Chapter 4

How to Master Emotional Mechanics Like the Experts

It’s okay to have butterflies. You just have to get them to fly in formation.

—Melissa Lukin, Outward Bound

LIKE ALMOST EVERY OTHER ABLE-BODIED Israeli citizen, performance expert and psychologist Dr. David Ouahnouna has spent time in the army. He also happens to be an expert in Krav Maga, the unique Israeli method of self-defense training. He told us the story of what happened the day after a terrorist got over the fence near his village and stabbed a yeshiva student, not far from his house. Yeshiva students are members of an Orthodox Jewish sect that studies ancient Hebrew texts for hours a day. Pretty much the opposite of a football lineman on a Texas high school team. The whole neighborhood was almost paralyzed with fear after the attack. Parents wanted to keep their kids inside, and the kids felt depressed, violated, and vulnerable.

Dr. Ouahnouna went down to the school the next day, got the kids together, and gave them a special course in Krav Maga. “After a couple of days, there was this transformation in these kids,” he said. “The kids were walking around with their chests out, heads high, ready to jump in and defend their friends if it ever happened again. They didn’t really know any Krav Maga, only one or two moves I taught them. But the difference was, they now believed. They knew what to do, they knew they’d always have a chance. They said, ‘It’s possible for me.’ All they did was switch their thinking from ...

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