Thought Catalog

25 Tips For Sending Sexy Snapchat Photos He’ll Definitely Masturbate To

Posted: 07 Aug 2016 08:15 PM PDT

Twenty20, jaylene
Twenty20, jaylene

1.  Take a selfie, fully naked, and then use the drawing function to censor your pussy and nipples. It’s the perfect way to tease him. If he agrees to be extra nice to you, tell him you just might give him the unedited version.

2. You don’t actually have to remove a single item of clothing. Just show a little cleavage, purse your lips, and use a simple caption like, “I miss you.”

3. Or, if you want to make your feelings blatantly obvious, try, “I’m horny AF.”

4. If you aren’t looking your best and don’t want your face in the picture, then take a picture of your lingerie while it’s on the hook. Caption it, “Think I would like good in this?”

5. Or take a picture of your dildo and caption it, “I’ll be thinking of you the entire time.”

6. You could also try taking a picture of a bottle of wine with two glasses and tell him to get to your house ASAP.

7. Or just take a picture of your bed, with or without you in it, and tell him that you wish he was there with you.

8. Try turning it into a game. Tell him to send you a picture of a naked body part, and you’ll return the favor with the same part of your body.

9. Instead of taking a photo, take a sexy video. Record yourself lifting off your shirt so he can see what’s underneath.

10. If you have a seductive voice, you could always try dirty talking to him in your video clip.

11. Or you could go all the way and take a video of yourself masturbating.

12. If you’d rather stick to pictures, take a shot of your naked tits, but hold your hands over them, so there’s a little left to the imagination.

13. Or take a photo with a phallic object in your mouth, like a lollipop or a banana. Of course, you might want to take this photo a few times before sending it, because it’s easy to look silly instead of sexy.

14.Take a photo while you’re leaning forward, so he sees the maximum amount of cleavage possible.

15. Or play dirty and take a picture of a pitch black room and caption it, “You can’t tell, but I’m completely naked right now.”

16. You can always turn him on without showing off private parts of your body. Try taking a picture of your long legs in a pair of short shorts. He’ll go nuts.

17. Or take a picture in a skirt with your legs crossed, but tell him you aren’t wearing any underwear underneath (it doesn’t matter if you’re a liar).

18. Take a video of your car radio while it plays an overtly sexual song. It’ll let him know what you’re thinking about doing to him.

19. Take a picture in your towel after you get out of the shower.

20. Or take a picture from the knees down while you’re in the bath.

21. Find a full-length mirror to take a picture of yourself from behind. It doesn’t matter if you’re in yoga pants, in a thong, or are completely naked, because he’s going to love the view no matter what.

22. If you want to turn him on, but don’t want to be obvious about what you’re doing, put on a filter that gives you a puppy dog face while wearing something skimpy. That way, it won’t look like you’re trying too hard.

23. Ask him to answer questions about you, like what your cat’s name is or how many drinks you’ve had. Whenever he gets one right, you’ll remove an item of your clothing and send a new pic to him.

24. You know, you can upload photos from your camera roll to Snapchat, so if you’re not feeling your sexiest, upload an old nude photograph and pretend you just took it.

25. If you’re still not in a picture taking mood, Snapchat has a text function, so you two can just talk dirty over the app. The conversation will be deleted as soon as you’re finished, so you won’t have to worry about the words getting around and ruining your good girl reputation. TC mark

The Difference Between True Love And Attachment

Posted: 07 Aug 2016 08:00 PM PDT

Aaron Anderson
Aaron Anderson

Sometimes, love and attachment gets twisted into one another. Sometimes, the lines get so blurred, that you become blind to what is happening around you. And you can’t tell what is real anymore. 

But, the difference between unhealthy attachment, and true love is in fact clear as day.

Attachment is needing. It’s toxic. It’s only being ok when you are with that person. It is not being able to live without them. It is thinking that they are the reason you are on this earth. It is the idea that you are not complete without that person.

Love is falling without even realizing it. It’s slow. It’s delicate. It’s being ok without that person. It’s letting that person have their own space. It’s wanting what is best for that person, even if it means not being in their life anymore. It’s accepting that sometimes, what is best for you, is not best for them.

