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<<First Name>>, Welcome back to The 90%!
I'll be on vacation with my wife as you read this gem from H. Jackson Brown, Jr., author of Life's Little Instruction Book. He writes, “Choose your life’s mate carefully. From this one decision will come 90 percent of all your happiness or misery." I can only attest to the former, but I think he's correct.

Summer provides the opportunity to rest and recharge. This, however, doesn't mean just laying around. I've been on the golf course, hiking in national parks, and getting in or on the water. Research repeatedly shows the mental, emotional, and physical benefits of exposure to green spaces and blue spaces - benefits that include lower stress, greater calm and joy, emotional stability, improved cardiovascular health, enhanced concentration, and better productivity. Walking also activates the default mode network of the mind, enhancing creativity and the formation of new connections. 

I find that I have some of my best insights while enjoying green and/or blue spaces. You can find a collection of these scenic views and the thoughts they inspired on my Instagram. In the meantime, get outside!

In his quarterfinal at Wimbledon, Novak Djokovic found himself down two sets to love. He took a break between the 2nd and 3rd sets, specifically, "a toilet break . . . a pep talk in the mirror . . . and regathering my thoughts." He went on to win the match in five sets, commenting, "The inner fight is always the bigger fight." During his semifinal match, he again faced a deficit. After another comeback, he stated, "The more you experience these kind of situations, not the better you feel, but just more prepared you feel. You know what to expect. It's always really about handling your own nerves better than maybe your opponent is his own. This internal battle is always the greatest."

As Plato said, “The first and greatest victory is to conquer yourself." Djokovic is in an introspective and intelligent player. He has come to understand himself and his internal battle, and that is why he is so successful. Congratulations to Novak Djokovic on winning his 21st major, and 4th Wimbledon in a row.

When performing in a meaningful event, there is a tendency to play tight. Why? Because it matters to you, because there may be high stakes, because someone is watching, because there is some urgency, or because the margins are small. If you cannot accept the possibility of an undesired outcome, the sense of pressure increases. If, however, you can handle whatever happens, it provides a sense of freedom, which is exactly how we want to perform. To play FREE, you'll want to be
  • Focused on what's important now (WIN), NOT what it's worth.
  • Relaxed. Three ways to relax are 1) slow, diaphragmatic breathing;          2) progressive muscle relaxation (PMR); and 3) smiling!
  • Energized. Use the energy of the moment to your advantage instead of     resisting the discomfort.
  • Enjoying. Remember that it's supposed to be fun. Embrace the                  challenge and the opportunity to showcase your skills.
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