Andy Murray inadvertently revealed the book he is currently reading during Great Britain’s Davis Cup matches in Manchester last week and it suggests he is trying to find ways to reset his mind in times of stress.
A grief-stricken Murray heroically won his match for Great Britain on Friday despite the death of his beloved Gran, as he followed what would have been her wishes to play for his country rather than attend her funeral.
It was evidence that Murray’s passion for the game remains strong, despite his days of winning major titles appearing to be over.
Throughout his career, Murray has been looking to find the extra edge on and off the court, with his work ethic away from matches an example to all the young British players who get a chance to train with him.
He has also been seen reading notes during matches to remind him of key triggers when his stress levels rise and now his latest bedtime reading has been revealed.
Murray kicked his bag during his Davis Cup match against Swiss youngster Leandro Riedi, with the book he is reading falling out for the world to see.
Entitled Atomic Habits by author James Clear, this book is an international bestseller and comes with the tagline: Transform your life with tiny changes in behaviour.
What do I need to accomplish today and how can I have the most fun possible while doing it?
— James Clear (@JamesClear) August 28, 2023
“People think that when you want to change your life, you need to think big, but world-renowned habits expert James Clear has discovered another way,” reads the Amazon review of the book.
“He knows that real change comes from the compound effect of hundreds of small decisions: doing two push-ups a day, waking up five minutes early, or holding a single short phone call. He calls them atomic habits.
“In this ground-breaking book, Clears reveals exactly how these minuscule changes can grow into such life-altering outcomes. He uncovers a handful of simple life hacks (the forgotten art of Habit Stacking, the unexpected power of the Two Minute Rule, or the trick to entering the Goldilocks Zone), and delves into cutting-edge psychology and neuroscience to explain why they matter.
“Along the way, he tells inspiring stories of Olympic gold medalists, leading CEOs, and distinguished scientists who have used the science of tiny habits to stay productive, motivated, and happy.
“These small changes will have a revolutionary effect on your career, your relationships, and your life.”
Entries on the website of the author reveal some of the techniques he uses to train the mind to extract marginal gains, as he suggests problem solving is not always the answer.
“Not doing something will always be faster than doing it. This statement reminds me of the old computer programming saying, “Remember that there is no code faster than no code,” he writes.
“The same philosophy applies in other areas of life. For example, there is no meeting that goes faster than not having a meeting at all.
“This is not to say you should never attend another meeting, but the truth is that we say yes to many things we don’t actually want to do. There are many meetings held that don’t need to be held. There is a lot of code written that could be deleted.
“How often do people ask you to do something and you just reply, “Sure thing.” Three days later, you’re overwhelmed by how much is on your to-do list. We become frustrated by our obligations even though we were the ones who said yes to them in the first place.
“It’s worth asking if things are necessary. Many of them are not, and a simple “no” will be more productive than whatever work the most efficient person can muster.”
Murray has often struggled to control his anger in the heat of battle on a tennis court, so he is clearly looking for more techniques to stay focused on and off the court as he continues his push to return to the top of the sport.