Attachment is clingy.

It is 24/7 thoughts of them. It is letting other relationships fade because the one with him is the most important. It is not accepting life without them. It is not being happy on your own. It is always being afraid they will leave. It is always being anxious about your future with them.

Love is accepting that what is meant to be, will be.

It is being your own person outside of that relationship. It is being happy on your own, and with your other friendships. It is not being afraid of your future with this person. Because you are confident in that love. And you are confident it will withstand anything if that is what is meant to be.

Attachment is not seeing this persons flaws. It is thinking they are pure perfection and they can do no wrong. It is defending this person even if they hurt you. It is a constant cycle of blindness.

Love is fighting. It is having real arguments about life. It is seeing this person’s flaws and accepting them. It is loving this person despite their poor qualities. It is communication about your problems. It is communication about your differences, and what makes your relationship hard. It is work. It is always hard work.

Attachment is easy. Because it isn’t real. It isn’t true love. It’s just a blurry line of insecurities and self hatred.

Love isn’t easy. It’s hard. It’s compromise. It’s sweat and tears. It’s hardships and reconciliation. It’s fights and makeups.

Attachment is just surface level communication. It is dangerous. It is believing they are the only thing that matters in your life.

Love is letting them go if that is what is needed. It is letting fate take it’s course. It is accepting that it is not meant to be. And it is being okay even if it hurts like hell. Because you know love like that will come again.And you’ll be fine. TC mark

69 Filthy Sex Confessions From Slutty Strangers That Will Totally Turn You On

Posted: 07 Aug 2016 07:15 PM PDT

Look Catalog
Look Catalog

























11 Things You Need To Know Before You Date A Virgo

Posted: 07 Aug 2016 07:00 PM PDT

Look Catalog
Look Catalog

1. Everyone in a Virgo’s life is better for it. They pay attention to the things no one else does and know how to utilize that skill to upgrade things you didn’t even know you could upgrade. If you leave the relationship, you’ll leave a more put-together person with a wider understand of what life has to offer.

Virgos love their careers, their careers keep them warm at night. If you’re not okay with this, look for someone else.

Virgos aren’t all flowery speech and romantic displays off affection — even when they really love someone. Safe your relationship a lot of strife and pay attention the the ways they prefer to demonstrate their love for you rather than holding out for what this might traditionally look like.

4. No one can give advice like a Virgo can give advice, consider yourself lucky if you have one in your life that’s willing to lend counsel.

5. Please don’t go to a Virgos house and make a mess or leave things cluttered. They will not appreciate this.

6. Virgos are loyal and trustworthy, they aren’t dramatic, and they are straightforward with their desires. This is the ideal match for someone looking to settle down and have a comfortable, happy life.

7. Virgos aren’t adventurous in the sense that they prefer to look before they leap. They aren’t foolish. Don’t call them prudes or boring because they like to know what they’re getting themselves into. If you’re after excitement on excitement, it’s probably not a good fit anyway.

8. An ideal date for a Virgo is well planned out. Don’t surprise them with something poorly planned — that will only stress them out!

9. A Virgo doesn’t want to feel like your mom or dad. Even though they will take care of you and bail you out in some pseudo-parental fashion, they still want to be your young, fun partner. Don’t reward their generosity by making them feel unsexy!

10. Virgos are the most dependable sign in the Zodiac and they secretly love it. While other people feel put out when they have to do chores like pick you up when your car is broken or accompany you to the doctor’s office, these acts of service make a Virgo feel closer to you. Don’t play independent because you think you’ll annoy them.

Thank your Virgo often for all they do to improve your life. They don’t ask for much, so consistent gratitude is the perfect balance between the two of you. TC mark

Sometimes The People We Fall Hardest For Are The People Who Let Us Down The Hardest

Posted: 07 Aug 2016 06:00 PM PDT

 Noah Kalina
Noah Kalina

As much as it hurts, and how much it kills you, sometimes the people we love we most, are the ones that aren’t good for us. No matter how much you care for them, and how much you want to keep them in your life, sometimes the people you love most are the ones who will hurt you the most.

