Posted: June 11, 2020 in: Pain-2-Power, Personal Empowerment

The Pain-2-Power Play (or, how to DOUBLE your energy and focus)

A hockey team once asked me to offer insights on how they could use psychological strategy to defeat their opponents.  I had already noticed something interesting about how their energy and focus changed dramatically at certain points in every game, so I was happy to spend some time in the locker room and share the insight with them.

“What happens to your energy level and commitment when you have a power play?” I asked.  A power play, for those who might not know much about hockey is when the other team has one or more players in the penalty box for a minute or longer.  There’s a much better chance to score during that time because of those missing players.

“It goes through the roof,” one of the players said.

“Right,” I said.

“And what happens to your motivation when, say, the score is tied and there are one or two minutes left in the game?” I asked.

“Same, but even more,” another player said.  “Double, maybe even triple the normal energy.”

Lots of the players nodded in agreement.

“Then why would you only play that way during penalties and tie games, with the clock running out?” I asked.  “I know you couldn’t keep that level of energy up for the entire shift, but how about for six minutes during a game, that you all plan?  The other team won’t know what hit them.  Six minutes is ten percent of the whole game.  Doubling your motivation, energy and focus for ten percent of a game could win it.  And the other team won’t know what hit them.”

“How can we think that way, when it isn’t actually a power play or a tie?” the team captain asked.

“You have a signal when it’s ‘that time,’ and everyone has to believe it.  Trust me, every one of you can imagine things in such a powerful way that it is as though they are actually happening.  The mind is that powerful.”

The strategy worked.  Not every time, but enough to prove the point.  When the designated person signaled to start the “mind shift,” the surge of energy was visible and palpable, and the opposing team was often caught flat-footed.

I bet you already get the metaphor.  You can do this in your life.  For an hour a day, for instance, you can convince yourself that a certain project has to get completed by the end of the week.  You can convince yourself that you only have that very day to inspire your co-workers or employees or customers to get aboard with your idea.  You can enter a meeting having convinced yourself that it’s your last chance to inspire your team to embrace You can suspend disbelief and actually tap into that special high-octane fuel that normally only gets burned on deadline.

Here’s another secret:  That fuel isn’t in the limited supply you think it is.  It gets replenished, again and again when you use it.  So, give the Pain-2-Power Play formula a try.  And feel free to let me know how it goes.

Dr. Keith Ablow



Comments are closed.