Life Lesson & Golf was written to help golfers learn how to put the game and their lives in perspective. It addresses many of the paradoxes in the game, most of which are created by our human nature, a nature the makes us disposed to be too mental. Most golfers like to say that golf is a mental game. I think we humans are mental and we don't want to admit it, so we blame it on the game. With this in mind, Life Lessons & Golf helps us sift through our human mental tendencies, and it helps us create a perspective of reality, one that will guide us into more performance oriented activities instead of fantasy based expectations and emotionally reactive responses. I hope it helps you become more real, more responsible, and more purposeful in your golf and your life.
Everybody has reoccurring questions in their lives and their games. What are the answers? Is it technique, is it presence, are other forces working there? These questions are usually inspired from within, they point to the patterns in life that steer the course of our lives, and they influence the aspects of life that lead to being productive and happy. Finding our way in life, staying the course of productivity and attaining happiness can be facilitated by a process of self observation. This means noticing your behavior patterns in preparation, action, and response, and recognizing which patterns serve your innate sense to be productive. It also involves recognizing which patterns are counter productive and require a choice of recommitting to the productive way.
The answers you are looking for lie in awakening your genuine nature. Most non-productive behavior is born from being conditioned to act contrary to your genuine self. Your genuine self would never willingly choose to be non-productive. Your genuine self believes in your dreams, your potential, and the true possibilities that life has to offer.
The secret starts with being true to yourself, is grounded in an open mind-set, is facilitated by awareness, and is achieved through unconditional commitment. This means your thoughts, attitudes, actions, behavior, indeed your whole way of conducting yourself must be focused on the process. To achieve this level of focus, you must cultivate your attention in such a way to free your mind from its conditioned state. Then you’ll have the freedom to express yourself in a responsive manner that reflects your true nature.
There exists an original “you,” an authentic “you,” that is dying to be reborn and express itself openly, freely, and genuinely. You simply need to reacquaint yourself with “YOURSELF.” You expressed it as achild, you became conditioned to hide it, and you can re-awaken yourself to express it again.
How do we reacquaint ourselves with the youthful attitude of being genuine? The first step is to make the choice. Recognize that it is necessary if you want to be happy and productive. Create an unwavering desire to be yourself, as your true self. Commit to being the person you were born to be, and let loose this masked identity you’ve come to call yourself, the grown-up self.
People often believe that maturing or growing up means giving up your genuine attitude. I believe maturing is growing wiser without ever giving up your genuine disposition. However, since it’s likely you have acquired a mask of social acceptance, you may need to recommit to your genuine nature by planting the seeds of choice to be yourself. Plant the seeds through choice, nurture them thru daily reminders, express them in your actions, reaffirm them in your responses, and watch them grow as you stay committed to the process. Your genuine self will shine thru, and you will enjoy the fruits of genuine growth. You simply need to make the choice to see it that way, and reinvent yourself in the moment. Every moment of life provides you an opportunity to reinvent yourself. You simply need to make the choice to imagine another version of how you want to be. Then commit to acting it out.
A truly believable actor is the role he is playing. Actors absorb themselves into the role, and act the part so committedly that they truly are the role they are playing. They are so the part that they convince everyone else that they are the part. Thus, they are the person they have invented themselves to be in the moment. Next week they’ll be someone else while acting out a new role. You can be someone else too.
The process of reinventing yourself will be cyclical. You imagine, react, redefine, re-imagine, react, rediscover, and continue the process until you’ve found a way to be at peace with your present reality. Whether actress or individual who desires to reinvent herself, she needs to absorb herself into the role and act the part. You need to create the image in the likeness of your original self and commit to being that person instead of the one society wants you to be. Make your way of acting it out so convincing that everyone in your presence knows you are not acting. They know you are being yourself. When your choices, your commitments, your actions, and responses are so convincing that you believe it at the deepest levels of your being, then you will truly be that person, your genuine self.
Answering life’s questions also involves the way you perceive your future. How do you imagine your future? Will it look different than your present reality? What needs to happen so that your present reality will be transformed to your ideal state of being alive? Inside we all know there is a better life for us. Inside we all know we are better golfers. In many ways we even know what we need to do, but we do not commit to the needs. For example, everyone knows it is beneficial to eat healthy and exercise. We all know we would live longer healthier lives if we did, and it is not so hard to live more healthy lives.
