The Think-to-Win Principle What, then, is the position I advocate? First and foremost, I aim to show why the extreme just-do-it principle, as well as some of its less extreme variants, is wrong. So my main thrust is merely the denial of “I think, therefore I can’t.” However, throughout the book I also suggest a stronger view, not quite “I think therefore I can,” cogito ergo possum), but what I refer to as the “think-to-win” principle:
Think-to-Win: For experts, when all is going well, optimal or near optimal performance frequently employs some of the following mental processes: self-reflective thinking, planning, predicting, deliberation, attention to or monitoring of their own bodily movements, conceptualizing their actions, conscious control, trying, effort, having a sense of the self, and acting for a reason. Moreover, such mental processes do not necessarily or even generally interfere with expert performance, and should not generally be avoided by experts.
I shall also be concerned with specific forms of this principle, forms which may apply to a particular type of expertise. For example, since, on my view, dance, although not chess, involves monitoring one’s bodily movements, the think-to-win principle for ballet dancers with respect to monitoring is as follows: