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Every time I move to a new city I find a regular park football game to play in and it always follows the same pattern. Week one I forget that I’m not very good and play quite well. Week two I turn up expecting to play well and then get frustrated when nothing I try works. Week three it seems like everyone remembers week two and nobody passes me the ball. Eventually I start to gradually improve, having realized that the other players aren’t watching me expecting me to make mistakes; they’re just relieved they’re not the ones making mistakes, because none of them is all that good either. Optimizing performance is all about freeing yourself from expectations, your own and other people’s, real and perceived. And beginner’s luck is the absence of expectation.

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