Sunday, December 30, 2012


For Christmas presents, I bought 3 books on Mental Management:  Freedom Flight, With Winning In Mind, and Finding Your Zone.  My son who is crazy about golf, my grandson who does cross country, and I who finally can say I "have a sport" after 60 years without one, will circulate these books among ourselves as a joint present, hopefully finding common ground by helping us all improve our games.

To help me remember the content of each one as I read it, I will blog my notes, starting with the one I read over the holidays:

Freedom Flight - The Origins Of Mental Power, by Lanny Bassham
This is a short book but carries a big punch.  Fictitious, it's also a composite of the wisdom of 3 real life people who influenced a real life Olympic champion (the author) to win Gold after many years of struggle to get there.

A soldier is captured and held as a Vietnam war prisoner for 6 years, plus spends several weeks in solitary in a 4'x4' bamboo box, without much food or water.  He pares life down to "what's important and what's not", and what he does to keep from going crazy is  to not worry about things he can't control, control what he can, and play golf in his head.  When he gets released back to the US and steps onto the golf course, he's rehearsed so many thousands of great shots in his mind, they come to pass!  He relates this story to the future Olympian on a plane flight, giving him the pearls of wisdom he needs to free himself of his self-limiting fears and attain his goal of Gold.


Here's the list of positive mental imaging tricks imparted:
  1. The Lesson Of The Box: Until you get out of the "prison" of your self-limiting concepts, you aren't free to reach your goals and dreams. How do you do that?
    Establish a Plan
    Learn to separate what is important from what is not important in reaching your goals, and let the unimportant things go.
    What you think about AFTER something happens to you shapes the fabric of your future. Don't dwell on unimportant things.
  2. It is unimportant what happens to you in life. What is important is what you do about it.  This is how you live a "purposeful" life, rather than be a "victim" of life.
  3. Adversity is an effective teacher. Tragedy causes us to separate what is important from what is not.  Shows us we can't control all events, but we can control how we react to them.
  4. Everything we experience in life is a preparation for our future.
  5.  "To he who has been given much, much shall be required." If you focus less on your personal achievement and more on the good you could do by achieving it, you are more likely to win.  Changing your Purpose this way changes your focus, relaxes you, makes for easier performances.
  6. The way you see things is reality.  Your actual environment is not reality. Perception is everything.
  7. Focus on solutions to problems, not on the problems themselves.  Change your thought pictures.  Can you control your thoughts?  Do you try?  If your mind starts down a negative path, can you pull it away?  When you are in a situation you can't control, try to replace worrying with thinking happy thoughts that bring you joy.
  8. Presets - We have many presets in our heads, like car radios where you press the button and it takes you to a particular station. Learn to identify your presets, and reset them to advantage.  For example, you can learn to step into the ring and all else fades but you and your dog running together beautifully. The mind cannot tell the difference between what you vividly imagine and what you actually do.  Replace "I can't run well" with "I run like a pro" and envision it, you can achieve it.
  9. Every life has a purpose.  Everything happens for a reason.  Learning to see the benefits of everything that happens to you is important.
  10. Every purposeful life has a God ordained plan. Once your goals are in sync with this plan, good things will begin to happen easily.
  11. Even if there are no doors currently open to you, continue to think about your plan.  Doors eventually open to those who are determined.
  12. The world tends to only measure accomplishment.  But you can also measure the state of your "becoming".
  13. The conscious mind can only focus on one thing at a time.  Focus on what you want to happen and not what you fear might happen.
  14. God endows us with weapons to fight through adversity.

For years after meeting the Vietnam Prisoner on this flight, the author could not afford to train for his sport.  He set up a room in his home as a shooting range, and every day practiced aiming and shooting perfect shots.  Years later the chance came up to join a team and qualify for the Olympics, he did, and won Gold.

Upwards and onward!

1 comment:

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