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    About this Episode

    Paul Rabil knows what it takes to reach the top in both sports and business. In this episode, he teaches us the mindsets to succeed, where confidence comes from, and even tells us about the time Bill Belichick recruited him to play in the NFL.

     

    Rabil spent 14 years as a professional lacrosse player in the United States and in 2019 co-founded the Premier Lacrosse League, where he played for the final three seasons of his career before retiring in 2021. He was a 10-time All-Star in Major League Lacrosse, where he also won two league titles. He also won two World Lacrosse Championship gold medals.

     

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    🔑 Key Takeaways

    • Following your passion and prioritizing your well-being can lead to long-term success and make a significant impact in your chosen field.
    • Success in sports and life requires not only a competitive spirit, but also the ability to compromise and collaborate for long-term success and sustainable relationships.
    • Capturing the core audience's attention and expanding to new viewers is essential for monetizing a sports product. Both traditional and digital media platforms are valuable in reaching sports fans. Paul Rabil's approach to success involves being present, completing tasks to the best of his ability, and gradually stacking goals.
    • Constantly thinking about and analyzing one's field of expertise, taking care of both the body and mind, and seeking guidance through therapy or counseling are essential for sustained success.
    • Athletes can enhance their performance by seeking mental health support, breaking stereotypes, and developing mental resilience to overcome setbacks and maintain consistency.
    • Stay focused on what you can control, remember the basics, and harness the power of fear and motivation to drive excellence in sports.
    • Finding a balance between rewarding individual performance and fostering a collaborative team environment is crucial in team sports. Good managers and leaders, along with choosing the right captain, play vital roles in achieving this balance.
    • Finding moments of solitude and utilizing therapies and tactics like meditation and cold ice therapy can help manage stress and regain inner peace.
    • Walking can rewire the mind and promote breakthrough thoughts, but be mindful of meeting length during walking meetings. Paul Rabil aims to make a positive impact on current and future generations.

    📝 Podcast Summary

    Balancing Risks and Opportunities in a Sports Career.

    Pursuing a career in professional sports, particularly transitioning from one sport to another, comes with both risks and opportunities. Paul Rabil had the chance to potentially play in the NFL as a strong safety, but ultimately decided to continue excelling in lacrosse, where he was already achieving great success. He recognized the challenges and uncertainties that come with transitioning to a new sport, observing how his peer, Chris Hogan, took years to break through in the NFL. Rabil prioritized his long-term well-being, not only physical but also mental, as he emphasized the importance of protecting his head in a violent sport like football. Ultimately, Rabil's decision aligned with his passion for storytelling and building businesses within the lacrosse world, where he could thrive and make a significant impact.

    Striking a Balance between Competitiveness and Compromise

    Maintaining a high work ethic and dedication in sports and life requires a balance of competitiveness and compromise. While being competitive is essential for success, it is important to recognize the need for compromise and collaboration in order to sustain relationships. In sports, the focus is on binary outcomes and physicality, but in real life and business, win-win solutions are crucial for long-term success. Developing skills in compromise, empathy, and ingenuity is equally important as maintaining a strong competitive spirit. The conversation emphasizes that true greatness, exemplified by athletes like Michael Jordan, stems from a relentless competitive drive combined with the ability to navigate compromise and build sustainable relationships.

    The Role of Distribution and Media in the Business of Sports

    In the business of sports, distribution and media play a crucial role. Paul Rabil emphasizes that having a great product is not enough if it doesn't reach the audience. Monetizing a product requires capturing the core audience's attention and expanding to new viewers. The history of professional team sports in America demonstrates the evolution of media, from ticket sales to print, radio, television, and now digital and social platforms. While digital and social media provide scale, traditional media still holds a level of respect and eligibility among sports fans. Paul Rabil's approach to success as a player involved a strong focus on being present, completing tasks to the best of his ability, and gradually stacking goals to achieve greatness.

    The Importance of Mental Engagement and Self-Reflection for Success

    Constant mental engagement and self-reflection are vital for success. Paul Rabil highlights the importance of continuously thinking about and analyzing one's field of expertise, whether it's sports or business. He shares how his obsession with understanding the mechanics and strategies of different sports helped him improve his lacrosse skills. Furthermore, he emphasizes the three phases of his career, starting from passion and creativity, then transitioning to competitiveness and regimentation, and finally finding a balance between reflection and appreciation. Taking care of one's body and mind go hand in hand, and Rabil stresses the significance of proper nutrition, hydration, sleep, and maintaining physical fitness. Additionally, seeking guidance through therapy or counseling is beneficial for understanding oneself and dealing with personal challenges. Ultimately, sustained success requires a holistic approach that encompasses both physical and mental well-being.

    Mental Health Support for Athletes: Breaking Stereotypes and Improving Performance

    Athletes can benefit from engaging with mental health experts to improve their performance. Just as athletes have various coaches and medical teams to support their physical well-being, it is vital to tap into experts in the field of mental health. Despite the stereotypes and stigmas associated with seeking mental health support, there is progress being made to break through these obstacles. The conversation also highlights the detrimental effects of comparing oneself to others and the importance of confidence, perseverance, and irrational self-belief. Successful athletes often face more obstacles and failures than others because they take risks and have the resilience to bounce back. It is crucial for athletes to develop mental aptitude and training to overcome setbacks and maintain consistency in their performance.

    Controlling the controllables: Rebounding, confidence, and the neuroscience of sports.

