -body has the extra task of fighting against what you’ve just rehearsed, what you’ve spent so much time practising during your other training sessions, and the demands of the current challenge. The success of the shot is now put to chance. By training and challenging your natural, and extremely powerful, talent for reviewing past events, you can reduce the element of chance in your performance.
If you are in any way serious about achieving excellence I guess the question that you are asking right now is ‘ how’!?
The technique I would like to pass on is called Personal Editing. Like every technique in these articles only expect great success if you practice until you make perfect.
I suggest that you read through the steps once, pick an event that you would like to remember differently, then go back through the steps one by one.
- Run the memory as if it were a movie on a screen in front of you. Start the movie before anything significant happens and end it at a place where the event is truly over.
Make sure you can see yourself in the movie and that you are watching the event from the position of a ‘camera’ that is neutral (NOT another person or through your own eyes).
- As the movie gets to a part that you are not satisfied with and you want it to be better, go ahead and pause the movie, notice how you can cut that scene out of the movie and replace it with exactly the scene you want to make it just as you want it and better. Keep adjusting the footage until it is perfect and gets the results you want.
- After every scene change or edit, Rewind the movie and play the new scene a couple of times before moving on.
- After more than two or three scene changes/edits, run the movie from the beginning to make sure that you can get everything just right .
- When your movie is just right ,
– Pause the movie at the beginning
– Look at yourself in the movie, become sensitive to your body posture (physiology) as it is on the screen
– NOW ‘step in’ to your image/body that is on the screen, so you are looking through your own eyes at the memory/event
7. Run the Movie a few times from this position, – that is through your own eyes, in your own body. Notice how different the memory of the event feels NOW.
The challenge I put to you is to do this technique everyday for 2 weeks. I can tell you how outstanding the results are but that would be pointless. The only thing to do now is to experience the results for yourself. Additionally, if you are training and/or competing, conduct this technique after every session…… only if you’re serious about achieving your own excellence, of course!