How to Get Positively Distracted with The Muse Mind Hack

26/04/2017 - Coaching tips
How to Get Positively Distracted with The Muse Mind Hack

Find your distraction when you need it

I’m excited to teach you how to use a visualized Muse character as a mind hack. I use this tool whenever I need to help someone quit feeling sorry for themselves. It’s a quick way to shift your focus by using an intentional distraction.

The Muse is one of several key tools you can use to shut down your Inner Critic. It’s also a very effective tool at helping you bust out of any negative spiral that leads to obsessing about the conditions you may find yourself in. Check out the first article in this series for more insights into how I teach Inner Critic and Awareness training.

Hacking Release into Flow

The Muse hack also supports the Release stage of the Flow cycle (Struggle-Release-Flow-Recovery). This is especially useful to encourage Play. Yes, Play!

Here’s an example: to unlock the release phase and just to add spice to life, I’ve stopped mid-run to swing on playground toys, hop from log to log in the forest, splash through streams, and play fetch with a friendly dog. I’ve even carried musical instruments on runs and paused for a few minutes here and there to play them. And no excuses with this one, the instrument I like to carry on mountain runs is a 10 foot / 3.3-meter-long Swiss Alphorn! But remember, the size of your instrument is not what’s important, it’s that you recognize the value of play in triggering a shift in brain wave activity and as a trigger into flow. You can always just howl at the moon, high five a race volunteer or complete stranger, skip a rock, hurdle over some kids playing in the creek, or do whatever your primal mind yearns for to create a moment when you Release and forget about your running.

Training your Inner Coach

Your Inner Coach has five important roles and areas of responsibility: Bouncer, Teacher, Guide, Muse, and Motivator. If you want to take the helm of your mind-coaching journey, your mission is to build a strong inner voice for each role and to integrate each voice into your sports and life pursuits as needed. This article covers an important one of the 5 roles. It teaches you to use the Muse role as your Inner Coach.

Guide Mind Hack from Flow State Runner

Flow State Runner Model, highlighting the Inner Coach voices

Your Muse

The Muse has a simple and fun role: to remind you to play. Play is critical as a release trigger to enable flow experiences. The Muse reminds you not to take yourself too seriously and to occasionally snap out of structure and rigor. Feeling self-conscious when practicing drills? The Muse helps you forget about what others think. The Muse prompts you to skip, run backwards, take a quick session on playground equipment, race a kid up a hill, splash through a stream or puddle, balance on a log, roll down a grass hill, smile at someone and more. Listen to the Muse and be spontaneous — you can always blame any looney actions on the Muse as well!

The Muse is well-suited to join you on long runs and ultra marathons, moments of alone time with only your Inner Coach — moments that receive a huge boost with humorous, light reminders to smile, play and actually enjoy the experience, rather than charge through it only thinking of pacing, time and numbers.

Awakening the Muse as a Mind Hack

Here are some tips for setting up the Muse mind hack to work for you:




Jeff Alphorn Muse Distraction Focus


When to engage Inner Coach as the Muse — all moments when you:


Give the Muse a try and test out the Guide as well. And if you want some help overcoming the suck (adversity), check out this article.

Want to dive deeper? Check out Flow State Runner for an immersion into my full mind training model. My book includes many more mind hacks to improve your sports performance.

— Coach Jeff

Jeff Grant is the author of "Flow State Runner: Activate a Powerful Inner Coach’s Voice", "Hill Running: Survive & Thrive," and "Run Faster: Unlock Your Speed in 8 Weeks". Based in Switzerland, Jeff is a coach and writer who specializes in mental coaching, peak performance, and transformation. Jeff’s popular newsletter is a digest containing inspirational and instructional resources, including his latest content. See recent issues and subscribe for free here. Refer to Jeff’s bio and press kit for more information, and please check out Jeff’s Coach & Author page on Facebook.

Free Mind Training Chapters

Join my mailing list to receive my latest news and updates. I'll send you two free chapters of Flow State Runner right away as a gift. I promise not to spam you. Check out my prior newsletter issues as an example. --Jeff Grant

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Share This