Most people simply choose not to live a more healthy life. They choose not to because it is easier to keep doing what you are doing then it is to change. So we make excuses for our choices. We say it’s too hard or we don’t have the time for it. Similarly all golfers know they need to swing relaxed and smooth. But, how many golfers actually practice swinging relaxed and smooth? What exercises are available to them? All golfers also know they need good timing, but do they have a way of awakening the feeling of good timing? Usually not
Most golfers would improve dramatically if they spent more time finding their rhythm, their timing, and their focus. However, most golfers choose to believe that their technique is more important than rhythm, timing, and focus. They commit to the belief so strongly that they believe it is real. They begin to make excuses about their game so that they can continue buying into the story. Sure the story sounds good. It may even be a great story. However, in the end it is just a story, an illusive story they’ve bought into. Stop buying into it, and start focusing on what really matters.
Accepting the story requires a filtering process. Filtering happens in the reception area of your mind. Already accepted beliefs set up the parameters for how you view life and the thoughts that continue to enter the mind’s reception area. The manner in which you are willing to accept and filter the incoming thoughts, ideas, or images will determine how productive and genuine you are in your actions. Confine your filters to a narrow vision of life and you restrict your options. Open the filters to a world of infinite possibilities and your way of being will continually provide opportunity.
So, when we look at life thru filters, these filters can obscure reality and narrow the opportunities presented to us. If you choose a filter that leads you to see life’s happenings in either a positive or negative way, then the filter is the positive or negative influence, not your life. Life simply is what it is, but our filters make life seem positive some times, negative some times, and indifferent other times.
Whether positive, negative, or indifferent, filters result in an opinion making process. Awareness, on the other hand, results in open understanding that illuminates life’s true posture. So, strive to use awareness and open understanding to guide your journey thru life.
If your filtering process persists, realize that the manner in which you accept the filtering process is a choice. You can choose to discard filtered perceptions that prove to be non-productive, and you can choose to stay committed to the more productive perceptions. In either case, monitoring these filtered perceptions can be tricky. It is easy to buy into the filtered perceptions, and you can believe in the perceptions so much that they become your reality, a reality that seems to be inescapable.
You can shield yourself from such experiences by committing to the vision of being genuine in your conduct, and you can become more productive by committing to the vision that you are a winner. Act like a champion, no matter how you feel, and you will be a champion. Better yet, imagine how you would act if you were the master of your intentions, then act in that manner. This type of commitment will certainly reduce the limitations you impose upon yourself through non-productive filtering. It will also guide you a step closer to expressing your genuine way of being.
It may also be of value to remember the youthful attitude you had before you grew-up. Do you remember the curiosity of your childhood, do you remember having the urge to discover new ways of expressing yourself? When did you stop seeing yourself as a venturer, a discoverer? When did you start acting like an adult with a prescribed station in life? When did you start believing that maturity consisted of giving up your genuine nature? When did you start buying into the belief that you know everything?
Maybe it’s time to realize that you can mature without growing up. You can become an adult without giving up your youthful curiosity. You can be responsible while maintaining a youthful perspective of life. Maybe it’s time to entertain the possibility of cutting loose the image of being an adult, of being grown up, of being in control, and of knowing all the answers.
Why not consider the perspective that life has so much more to offer, that there are unlimited lessons to learn in life? Why not re-invent yourself in the image of your genuine nature? Why not continue to use the divine gift of authentic living bestowed upon you at birth? A simple fact of life is the only person you need to live with is yourself. So, you’d better conduct yourself in the image of someone you can be at peace with. You’d best act like someone you’d like to spend the rest of your life with. For you’ll never be able to free yourself from yourself. And I believe the best way of being this person is by living authentically, by being your genuine self.
So, there are many different images that can serve you well. You can imagine the youthful attitude of your childhood, you can imagine how a master would conduct himself, you can imagine being an actress acting out the role of living life well. You can imagine being genuine in your observations of life, and you can imagine acting in the presence of your authentic self. The key is considering the possibility of living without limitations, without the perceptual ball and chain dragging you down. It’s your choice, connect to the image of being your original self, or give into the negative influences in life. I know I want to live my life, how about you?
“Golfers are always looking for the secret to playing their best golf. The secret starts with being true to yourself, is grounded in an open mind-set, is facilitated by awareness, and is achieved through unconditional commitment. This means your thoughts, attitudes, actions, behavior, indeed your whole way of conducting yourself must be focused on the process. To achieve this level of focus, you must cultivate your attention in such a way to free your mind from its conditioned state. Then you’ll have the freedom to express yourself in a responsive manner that reflects your true nature.”