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When I was on the national competitive debate and public speaking circuit in college, I had a playlist that I would listen to before rounds. Yup, just like athletes do. In fact, it was the same playlist that I used when I would climb or workout. There is a reason athletes listen to music before games. It pumps you up. If you need a confidence boost, it gives you one. If you just need to reinforce the fact that you are going to kick ass, it does that too.

I still have several playlists like that. The beauty of climbing is that it is both mentally and physically challenging – best of both worlds for me. When I climb and there is a route with a problem that I that I can’t get past, that becomes “my nemesis.”  I’ll start listening to the playlist when I climb. In my professional life, if I have an interview or a meeting, where I know there exists the potential for challenges or conflicts, I’ll listen to one before that. I’ve got a meeting with the “new boss” on Thursday. You probably have an idea of what I’ll be listening to that day.

So for once, I don’t need better living through chemistry by pharmaceuticals, because regardless of which muscle is being flexed, music is my performance-enhancing drug of choice. Regardless of what it is, I play to win.* If I don’t, I take note, and I adjust for the next time we meet. Interestingly, that might mean adjusting my playlist as well.


*As a professional, now a win is generally a win-win, since most things in life are not a zero sum game.


I love this video. The kid is amazing.

(SOOOO many of these Sia wigs at her concert.)

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