It’s hard for us to picture the person we love most in this world every trying to hurt us, but the harder we love, the bigger the possibility of them hurting us gets. It’s hard for us to imagine them saying goodbye, or them leaving without another word. It’s hard to picture the moment when they will find someone better, someone prettier, someone more likable.

“It won’t happen to us”, we say. “Our relationship is different than all the others”, we try to convince ourselves. “He wouldn’t do that to me”, we whisper to ourselves in the darkness.

But sometimes, no matter how big the love is, and how confident the bond is between you two, they will end up hurting you. No matter what you do.

We can’t escape it. We can’t foresee it. We can’t ever predict it. Sometimes, it just happens. Without a warning. And without a chance of explanation. They call you on the phone telling you it’s over. They pack up their bags and leave overnight. They write a note on your bedside table saying sorry. They tell you they want to see other place. They tell you they have changed their minds. 

And it’s not anyone’s fault. It’s not your fault for loving so hard. It’s not their fault for having a change of heart. It’s not your fault for entering into the relationship. It’s not their fault for finding someone else who they get along better with.

It’s just life. It’s how things happen. And sometimes, the worst things happens. The boy you thought was your forever is gone. The boy you loved the most, wrecked you. And they didn’t even give you a chance to show them all you had to offer them.

They never ever gave you a chance.

So, what do you say to them? What do you do? You tell those people who left you, that it’s their loss. That you feel sorry for them for never giving you the benefit of the doubt. That they just lost the best thing they could’ve had. 

And then tell them thank you.

Because now, you finally realize that they weren’t the best person for you.

The best person for you wouldn’t ever leave. The best person for you wouldn’t ever dare to sneak out without another word. The best person for you would never utter the words, “goodbye”. The best person for you would be right there next to you, sleeping soundly, dreaming of you. The best person for you would stay. They will always stay. TC mark

This Is How I Will Love You (A Letter To The Future Her)

Posted: 07 Aug 2016 05:00 PM PDT

Joe St. Pierre
Joe St. Pierre

We've probably never met yet, but I have been searching for you ever since I realized I needed someone like you. Will you come? Or have you already passed by? Forgive me but please let me say this. I love you now. I've loved you for quite some time and after all I've been through, I love you still.

I’ve never looked at outer beauty so that when our paths crossed, I wouldn't miss the beauty of your soul. So that when somehow my gaze moves towards yours, I would fall in love with who you are – your dreams, fears, quirks, rants, kindness, intelligence, heart.

Even if opportunities presented themselves – those who would seem to be you – I dared not, because I value you. I value us. I wouldn't let what we could be, be taken by someone else. I waited until graduation before I looked for you because I wanted to show you that I desire to build a life with you – not with haphazard promises but with something concrete.

Aside from accepting the call of the Lord for me to become a doctor, I did what I could to make sure that I could take care of you when you are sick. I wanted to take care of the people you loved. I saved money so that we could live a comfortable life. I found my passion, took hold of it and pursued it.

I don't want you to see me living a life without purpose. I want us to reach the purpose of our lives together. I hope you have already found yours too. I got the hang of writing songs so that one day I could sing them to you and show you how much I have thought about you. I learned to dance so that if you were pretty good, our first dance during our wedding wouldn't be awkward. But even if I would look like a fool, that would be okay. I'd be the fool for you every single day.

I played every musical instrument I could get my hands on. Not a master, but a jack-of-all-trades kind of guy. Because I never knew the instrument you liked and love to listen to. So, well, I might as well try it all. And even if I lose my voice to singing and my body would grow weak of old age, I could always play you beautiful music that would transcend words.

I climbed one of the highest mountains and saw seas of clouds because one day, I would like to show it to you. I've been to many places. And every single time I stepped on different soil, I searched for things of wonder because someday, I would like to take you there.

My desire is to show you the beauty of the world in all its colors.

I learned how to cook so that I can make you the best breakfast whenever you're sick or too tired. I tried to acquire the skill of doing a decent massage so that I could give it to you whenever your body ached.

I went on many adventures in my life. I want to make sure that you wouldn't be bored with me. I'd like to tell you my stories until we'd fall asleep.

And that at the end of it all, despite my yearning for adventure, I'd give it all up because you would be my next adventure – one that I would never cease to pursue.

