Excerpt: ‘Prologue: The Conspiracy’ and ‘Chapter 1: Two Very Different Brains’

HarperCollins just posted a first look at the inside of Head in the Game, including the title pages, chapter breakdowns, and, best of all, the Prologue and Chapter 1.

This is where this book process of rolling out the book gets kind of emotional and scary for me, because this is where it gets personal.

As you’ll see, I became part of this book without ever intending to.

The book is ultimately, yes, about amazing, fantastic new science and tech, and with it, the stories of hundreds of great athletes, scientists, psychologists, and more doing amazing, fantastic work.

I can’t stress that enough. This is about so much more than me.

But for all of that amazing, fantastic new science and tech, and for those stories of great people using it to do great things, it also became inescapably clear to me: Many people’s minds are broken, at least a little and often a lot, often far more than they know, because the broken brain often does not know it is broken — and this stuff cannot help someone, not the way it is designed to, unless they first dare to deal with their brokenness.

And in order to illustrate that uncomfortable but essential truth, I needed an engaging way into that didn’t feel like preaching.

I needed a good story.

And after several interviewees agreed and then changed their minds, it was crunch time, and all I had left was myself.

But that, my editors carefully and insightfully reminded me, was kind of the crux of the whole thing: I only found this stuff because part of me needed it first.

My own brain had been good and broken before.

So, to be honest about why I was looking into any of this in the first place, I told that story.

My story very much about failure, first as an athlete, then as a human being.

I promise, the book’s way more fun than that sounds! (Or maybe that does sound fun to you? WHAT’S WRONG WITH YOU?! Just kidding. Maybe. Winky-face emoji.)

But that’s how it works, isn’t it? The hard parts make the good parts good.

Anyway, this excerpt lays it all out there.

(And not to spoil the ending, but the book is ultimately about the success the people using the stuff in this book … and that includes your narrator’s story, in a small way, too.)

Anyway, below are some screengrabs of the book preview — which you can view in full at this link: Click.

Happy reading!



About the author

Writer-at-large for B/R Mag at Bleacher Report. Obsessed with great stories and learning about the world. Loves talking about this stuff. A little bit crazy.

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Hey, I'm Brandon, this is the HitG blog, where we go beyond the book to explore This Stuff and stay up to date on the greater HitG universe, share stories of HitG readers figuring out how to get their own heads in the game (sorry, that pun is just too easy and fun), and generally goof off a little. Oh and it's free and always will be. Don't try to pay me, I won't let you.

What is “This Stuff”?

There are so many tools for "mental engineering" — just getting the mind right, really — that there is no single clean label, so I’ve gone with the extremely scientific term This Stuff.

Book Me

I do, however, accept money for speaking engagements (albeit begrudgingly). I'd really love to do this stuff for free because I think it's amazing, but alas, I also feel compelled to contribute to my family's food, shelter, and general merriment. I speak to groups of all sizes, ages, levels of sport, and so on. Basically, I can tailor my talks to anyone. (I got my head in the game like that. Sorry! See?! I can't help myself.)

What’s Your Story?

I'd love to hear your stories about getting your head right. Contact us using the link above.

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