I’m having a blast flicking through books I have read before and looking at the parts that I felt were noteworthy. There are some really gems in there.
In The Mind and The Brain, Jeffery M. Schwartz, I came across a section where I had added a post it note and had written; Mental effort, or will, is efficacious.
I have been to many workshops with Alexandra Kurland over the years and every time, without exception, we see some phenomenal things happening. On day 1 of the workshop we get the horses out and do an assessment, a data collecting session; where is that horse in their emotional state being away from home, in their learning ability in that environment, in their balance etc. From that we get an idea of where we will start on day 2 with that horse when we get them out to play.
On day 2 the fun really begins, and on day 3 we start to see the interesting phenomenon…whatever the horses were learning about on day 2 has improved overnight. Even if they were not physically able to practice what they were learning about it still improves. Were they using mental practice (will) overnight resulting in improvement ?
In the book, Schultz also discusses studies that have been carried out with people on this phenomenon. Subjects were asked to perform a physical task. Their ability to perform that task was measured and then the subjects were sent home. One half of the subjects were asked to physically practice the task 10 times that evening. The other half were asked to mentally rehearse the task 10 times, but not to physically practice it.
When the subjects came back the next day they were asked to perform the task and their ability was measured. The subjects who had been asked to mentally rehearse the task had improved significantly more than those who had been asked to physically practice. Will was efficacious !