I'm studying to draw, so that one day, I would be able to draw your wonderful face. Most importantly, I learned how to love from the source. Trust me it was a hard journey learning to love like Jesus. I didn't want to meet you until I knew I was ready and understood completely what the love of Jesus meant. Guess what I've learned? I could never be perfect for you even if I tried with all my might – because I've finally understood my imperfection. I recognize how much I need the grace of Jesus, even more so when I finally meet you.

But I could love you with the best understanding of the Lord's love.

I now know how much we would desperately need Him to keep things together. My hope is that the masterpiece that is us would be crafted beautifully by our creator.

I don't know who you are yet. Or maybe I do. But know that I've done these things because I love you – because I want you to notice me. But probably when you see me, you would see my imperfection. No, I'd like you to see my imperfection. I 'd like you to see how broken I am. But I also hope that you would look twice.

I hope you see the God that I serve who is perfect. Then maybe, just maybe, we can happen. By then, I hope that you would be able to love me the way I would love you. That is to love as the Lord loves – in spite of ourselves. I know this world nowadays has a lot of temptation and disappointments. But my hope is that by the grace of God, you wouldn't get lost in uncertainty and pain.

But if pain is the ocean you are swimming in, call out the name of the Lord. And if by His will I am there, be assured that I'll dive in. But if for some reason, you've already made a mistake, remember that the love of the Lord is perfect. And if it is His will that I would love you, you have nothing to worry about.

I dream of us. I dream of doing the simple things with you. I dream of your good mornings and good nights. I dream of smelling the fragrance of your hair. I dream of nights laying beside you and just talking until we fall asleep. I dream of long walks. I dream of driving you to work. I dream of camping and looking at the stars with you. I dream of the breakfasts that I would cook for you. I dream of celebrating the Christmas and New Year with you. If music was your thing, I dream of making wonderful music with you. If dancing was your thing, I dream of dancing the night away with you – even if there was no music, beneath a canopy of stars. If singing was your thing, I dream of singing songs with you.

I dream of hearing your stories everyday I dream of comforting you when you cry. I dream of making you laugh with my corny jokes. I dream of staring at your smile. I dream of you being annoyed with my quirks and yet you choosing to love me still. I dream of watching movies with you all snugged up in a blanket. I dream of seeing the Aurora Borealis in an igloo with you. I dream of having cups of coffee with you. I dream of telling the people about Jesus with you. I dream of being captivated by your passion for what you do.

I dream of just looking at your eyes and knowing what you mean. I dream of looking at your face with only the twilight reflecting its beauty. I dream of introducing you to everyone else who have been earnestly waiting with me for you to come into my life. I dream of having the joy knowing that someone is waiting for me to come home. I dream of having someone who chooses to stay with me even if she does not need me. I dream of holding your hand tight in the moments of joy and in the seasons of pain.

I dream of marrying you. I dream of a life with you. I dream of loving you with all I have. I dream of growing old with you. And if you finally read this, know that I am real.

This is not just some silly literary thing. And I am constantly searching for you. I've been taking this long walk of my life alone.

Some walked with me along the way. To be honest I thought they were you but in the end they were just dropping by. I long to have you walk by my side. If you've been on the same road with me already, please come back soon. In my search for you, people have already taken parts of myself and have given me memories I wanted to share with you. I'm really sorry. I thought they were you. But even so, I would still make these dreams and memories with you.

I'm starting to grow tired and weary. I feel my spirit being taken away by the constant hurt of not finding you. I'm starting to lose my grip and lose hope. I'm starting to get used to walking alone. Although I know that I'm not alone, I feel alone – even if I don't want to get used to it. I started noticing it when I have eaten too many meals alone. It comes back when I open up my phone and I have a hard time choosing someone to tell about how my day has been. I feel it when I want to watch a movie with someone and end up watching it myself. I feel it when I can't even tell anyone about the bad things happening in my life and much worse not being able to tell anyone about the great and beautiful things.

