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Monday, March 14, 2011

"The drive is the most important shot in Golf, it sets up the hole" Ben Hogan

Anyone that knows me understands my Love for Ben Hogan, and not just because he was the best golfer to ever play the game, and he was! Yeah, Nicklaus was great and Woods is dominant, but Hogan played a different game and while there are a few players that have more Major wins than him, nobody has a better performance for the amount of Majors he played in. Nobody!!!

I love the Man, because of the lessons I learned from him. The lessons on a life well lived. The deliberateness with which he took in preparing himself for tournament play can and should be used in everyday life. Life can and should be practiced. The key is to be very deliberate in your practice.

"The Drive is the most important shot in golf, it sets up the hole." What Hogan meant with that fact is that to have the best chance at hitting an approach shot to a pin tucked in the back right of a green, you need to hit your drive to the left side of the fairway. You also need to be able to work the ball either way, curve it from left to right or right to left in order to avoid trouble.

What does that have to do with real life when your not playing Golf? Well, say you need to have to have a difficult conversation with your Boss. You want to provide some feedback to them that they may not be particularly fond of. You know what you want to accomplish, but do you think about beforehand the after affects of the emotion that may arise from it. Sure they may not be open to it, but how will that make you feel? And if you are frustrated by it, do you think about how that may impact the way you behave after the fact? If your like most people, probably not.

This happened to me recently, and I haphazardly hurt somebody that I greatly respect by not catching myself in a frustrated moment. While I made amends, I am fortunate to have a great mentor that pointed out my mistake. what I took from this is to be deliberate in thinking about not only what you want to accomplish with a particular interaction, but thinking about the outcome as well and how that may affect you.

So how do you overcome a negative emotion? Be aware of "where" you are thinking! Literally "where" you are thinking is the key. Emotive thinking is coming from the Amygdala, and depending upon the emotion, rarely can an individual stop a reaction from the emotion being experienced. However, you can recognize that you are in a state that is different than "Normal". If you do recognize your state as different than calm, clear and confident, all you need to do is engage your frontal lobe which allows you to make time based decisions. In other words, the frontal lobe allows you to contemplate future consequences from current actions or re-actions and you wont do or say something that you will later regret.

How do you engage the frontal lobe? Engage yourself in a puzzle or a problem solving exercise, even play Solotaire!! The point is that you want to shift your thinking from reactionary (reptilian) thinking to cognitive thinking so that you remove the emotion out of the mix. The easiest way to do this is to be deliberate about where you are thinking, which is in essence is thinking about where you want your drive to end up in order to give yourself the best approach shot into the green.

In order to accomplish this, you need to be deliberate in thinking not only about the outcome you want, but where will you be if you do not achieve the outcome you are looking for. You do not get what you want necessarily, you get what you are!! Is there a theme forming here in this Blog about being deliberate in your thinking? Yes there is, and I got it from Ben Hogan and it applies to everything you, how this concept can be applied to addictive behaviors....stay tuned!!

And not as an after thought, but genuinely I want to thank everyone that is reading this Blog, I started this for myself, but I'm humbled and glad that so many people from around the world are reading this. I hope it finds you well and is beneficial in your time reading it!!

Lastly, a huge outpouring of admiration and well wishes for the people of Japan. You are a light of inspiration for how the collective of humanity can come together in times of need.

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