"Rowing a race is an art, not a frantic scramble. It must be rowed with head power as well as hand power. From the first stroke all thoughts of the other crew must be blocked out. Your thoughts must be directed to you and your own boat, always positive, never negative."
This quote by George Yeoman Pocock, a boatbuilder who built racing shells, is found in The Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown—a story about the U.S. rowing team that won gold at the 1936 Olympics in Berlin. This is my book club's read of the month.
When I read that, I thought about how applicable that advice is to life in general—not just to rowing and racing, about which I knew nothing until I read this book.
What if we keep our thoughts "in our own boat" rather than criticizing the behaviors of others or freely giving advice to others? What if we kept our thoughts "positive, never negative"? Might that make a difference to how we conduct ourselves—and how we feel about life and others?
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