I feel it when I can't share my joy. I feel it time and time again when my daily routine becomes waking up, eating, going to work and then going back home. I'm starting to lose hope that someone would choose to stay with me. It's also becoming hard for me to know what's real. It's becoming difficult for me to open myself to other people because I don't want someone else to be my best friend. Not one of them should be my best friend. I want it to be you. But in restricting myself from opening up, I don't want to make the mistake of not letting you in my life.

Where are you? I don't know how much I could take walking on this road alone anymore. Please come sooner. And if by any chance it is you who finds me first and somehow I have grown hard, I pray that you would break me open. Please break me apart until you see the real me behind all my jokes and smiles. Do not give up on me.

Call me hopeless romantic, but truth be told, this is how I love you.
And I don't want to stop loving you. TC mark

You’re Not Really A Couple Until You’ve Hit These 23 Micro Milestones

Posted: 07 Aug 2016 04:15 PM PDT

Twenty20, nick_over_there
Twenty20, nick_over_there

1. When you promise "forever" and for the first time it doesn't seem like a stretch—at all.

2. When you realize that all your past relationships were kind of a joke compared to what you have now, which is both hilarious and awesome. Like, what the hell were you doing exchanging I love you's with anyone else?

3. When the Wifi dies or you're stuck somewhere remote without an Internet connection and after the initial shock wears off, you find yourselves grateful for the time offline together.

4. When the Wifi finally kicks back in after a prolonged period and you decide to make more of an effort to disconnect regularly because doing so forces you to remember just how crazy you are about each other.

5. When news of another couple's breakup makes you inexplicably sad because you believe so wholeheartedly in lasting love that you’re allergic to evidence to the contrary.

6. When your plans go disastrously wrong but you don't end up getting upset because it really doesn't matter what you're doing as long as you're with your person.

7. When you can honestly say that nights at home are so much better than all those nights you used to spend out at the bar.

8. When you catch yourself silently narrating the story of your relationship in your head because it makes you so happy to relive every stage of your own modern romance.

9. When there's a serious surge in the number of people asking you for relationship advice and you know in heart it’s because people recognize that you've figured that stuff out.

10. When you choose to be with your significant other over doing something you truly love because it's worth sacrificing just about anything to be with them.

11. When you find yourself wondering if other couples could possibly feel as strongly as you guys do about each other.

12. When a trip down memory lane proves so rewarding that you have to wonder what you did to deserve someone so wonderful.

13. When you realize that your love is the kind people writes songs about.

14. When you refrain from responding to an ex’s text purely because it seems disrespectful to be in touch with past lovers.

15. When someone asks how your partner is doing and the very thought of your lover prompts you to smile wider than you have all week.

16. When you find yourself tweaking the truth in a harmless way not out of self-interest but specifically to protect your partner’s feelings.

17. When you catch your partner in a white lie but you can’t be mad because their heart was so clearly in the right place.

18. When winning a silly argument with your partner—about who starred in a movie, the time your local coffee shop closes, or how many years it's been since Britney Spears went batshit crazy—proves more satisfying than being right in any other scenario.

19. When someone comments that you seem to be doing well and you have to credit your significant other because they really have changed your life for the better and made you a happier, healthier human.

20. When something funny happens during sex and you both have to pause because you can't stop cracking up.

21. When traveling alone starts to seem like a burden because you'd rather go everywhere and do everything with your life partner.

22. When the story of your personal journey suddenly involves a lot less I’s and a whole lot more we’s.

23. When the future starts to seem way more exciting than daunting because you get to tackle it with someone you truly adore. TC mark

11 Things You Need To Know Before You Date A Pisces

Posted: 07 Aug 2016 04:00 PM PDT

Millie Clinton
Millie Clinton

1. Pisces are old souls. They are intelligent and artistic. They will never be with someone who is phoney or stupid or negative.

2. Creativity and the ability to express themselves is of utmost importance to the Pisces. They need the freedom to do this in a relationship, or they will retreat into themselves, and eventually leave.

3. Pisces are loving and generous. If they aren’t careful they will take care of all their friends before they take care of themselves. One of the best ways you can support your Pisces is to remind them that it’s not selfish to take care of themselves first sometimes.

4. An ideal date for a Pisces is something private, intimate, and fun. Walk around your city after dark, have a picnic on a private beach, or just find a cozy corner of a bar to catch up in.

