Kapil Gupta & Moe Abdou | The Truth About Performance – The 33voices Dialogue

Check out The 33voices Dialogue Episode Page & Show Notes

Key Takeaways

  • It’s much more effective and practical to talk about what it is that prevents performance, not what enhances it
  • On coaching (and parenting):
    • “It isn’t about coaching, it’s about the coach. It’s about the human. To find a human who completely shatters the norm, who turns his back on everything, who rejects all norms and traditions, those types of humans are VERY rare.”
    • Where there is attachment, there is interference
    • Perfection as a coach = when there’s no emotional involvement or desire for the student to do well
    • “The ultimate parenting [or coaching] becomes not being a parent at all. The ultimate parenting [or coaching] comes when you divorce yourself from the need or desire for an outcome.”
  • “It’s easy to sell something when you know selling it for any price at all is too low”  
  • “As long as you focus your efforts on trying to change the mind of another… you are wasting your time”
    • “There are only so many years we as humans live and those years are most effectively spent by perfecting ourselves. If something is ever going to get across, it’s going to get across by osmosis, not instruction.”

Intro

Performance is All About the Approach

  • AKA the lens from which you look at something
  • “It’s never really about the Xs and the Os”
  • “It’s much more effective, applicable, and practical to talk about what it is that prevents performance much more than what it is that enhances it”

What is it that makes someone truly exceptional?

  • It comes down to an understating of what’s standing in your way of getting to where you want to go
    • “It’s much more about the roadblocks than it is the signs and the arrows saying ‘go this way'”
  • “It’s the willingness to examine the things that the majority in the culture do not examine. It’s always in those types of things… not in the things you can categorize and put on a blackboard.”
    • As an example – Tiger Woods’ drive, as well as his level of focus and concentration, is off the charts at 115% every single time he steps on the golf course
      • “That’s an intangible. That isn’t a swing plane issue. That isn’t a grip issue… There’s no technique there. You can’t methodize that.”
      • And where does that drive come from? – It’s purely in his DNA

On Coaching and the Parallels to Parenting

  • “Just like all things, it depends upon the DNA of the coach”
    • “It isn’t about coaching, it’s about the coach. It’s about the human. To find a human who completely shatters the norm, who turns his back on everything, who rejects all norms and traditions, those types of humans are VERY rare.”
  • What about Kapil himself? (he’s a coach to many top-performing individuals in addition to his own two sons when it comes to golf)
    • “It’s very different as a parent than it is with a client… And that’s actually a flaw. The flaw is: where there is attachment, there is interference.”
      • “The greatest role I can provide is the one I haven’t provided yet”
  • Perfection as a coach = when there’s no emotional involvement or desire for the student to do well
    • “As long as that exists, there MUST be interference”
    • How do you arrive here? – Just get to the internal place where you need NOTHING from their performance
      • In a way then – “The ultimate parenting [or coaching] becomes not being a parent at all. The ultimate parenting [or coaching] comes when you divorce yourself from the need or desire for an outcome.”
      • It’s about getting to the place where your only concern is YOU
        • “If you are concerned only with you, that actually is the most selfless way to be, as ironic as that may sound. As long as you need someone else to do well, you will interfere.”
      • The thing is – VERY few people are at the level of wanting to actually divorce themselves from the need or desire to have something in it for them

How can one learn to better embrace pressure?

  • “It’s not about ’embracing,’ that’s forced… That’s prescriptive.”
  • “The pressure is just a manifestation of something going on deeper”
    • What is it that the person feels they might lose by losing? – That’s what it comes down to
  • Does Kapil believe the ability to deal with pressure is something that can be taught?
    • “No… I think what a person needs to learn is not the technique of how to deal with pressure, but the understanding and the insight as to why the pressure gets to him”
      • That person needs to ask – “What things are at stake, that if they weren’t at stake, the pressure would automatically disappear?”

Artistic Ownership

  • Important caveat – this has NOTHING to do with taking ownership of your actions/taking responsibility 
  • This has to do with the ownership of an artistic action or movement (like striking a golf ball)
    • ‘”Something cannot be owned if you attack the mechanics and technique and use that as the lens through which you look at the movement. As long as you look at the technique and the mechanics… when you chase it that way, you chase forever. You can never own a physical movement by focusing on the physical movement.”
      • Instead – “Own the thing you already have which gives you clues as to whether the physical movement is on or off, as opposed to a coach standing behind you telling you whether it’s on or off”
  • Quite a few people on the PGA tour have been working on their swings with a swing coach for 30+ years – What’s going on here? What have they been doing for 30 years?
    • They’re relying upon an external agency to guide their physical movement and therefore can NOT arrive at ownership

How does Kapil ignite potential within leaders and those he coaches?

  • “The only thing that my allegiance is to… is the truth”
    • “When a human being is exposed to the truth, something fundamental within him begins to change. I don’t know how that alchemy happens, but it’s an elixir that is too potent not to have an effect.”
  • How does one know they’re beginning to change?
    • When they begin to notice the reactions they have to certain things are different without them trying to do anything different
      • “No practice, no behavior change, no implementation of a technique or a method, no deep breath… NOTHING… When the initial reaction to the thing is fundamentally different than it has been for years, without having done a thing, that means something in the viscera has changed.”
      • This all starts with a move away from prescriptive ways of thinking
        • “I think the greatest tectonic shift which occurs in a human being is the movement away from the ‘how'”
      • Is this change sustainable?
        • When you’d rather die than go back to being your old self… sure it is
        • “The thing about truth is that once you transform, you never transform back”

How does Kapil ‘show up’ for the founders, CEOs, and executives he works with? 

  • “By not showing up”
    • “The greatest input that I could provide is input that does not come directly from my mind… Something that comes from a channeling through me that I do not interfere with… that is the best way I could provide insight.”
  • Does Kapil give his clients ‘homework’?
    • “Never in a million years… There are no prescriptions, there’s no activity, there’s no behavior change, there’s no practice. Those are all perspective modalities that make you focus upon an activity in the hopes that the execution of that activity will lead to a fundamental change… but it will NOT. It will only make you focus on the activity itself. You will get better and better at doing the activity but will NOT reach the thing for which the activity was prescribed.”

The Art of Selling

  • Avoid being too focused upon selling the other without having first sold yourself 
    • “It’s easy to sell something when you know selling it for any price at all is too low”  
    • “It isn’t about selling to another. It is about examining what you really have, what the truth about it really is… The level to which you’re convinced that this thing will do X better than anything else… the selling arises from THAT.”
  • When you’re competing with others in regards to what you’re selling, then marketing begins to play more of a role 

You Can Never Change the Mind of Another

  • You can’t drop information on people like confetti and expect them to imbibe it
    • “Most of the things I say aren’t going to be applicable to the vast majority of human beings even though they are fundamentally applicable to ALL human beings.”
    • “In order for something to get into the bloodstream, it has to arrive on the doorstep of an individual who has a particular DNA whose bloodstream is open to such a thing”
  • “As long as you focus your efforts on trying to change the mind of another… you are wasting your time”
    • “There are only so many years we as humans live and those years are most effectively spent by perfecting ourselves. If something is ever going to get across, it’s going to get across by osmosis, not instruction.”

What constitutes a great life for Kapil?

  • “A great life is one in which you are completely oblivious to yourself”
    • Expanded: Functioning from a place of non-ego without trying to be ego-less
    • Understand that everything a human being says is filtered through their own personal selfish desires – NOTHING is pure 
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