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How to Trick Your Brain to Like Doing Hard Things

James Clear | 23:09


I'd like to start with a story. And the story is about Team Sky, which is Great Britain's professional cycling team sometime in the mid 2000s. Around 2010 They hired a man named Dave Brailsford. And at the time, Team Sky had a very middle of the road record when it came to performance on the world stage. They had won about one gold medal in the last 100 years from 1908 to 2008. 

They had never won a Tour de France the premier event in cycling. And when they hired Dave Brailsford, they said we would like to change this. We'd like to improve our performance. We'd like to reach a higher level of performance. What's your plan to help us do that? And when they hired Brailsford, he said I have this strategy called the aggregation of marginal gains. And the way that he described it was the 1% improvement in nearly everything that you do. And so they started by looking at a lot of things you would expect a cycling team to look at. 

They improved their bike tires made them slightly lighter, they put a more ergonomic seat on the bike they had their riders were biofeedback sensors, so they can see how each person responded to the training and practice that they did each day. They have their outdoor riders were indoor racing suits, because they were lighter and more aerodynamic. But then they did a variety of things that you wouldn't expect a cycling team to do. They split tested different types of massage gels to see which one led to the best form of recovery. They taught the writers how to wash their hands to reduce the risk of infection, keep them healthy. 

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