5. A Pisces won’t be impressed by how much money you make or what material things you own. They want to know what you’re like inside — how much emotional intelligence do you possess? If you can’t impress a Pisces with your personality, you can’t impress them at all.

6. Pisces are true romantic people. They the feeling of being in love, it inspires their whole being. Indulge their sentimental side, express your feelings, plan romantic dates — as long as it comes from a genuine place, there’s no such thing as being “too” lovey dovey with a Pisces.

7. You cannot treat a Pisces roughly. If you’re the kind of person who says things they don’t mean in an argument just because in the heat of the moment you want to hurt someone, you’re going to be a terrible partner here. They are sensitive souls who need to be with someone who is at least someone sensitive.

8. Pisces aren’t leaders or followers, they prefer to be independent and do their own thing. They aren’t going to fit the mold of a “traditional” husband or wife.

9. While very rational and intelligent, Pisces also have deep intuition which is almost always right, so they generally go with their “gut feeling”. This can be frustrating if you’re hyper rational and need a “real” reason why they have one preference over another.

10. In bed, Pisces are just as emotional and loving as they are everywhere else in life. They love romantic sex and are sensual lovers very interested in pleasuring your whole body. Lucky you.

11. Pisces can have their head in the clouds and have a difficult time living in the reality you may live in. You don’t have to burst their bubble, but you can be a good partner by helping them create a “plan b” in case their daydreams don’t work out. TC mark

21 Life Lessons Learned From Some Of The World’s Greatest Sports Coaches

Posted: 07 Aug 2016 03:15 PM PDT

Keith Allison
Keith Allison

For people who don't play or like sports, sports metaphors are frustrating, obnoxious or cliche. Of course, they think this at their loss. Even the ancient philosophers from Seneca to Epictetus to Socrates loved to reference sports. Wrestling, gymnastics, boxing, running—you can't crack an ancient text and not find them connecting philosophy to metaphors about sparring, about competing in the Olympics, and training and winning and losing.

They do this because sports then, as now, were a part of life. Also because they embody the best and the worst of life—our competitive urges, teamwork, grace under pressure, realizing our potential, the agony of defeat. It's why I love books written by great coaches—they have so much to teach us, not only about the game but about life itself.

What follows are some of my favorite principles from some of the greatest coaches of all time—from Wooden to Belichick, from Carroll to Phil Jackson. Whether you ever pick up a football or grapple or play a competitive sport of any kind, these lessons will improve your life. They'll make you better at business, at stressful situations, at tackling tough problems and at finding motivation.

Hope you like them.

[*] Do the Grunt Work In Education of a Coach you can see how Bill Belichick, the now four-time Super Bowl-winning coach of the New England Patriots, made his way up the ranks of the NFL by loving and mastering how to do the one thing that coaches hated at the time: analyzing film. Doing so he helped make his superiors look good—an approach I call "The Canvas Strategy"—and in the process gave himself an understanding of the game that today cannot be matched. Do the grunt work and learn from Belichick.

[*] Have a Philosophy Seahawks coach Pete Carroll is known for his 'Win Forever' philosophy—the winning mindset he aims to instill in his staff and players. Similarly, coach Wooden has his own 'Pyramid of Success.' (In fact, Pete Carroll was inspired by Wooden to create his own philosophy of winning.) These philosophies and frameworks are critical as they codify the principles and rules by which a team will make decisions and operate on a day-to-day basis. If you don't have a philosophy, how do you expect to know what to do in tough situations? Or when things are confusing or complicated? Being reactive is never a position of strength.

[*] Focus On Your Inner Scorecard Famous basketball coach John Wooden defined success in the following way: "Success is peace of mind, which is a direct result of self satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming." Notice he didn't say anything about the score of the game. Doing your best is what matters. Focus on that. External rewards are just extra. And Warren Buffett has said the same thing, making a distinction between the inner scorecard and the external one. Your potential, the absolute best you're capable of—that's the metric to measure yourself against.

[*] Set High Standards & Observe Them Football coach Bill Walsh took the 49ers from the worst team in the league to Super Bowl champions in just three years. How? He created a culture of excellence and instilled what he called his "Standard of Performance." That is: How to practice. How to dress. How to hold the ball. Where to be on a play down to the very inch. Which skills mattered for each position. He knew that by upholding these standards, "the score would take care of itself."

