“Mind over matter” is the phrase used when willpower is utilized to overcome physical problems.
It’s often applied by meditating monks and professional athletes. But can it be used, every day, by just anyone to overcome various obstacle?
This week on Full Frame, conversations with people who believe the answer is ‘yes’ if we use the “power of the mind”.
Apolo Ohno: Training your mind for success
Retired speed skater Apolo Ohno is one of the biggest names among American winter Olympians. He’s widely known as the face of short track speed skating with an impressive career earning eight Olympic medals. It makes him the most decorated American winter Olympian of all time.
Ohno’s competitive spirit soars off the ice as well and onto the dance floor. In 2007, he competed in and won “Dancing With the Stars”- a popular TV dance competition show involving celebrities here in the United States. More recently in 2014, Ohno completed the prestigious Ironman World Championship race in Kona, Hawaii — a grueling triathlon event where competitors swim, bike and run for more than 225 kilometers.
When not competing, Ohno hosts a TV game show, has become a successful businessman, and takes time to give back. He’s actively involved with the Special Olympics as well as his own Apolo Anton Ohno Foundation.
Apolo Ohno joins May Lee in our Los Angeles studio to talk more about using the power of the mind to succeed.
Andrew Solomon: Using the mind to overcome adversity
Award-winning and bestselling author Andrew Solomon is one of today’s most prolific and respected writers on politics, culture, and psychology. Throughout his career, he has captivated audiences with cultural stories about overcoming adversity, coping with inherently human struggles, and achieving self-acceptance by using the power of the mind. In addition, Solomon is an activist for mental health, education, the arts, and LGBTQ rights.
A National Book Award winner and Pulitzer Prize finalist for his book, The Noonday Demon: An Atlas for Depression, Solomon also won praise for his elegant writing in Far From the Tree: Parents, Children and the Search for Identity, which explores themes of generosity, acceptance, and tolerance among parents who are raising exceptional children. Most recently, Solomon released Far and Away: Reporting from the Brink of Change – a collection of writings that capture the essence of places, around the world, where he’s traveled.
From Fort Worth, Texas, Andrew Solomon joins May Lee in our Los Angeles studio to discuss using the power of the mind to overcome adversity.
Suzy Favor Hamilton: Long journey to mental health
Suzy Favor Hamilton is best known as a three-time U.S. Olympic runner. But a little more than a decade after she competed in the 2000 Olympics, Hamilton was working as one of the top adult escorts in Las Vegas, and around the world.
Her life after running included a successful career in real estate, but she was struggling in private. After a misdiagnosis of depression, and wrong medications, her search for happiness led her to Las Vegas, leaving her husband and young daughter behind in Wisconsin. It wasn’t until her secret, double life was publicly outed, and her eventual diagnosis of bi-polar disorder, that Favor Hamilton was able to begin a stable process of recovery.
In her recently released autobiography, Fast Girl: A Life Spent Running from Madness, Favor Hamilton chronicles her journey, in hopes of inspiring others struggling with bi-polar disorder, to take control of their lives by utilizing the power of the mind.
Suzy Favor Hamilton joins May Lee in our Los Angeles studio to share her story.
Bonsai: A state of mind
The Chinese are believed to be the first to cultivate naturally dwarfed trees, called Penjing. These potted landscapes are now popularly referred to as bonsai thanks to the association with Japanese culture.
It’s an art form that caught the eye of Brooklyn, New York native Paul Graviano back in 1964. His chance encounter with a bonsai tree sparked infatuation. His hobby soon turned into a business and he created Bonsai of Brooklyn. But Graviano acquired more than money from his venture. Creating his miniature masterpieces brought him to a state of mind that allowed him to endure under difficult circumstances. But it wasn’t until he defeated lung cancer that he truly learned it was, indeed, the little things in life that matter the most.
Full Frame visited Graviano and his bonsai trees in Brooklyn to learn how some of life’s most important lessons can come in small – and unexpected – ways.