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The science of success

Alex Mason ’16 assists Martin Rooney ’93 with a demo

Last updated March 7, 2014

By News administrator

That little voice in your head could be your biggest obstacle.

Studies have shown that on average, a person thinks around 1000 negative thoughts a day and about 5000 of those are about themselves.

In an interactive CLP, Tuesday, March 4, titled “The Science of Success: How to Succeed in Fitness and in Life,” Furman alumnus Martin Rooney ’93 encouraged the audience of about 150 students and community members to take control of the negative voice and instead feed themselves positive messages.

A former U.S. bobsledder, Division I track athlete, and physical therapist, Rooney is an internationally recognized fitness expert, best-selling author, and motivational speaker. He has worked with NBA, WNBA, NFL, and MLB athletes and has given presentations to Fortune 500 companies such as Nike and Hasbro. During the CLP he focused on how others could make improvements in their own lives through strategies he calls “Success Actions” and “Rooney Rules.”

Some of his foundational Success Actions include “finding your truth north” and “cleaning your backyard.” Rooney emphasized that in order to start making improvement in your life, you need to take a stand for something, set goals, and make them public. Acting like the person you want to be makes you start believing it.

Rooney claimed that it’s the little voice inside your head that “lies to you” and makes assumptions that could hold you back. He proved this through a small relaxation exercise in which he encouraged the audience to relax and close their eyes while he recited a list of 12 words. After going through the list a few times, he asked the audience to write down the words that they remembered. Over 60% of the audience wrote down a word was not a part of the list that Rooney recited.

Furthermore, Rooney encouraged the audience not to hold back and to “take the emergency brake off.”  Taking chances in life helps get you further in life, and according to Rooney, “you’ll never fail if you go all out.” He emphasized that everyone is capable of greatness, we just don’t always believe in it.

“Be great,” Rooney said “If it was easy, everyone would be going for it.”

The event was sponsored by Furman PHOKUS (Promoting Healthy Options through Knowledge, Understanding, and Service), a student organization that focuses on peer health education.

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