How Miles Davis Turned Herbie Hancock's Poison into Medicine | The Mental Toughness Coach - Chris Dorris

How Miles Davis Turned Herbie Hancock’s Poison into Medicine

I have fond memories of riding in my high school teammate’s MG convertible to our summer league basketball games listening to Herbie Hancock. I didn’t realize then what a genius Herbie was. I knew he was a musical genius. But I didn’t know he could preach like this!

This is pure brilliance. 3 minutes and 14 seconds of WOW! Listen to Herbie describe a massive lesson he learned from the great Miles Davis. He describes a time when they were performing together and in the middle of Miles’ trumpet solo, Herbie played the wrong chord on the piano. He made a “mistake.” And he thought it was a big mistake.

But does a true master – someone who has honed their craft to the highest level – ever experience reality as a “mistake?” Or do they instead respond with enthusiasm to the unexpected and create magic from it?

This is a phenomenal testimony to the power of the kind Mental Toughness that comes from staying with your craft and sharpening your saw for a nice long time.

Have a listen and ask yourself how you might turn the “poison” in your life into “medicine.”

Huge shout out to Ethan Frye for sending this clip to me!


  1. Daren G says:

    That is an powerful lesson. I could hear you teaching that Chris. Talk about catch, own and replace.

    • The Mental Toughness Coach says:

      My favorite piece here is that it was virtually instantaneous. Because of his training, he was able to respond almost instantly with creativity and enthusiasm. So damn cool!

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