Strength Basics

Getting stronger, fitter, and healthier by sticking to the basics. It's not rocket science, it's doing the simple stuff the right way. Strength-Basics updates every Monday, plus extra posts during the week.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Making people feel successful

I liked this article over at Elite FTS:

What I Learned from Arnold Schwarzenegger

It's a very specific lesson about making people feel successful.

"When was the last time you acted super-impressed by someone you knew wasn't on your level? And if you passed on the opportunity to, why?"

I try to do this often. Not for motivation, but because people's achievements are a big deal. I pulled 335 the other day. I watched one of my friends pull over 335 on his first day ever of trap bar deadlifting, and did it for a set of five. Does this mean my achievement isn't worth being impressed by? Not worth cheering over?


It's worth celebrating other people's successes. This is especially true if you're in a

In the arena of competitive physical sports, people often dump on what you do because someone else has done it harder, better. But I also come from the world of teaching. You can't shrug off a kid reading a difficult word for the first time, or spelling it, or following a hard reading passage, or any of that just because others before him or her have done it. If they're achieving something that is difficult for them, and they're winning at something that's a stretch for them, it's worth celebrating.

You can't celebrate something you all know didn't take any work.

"Marquise de Merteuil: One does not applaud the tenor for clearing his throat."

It just won't work. Praise me for pulling 295 and I'll just shrug. I've pulled 295 over and over. Praise someone who something that's easy and you diminish the value of praise. You can't manufacture the feeling of success, but you can feed it. That feeling leads to doing more of what got you to success.

I recently had a teenager front squat his bodyweight for a double, then come back a week later and squat 1 and then 30 pounds over that each for a solid single. I made sure to praise him for it - that's hard work, and it's a big achievement. I made a big of it because it is one.

A first pullup. The first time you use the 45 pound plates. Your best effort that leads to something good. Those things are successes, and if you can highlight them in other people when the occur you can reinforce the behavior that got them there.

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