[*] Do Your Job Speaking of Bill Belichick, consistently remind yourself of his simple mantra: "Do your job."

[*] Inoculate Against The 'Disease of Me' Pat Riley, one of the greatest NBA coaches, has observed that once teams start winning consistently, they enter a phase called the 'Disease of Me'—the moment when chests swell and egos emerge. To give a basketball example, it's Shaq and Kobe, unable to play together. It's Michael Jordan punching his teammates. Once we've "made it," our tendency is to switch to a mindset of "getting what's mine." Let's make one thing clear: we never earn the right to be greedy or to pursue our interests at the expense of everyone else.

[*] Find Your Plus, Minus and Equal The MMA trainer Frank Shamrock works fighters through a system called +, -, =. Everyone needs to work with someone better than them, equal to them and someone who they can teach. Who are yours?

[*] Ignore The End Result, Focus on the Progress Football coach Nick Saban is known for teaching his players The Process. And the process is simple. It is about doing the right things, right now. We needn't scramble like we're so often inclined to do when some difficult task sits in front of us. The process is about not worrying about what might happen later, or the results, or the whole picture. It is simply this: focusing on the task at hand, forgetting everything else. He is essentially telling his players: Don't think about winning the SEC Championship. Don't think about the national championship. Think about what you needed to do in this drill, on this play, in this moment.

[*] Prepare For the Chaos This is how coach Phil Jackson's describes one of his most effective tactics when he prepares his players: "Once I had the Bulls practice in silence; on another occasion I made them scrimmage with the lights out. Not because I want to make their lives miserable but because I want to prepare them for the inevitable chaos that occurs the minute they step onto a basketball court." Chaos, both in sports and in life, is inevitable. Are you prepared? How can you practice in advance so it doesn't catch you off guard?

[*] Take Small Steps Pat Riley: "Excellence is the gradual result of always striving to do better." Notice that he says gradual. It's about the small steps you can take each and every day to make a tiny bit of improvement. Your only point of comparison should be yourself the day before.

[*] Focus on the Journey Phil Jackson says that "…at the start of every season I always encouraged players to focus on the journey rather than the goal. What matters most is playing the game the right way and having the courage to grow, as human beings as well as basketball players. When you do that, the ring takes care of itself." We can't let ourselves live in a conditional future when things somehow will be okay. The present is all we have.

[*] Achieve Victory With Focus & Determination In any endeavour—in sports or in a creative field—the elite work comes from deep work. And deep work is that place of intense concentration and cognitive focus where real progress is made. It is why Pat Riley says that "There can only be one state of mind as you approach any profound test; total concentration, a spirit of togetherness, and strength." That state of mind requires presence and focus. Nothing else would cut it.

[*] Set Rules for Yourself Coach Bill Walsh says that "like water, many decent individuals will seek lower ground if left to their own inclinations." What we need to block these inclinations is rules. Little ones that we can follow to make us better. This is why relying on rules, constraints and systems is important.

[*] Prepare for Failure and Adversity Bill Walsh has said that "almost always, your road to victory goes through a place called 'failure.'" There is no question, adversity is part of any journey. It is the ultimate test of character. As Pat Riley put it: "You have no choices about how you lose, but you do have a choice about how you come back and prepare to win again."

[*] Stay Humble Keep in mind coach Wooden's simple advice: "Talent is God-given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful." Of those, conceit is the most dangerous. Learning, progress and improvement all stop when you think you have figured it all out. This is your ego indulging in a narrative that is not true. Humility is the antidote.

[*] Play for the Name on the Front "You’re looking for players whose name on the front of the sweater is more important than the one on the back. I look for these players to play hard, to play smart, and to represent their country." This is how the hockey coach Herb Brooks put it. Or if you prefer soccer coach Tony Adams's version: “Play for the name on the front of the shirt and they'll remember the name on the back.”