    Controlling the controllables and focusing on what is within your control is crucial in sports. Paul Rabil emphasizes the importance of rebound opportunities and staying on the field to regain confidence after a bad play, rather than running off and subbing out. Shane Parrish adds that when things go wrong, it's essential to remember the basics and not get too fancy or complicated. Paul also highlights the role of awareness and adjusting the neuroscience to overcome struggles and regain confidence. The conversation further explores the source of competitiveness, with Paul suggesting that fear of not being the best and fear of losing are stronger motivators than anger. He attributes his own drive to a combination of familial work ethic, athletic genes, and the desire to excel in sports.

    Balancing Individual Success and Team Success in Sports

    Incentive structures in team sports can sometimes create a paradox between individual success and team success. While it may be tempting to incentivize players based on individual statistics like catches or touchdowns, this can sometimes lead to conflicts and distractions within the team. Finding a balance between rewarding individual performance and fostering a collaborative team environment is crucial. Good managers and leaders play a vital role in building a strong culture where individual achievements are celebrated, but everyone understands that their success contributes to the overall success of the team. The conversation also highlights the importance of choosing the right captain, who may not necessarily be the best player, but someone who can empathize with the team, bridge communication, and lead effectively. In life, finding balance and happiness is not about one big moment, but rather the frequency of small moments that make you feel whole and secure. It's important to persevere through the lows, knowing that there's always another side.

    Cultivating Inner Peace for Stress Management

    Finding moments of inner peace is crucial for managing stress and maintaining overall well-being. Paul Rabil highlights that he feels the greatest sense of inner peace in the morning and during short breaks throughout the day when he is alone. He acknowledges the challenges of his ADHD and how it can lead to a loss of control over his thoughts. However, he also emphasizes that his learning differences have been a gift, allowing him to problem solve and challenge the status quo. Rabil tackles his fears through weekly therapy sessions, which help shrink negative thoughts and provide perspective. He is actively trying to break habits like excessive phone use, caffeine consumption, and critical self-talk. Additionally, he recognizes that time management and prioritizing relationships are essential for reducing stress. Ultimately, Rabil reminds himself that there are tactics, such as meditation and cold ice therapy, to alleviate stress and regain inner peace.

    DBT: Overcoming Dissociation and Inner Voices

    Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT) is a tactical approach that can help individuals with personality disorders overcome dissociation and critical inner voices. DBT provides tactics for stepping out of negative thought patterns, including changing body temperature, taking walks, and meditating. Walking can reactivate the body's biochemistry and release endorphins, which can shift mindset and promote breakthrough thoughts. However, it's important to be mindful of the length of meetings during walking meetings to avoid conflicts. Also, Paul Rabil shares that while he can fall asleep easily, staying asleep is a challenge due to the impact of important life transitions and business responsibilities. Lastly, Paul hopes to be remembered for making a positive impact on the next and current generations in various aspects of life.

    Recent Episodes from The Knowledge Project with Shane Parrish

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    #193: Dr. Jim Loehr: Change the Stories You Tell Yourself

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    #192 David Segal: Yearly Planning, Daily Action

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    (08:48) The major trend
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    (19:35) On rearranging your brain
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    #189 Chris Davis: Three Generations of Wealth

    #189 Chris Davis: Three Generations of Wealth

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    (00:00) Intro

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    (26:24) The importance of writing things no one reads

    (36:55) Davis' experiences through financial crises

    (52:31) Why Davis loves managing a mutual fund

    (55:49) Why Berkshire Hathaway operates with margin

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    Watch the episode on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/theknowledgeproject/videos

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    Timecodes:

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    (00:08:03) On depression and coping mechanisms

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    (00:42:06) How to turn Blueprint protocols into habits

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    (00:49:07) The downsides and lessons of making money

    (00:59:22) The five habits

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    (01:07:48) Relationship between biological health and sexual health

    (01:09:50) Hair-loss prevention

    (01:15:46) Sunscreen, plastics, and other miscellaneous impacts on aging

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    Dr. Becky Kennedy: The One Thing You Can Say That Changes Everything

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    ---

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    Tom Gayner: Invest Like The Best

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    Gayner shares the difference between good debt and bad debt, where he disagrees with Munger, and why he focuses on the basics.

    This intimate conversation offers a level of insight and honesty that Tom hasn’t offered anywhere else.

    Gayner is currently the CEO of Markel Group and the Director of The Coca‑Cola Company. He also serves as chairman of the Davis Series Mutual Funds board and on the boards of Graham Holdings and Markel.

    Listen and Learn.

    --

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    Blake Eastman: Learn to Read Anyone

    Blake Eastman: Learn to Read Anyone
    Blake Eastman has dedicated his entire life to psychology and nonverbal behavior.
     
    In 2009 he founded The Nonverbal Group, a  behavioral research and education company in New York City which conducts large scale studies on human behavior and uses a wide range of technologies to systematically deconstruct and improve human communication.
     
    Eastman dives deep into a number of subjects revolving around how we communicate with one another, including the ability to read nonverbal cues, his thoughts on big talkers vs. silent types, how we can communicate with our partners without complaining, the value of watching ourselves communicate on video, understanding the power structures and social dynamics at work, and so much more.
     
    Eastman has also served as an adjunct psychology professor at the City University of New York for six years where he taught General Psychology, Developmental Psychology, and Group Dynamics. He is also a former professional poker player and the founder of School of Cards, the first brick-and-mortar poker school in New York City.
     
    Listen and Learn

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