As part of my training for the 3 Peaks, I swim twice a week (in between the full-on gym workouts), thanks to the lovely people at Topnotch Healthclubs who’s sponsored my challenge.

Today while I was swimming I noticed a curious phenomenon that I’m going to name the “hottie effect”. There were three guys in the pool, including me. One of them was pretty much just sitting there, the other doing some slow, steady, not hugely dedicated breast-stroke lengths and me, somewhat beasting myself churning out my 500m.

In the middle of my 3rd 50m set, a girl came in.

I should immediately qualify this by saying that when I swim I obviously don’t wear my glasses, so I can’t actually see anything beyond the end of my nose in any kind of clear fashion.

This girl came in and, from what I could make out, she was young, slender and wearing a bikini.  Suddenly and remarkably the layabout starting cranking out some lengths, the breast-stroker suddenly upped his speed and improved his technique and I… well, I mostly carried on doing lengths while wondering how hot this girl must be to inspire the other guys to such great feats.

The point of all this isn’t swimming pool-based voyeurism, but to suggest that we all in some way or another adapt our behaviour in the presence a a pretty person1. In the gym especially, it makes be act “up” – trying to show ourselves to be fitter, stronger and faster.

What if we could apply that “hottie effect” to our creative lives? If we created in the shadow of the “hottie” – that single person we’re all desperate to please.

Impressing people – whether it’s an agent, a producer, a client or a partner – is an innate desire in all of us. We want people to love what we do. Creating that voice of approval and encouragement in what we do is a perfect way to motivate yourself and keep focused on creating the very best that you can, whatever it may be.

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  1. girl or boy, depending on your personal preference []