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We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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The Big Idea for Saturday, February 23, 2013

What can athletes teach you about discipline?

The answer, which is offered by Dr. Jason Selk in today's lesson, is all about mental discipline. In order to succeed at the highest level, athletes need to develop specific habits of mind as much as they need to stay fit.

For instance, the legendary NFL coach Vince Lombardi dominated pro football for 10 years by drilling plays repeatedly until they became second nature. This same strategy can be employed in your own life, and indeed, in the professional context as well. 


  1. 1 Why Focus Makes Us Smarter--and 8 Ways to Sharpen Yours
    Jason Selk Experts' Corner
  2. 2 The Value of Mental Toughness
    Anatoly Karpov
  3. 3 The Neuroscience of Cocktail Party Conversation
    Big Think Editors Going Mental
  4. 4 Lessons in Mindfulness from Sherlock Holmes
    Daniel Honan Book of the Month


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