I play golf. Not as often, or as well, as I would like, but since I was about 12 years old, I have enjoyed playing golf, first with my Dad, then my friends, and now, also, with my wife. Many members of my family play golf, as well.
Other than a year on a local college golf team, and a few junior tournaments here and there as a teenager, the joy and recreation of golf are what have kept me going back for more, even though I have never been good enough to make a living at it.
I have had good days, and believe me, many bad days, on the course over the last 35 years, but the fun it brings me, and the lessons on life that I believe it teaches, are just a few of the reasons I will play this great game as long as I can.
One life lesson that I learned from playing golf since I was 12 was about the power of visualization. Often, after I have lined up my shot, I will take a couple of practice swings to get the feel for what I want to do when I step up to the ball, and then I will close my eyes before the “live” swing, and visualize what I am wanting to accomplish with the shot.
I can’t tell you that it works 100% of the time, or else I would be making millions on the PGA tour! What I will tell you, however, is that it works more often than it doesn’t.
Everything is created mentally, and spiritually, before it is created physically.
Look around at the buildings near you. The developer didn’t just show up and start building. He had a plan, an idea, a blueprint, and many visions of what he wanted to build before the first shovel broke ground to start pouring the foundation.
The same holds true for anything we do in life. If we allow ourselves the time to ponder, visualize, or even meditate on the results we are after, we will dramatically increase our chances of success. There is no guarantee that we will be successful 100% of the time in anything, but if you can increase your odds, aren’t you willing to do so?
When we focus on avoiding the sand trap instead of on hitting the green, the results are often disastrous, for it is impossible to think negative thoughts in a positive way.
Make sure your goals are specific and precise. I’ve heard it said that our goals must be SMART. SMART is an acronym for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Results Oriented, and Time bound.
“I want to make money” is not a SMART goal. “I want to make $100,000 by December 31, 2012, is a better example of a SMART goal. It is very specific, measurable, could be attainable, produces results, and has a fixed timeframe.
As we visualize the results we are after, being SMART in the way in which we visualize, we will begin to see the results that we are after, in our personal, family, professional, financial, spiritual, and all other aspects of our lives.
So, change your mindset from “I want to hit a nice shot”, or “I hope I don’t hit this one into the water”, to “I am going to put this shot 6 feet from the hole”, and you will start seeing the results that will bring dramatic improvement to your life.
Visualization allows us to see exactly what we want before we create it – it keeps our focus on what we really want.
As Curt Carlson, chairman of the Carlson Companies, once noted, “Obstacles are those frightening things you see when you take your eye off the target.”