Why Physicists are Bad at Baseball

Trances are normal. They’re unusual deviations from your regular thinking, it’s true… but it happens all the time.

And the reason why is your brain evolved to go into hypnosis.

There are times when you know what to do. If you’re unlocking your front door, for example, that’s an easy, predictable task.

You’ve done it a thousand times before and never been surprised. It’s not like the lock will ever fight back or move.

Most things in life are more complicated than that. The simplest conversation is still wildly unpredictable. Even if you know exactly what someone will talk about, you don’t know how they’ll say it.

Times like these, thinking kind of gets in the way. Do you think about what you say to people, or do you have an intention and let the words fall out?

Athletes, artists and high performers know this. That’s why they talk about quieting the mind and not overthinking things. When you’re thinking without thinking – when your thoughts tumble and connect from one to the next – it’s easier to simply do what you need to.

In a simple view of the world, physicists should be great at baseball. They wouldn’t even need to practice. They’d calculate the trajectory, the angles, the velocity – and from there, they’d know how to hit a home run.

But that’s not how it works. You don’t need even a thimbleful of mathematics to knock it out of the park.

The best players practiced until it became natural.

Until they could do it without thinking.


Because thinking is slow. When a ball is travelling towards you, you don’t have time to calculate.

When you’re in the middle of a conversation, you can only speak and listen. If you try to think too much, the other person will know you’re not paying attention.

This is the role of trances in your daily life. They quiet your thinking, freeing you to do what you need to.

Sometimes it’s subtle.

Sometimes it’s impossible to ignore, like losing yourself in a flow state.

And it always leads to a better result than anything you could have planned and calculated.

If you’d like to use this style of thinking deliberately, there’s no training as complete as this:


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