cover image It Takes What It Takes: How to Think Neutrally and Gain Control of Your Life

It Takes What It Takes: How to Think Neutrally and Gain Control of Your Life

Trevor Moawad with Andy Staples. Harper One, $27.99 (272p) ISBN 978-0-06-294712-3

“Attitude is contagious,” observes Moawad in this generic guide to using “neutral thinking,” a method of thinking based on instinct and training, to unlock potential and reach goals. Moawad, a mental conditioning coach for elite athletes and performers, culls anecdotes from his career working with Seattle Seahawks’ quarterback Russell Wilson; football coaches Nick Saban, Jimbo Fisher, and Tom Coughlin; and track star Michael Johnson, among others, to illustrate neutral thinking as a “quick pivot step toward swift, decisive, stunning action.” According to Moawad, neutral thinking involves consigning the past to the past, the future to the future, and focusing single-mindedly on the set of choices available in the here and now. One can use neutral thinking, the author argues, to take responsibility for choices and focus on “decision one first.” Despite its self-help focus, however, the book provides few instructions for putting the ideas into practice. Instead, the book illustrates its premise through game-day play-by-plays in which athletes successfully navigate moments of intense, on-field pressure. But more powerful than the promise of self-help is Moawad’s homage to his friends, and especially to his father, that emerges over the course of the book. Moawad’s ode to “neutral thinking” will appeal to readers interested in how high-level athletes deal with pressure. (Feb.)