In order to create the most powerful effort, you must have your attention fully in the present moment. What motivates you and how you set your intentions will determine what happens to your attention. We’ve discussed earlier how motivation must be grounded primarily in process goals that allow us to grow, and secondarily in end goals. Aligning goals this way maintains motivation when you are under maximum stress. Once you’ve established effective motivation, you can begin to set effective intentions.
As we said earlier, intention is attention focused in the direction of a choice or decision. In any climbing situation, you will have both end-result intentions and process intentions. Your end-result intention involves attaining an end goal, such as achieving a redpoint or arriving at the next decision point. End-result intentions are part of the process, but you cannot act on them. You need intentions your body can act out. Process intentions might include continuous breathing and moving through the next section, giving focused effort to each move, and not allowing your resolve to waver.

IMG_0534-w900-h700In order to create the most powerful effort, you must have your attention fully in the present moment. What motivates you and how you set your intentions will determine what happens to your attention. We’ve discussed earlier how motivation must be grounded primarily in process goals that allow us to grow, and secondarily in end goals. Aligning goals this way maintains motivation when you are under maximum stress. Once you’ve established effective motivation, you can begin to set effective intentions.

As we said earlier, intention is attention focused in the direction of a choice or decision. In any climbing situation, you will have both end-result intentions and process intentions. Your end-result intention involves attaining an end goal, such as achieving a redpoint or arriving at the next decision point. End-result intentions are part of the process, but you cannot act on them. You need intentions your body can act out. Process intentions might include continuous breathing and moving through the next section, giving focused effort to each move, and not allowing your resolve to waver.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. As usual excellent stuff. My problem ıs the ınner voıce that (sometımes) shouts so loudly, even when ıt ıs ınapproprıate, that I end up lıstenıng. I can decıde to go for the goal on the ground but when the last bolt ıs well below….

  2. Hi John, I experienced a similar situation last week when my son Ian and I were climbing the Grand Teton in Wyoming. Sitting at home in the comfort of an air conditioned house it’s easy to dream big about climbing the Grand. But, when we got engaged the sheer effort of hiking to the Lower Saddle (7 miles and 5500 feet of elevation gain) put us outside our comfort zones. I’m used to that sort of thing because I’ve climbed the Grand several times. But, Ian wasn’t. Next day we started our summit attempt via the Exum Ridge. The mountain was in clouds, very windy, and cold. We got to a point were we needed to traverse across to a ledge called Wall Street, but couldn’t see how to proceed due to the clouds. We waited a while for the clouds to clear, but they didn’t. Ian was getting stretched way outside his comfort zone and wanted to go down. I recognized this as the way we all react to stress and discomfort. I suggested that we climb the Owen/Spaulding route which is more straight-forward. Ian still wanted to go down. So, I used the TAP (The Awakening Process) process outlined in the Espresso Lessons book with him. The last step in that process is: find little ways to engage. Our minds will get overwhelmed when thinking of the whole climb. So, I suggested climbing to the Upper Saddle, which is a small step in the direction of the summit. Ian said, “Well, what do I have to lose?” He saw that as a small step that wasn’t as stressful as climbing the whole route. We climbed to the Upper Saddle. It was still cloudy, very windy, cold. After some time waiting for it to clear (I was concerned a little about route finding above that point) we descended.

    So, for your situation, when your mind shouts, find little actions you can take to stay engaged. Arno

  3. Hey Arno,
    I have noticed that when I set my intention to only “engage” a route that the concept of performance anxiety is largely diminished if not totally removed. This way I can climb with better attention, usually more efficiently, and probably more relaxed. To experience a climb in this way, regardless of the outcome or the beginning, is a much more positive experience and very beneficial for future climbs. Took me a while to learn this, but I like the concept and it seems to be working for me.
    Cheers

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