[*] Don't Personalize the Outcome Bill Walsh describes the importance of not personalizing the outcome of our work as it can become crippling and paralyzing: "…any kind of loss becomes very disturbing because you've attached your self-image to the results of the competition. Winning can become insidious for the same reason, that is, you allow the victory to begin determining your self-worth, how you feel about yourself." Again, you can't let externals determine your self-worth. It is why Colin Powell advises to "avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your position falls, your ego goes with it."

[*] Master the Details Coach Vince Lombardi allegedly began seasons by grabbing a ball, showing it to his players and saying, "Gentlemen, this is a football." Coach Wooden is known for showing his players how to put on their socks. He goes into the details of it, even telling them to check around the toe and heel for any wrinkles. Why would he do that? Grown men surely know how to put on socks. His response: "You see, if there are wrinkles in your socks or your shoes aren’t tied properly, you will develop blisters. With blisters, you’ll miss practice. If you miss practice, you don’t play. And if you don’t play, we cannot win." Mastering the details and all the fundamental elements is critical.

[*] You Are a Shareholder Bill Belichick in his 2013 keynote: "What I've always told our team, and what I thoroughly believe in, is that every member of our team – players, coaches, support staff and so forth – is a shareholder. They have a share in the team. Are they all exactly equal? Of course not, but they're all shareholders." Again, as Bill puts it, just do your job. Understand your role in the team, excel at it and as he says, "put the team first."

[*] Don't Be Passionate A young basketball player named Lewis Alcindor Jr., who won three national championships with John Wooden at UCLA, used one word to describe the style of his famous coach: "dispassionate." As in not passionate. Wooden wasn't about rah-rah speeches or inspiration. He saw those extra emotions as a burden. Instead, his philosophy was about being in control and doing your job and never being "passion's slave." The player who learned that lesson from Wooden would later change his name to one you remember better: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar.

[*] Do Your Job When Saints coach Sean Payton had to spend a year away from the Saints after the Bountygate scandal, he put a sign up in the training facility. It was a giant picture of his face and it had Bill Belichick's line underneath: "Do Your Job."


And finally, I couldn't but end this piece with a line from the greatest (fictional) coach of all time: Clear eyes. Full hearts. Can't lose. TC mark

Sometimes, Giving Up Is The Bravest Thing You Can Do

Posted: 07 Aug 2016 03:00 PM PDT


Conventional wisdom tells us that there is no greater evil than giving up. This messages comes at us from every direction, from the time we’re kids. We’ve been preached to about resilience and perseverance, but somehow, not discernment. We don’t talk about how brave you have to be to give up, how much of your ego you have to step over, the somber acceptance that you can’t fight your way into everything.

More people suffer because they’re unable to let go than because they’re unable to try harder.

Hard work is a virtue for obvious reasons. But it should not devastate you. If you have to try too hard, you’re doing the wrong thing. There’s a difference between being challenged and fighting against the current, and it mostly has to do with whether you’re thriving or suffering in the process.

Here’s something else nobody will tell you: you’re not meant to do what you love. You’re meant to do what you’re skilled at. Imagine a doctor with a low IQ but a lot of “passion.” Life isn’t just about how much pleasure you can get from something. What’s more important is what you have to give. Think about that phrase: what you have to give – what’s already within you. If your period of being stuck, or uninspired, spans well beyond a normal, bearable dry spell, it probably means something… which is that you should try something else.

You see this a lot with creative people who find it difficult, if not impossible, to be creative every day. Writer’s block is not real. Genuinely creative people can do their work as often as they need and want to, and we know this because these kinds of people exist all around us. The problem with creatives who can’t create is their ego. They falsely believe that because they “love” something, they’re “meant” for it. But when it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work…

And the bravest god damn thing you can do is give up and find what does.

It’s not that you shouldn’t have to try, it’s that it should be relatively easy to work hard, which sounds like a contradiction until you know what I’m talking about: your relationship should be challenging, not heartbreaking. Your work should be difficult, not impossible.

It’s not that people can’t recognize this. They know when they’re suffering. It’s that they won’t choose the scarier thing: to give up. Giving up is brave because it requires living in the unknown. But until your life is empty – free – of what’s wrong, you will not be able to make space for what’s right. You will not be able to put your time, energy and love in the right direction. TC mark