Words beyond belief

  • By Bob Peterson
  • 04 May, 2017
April 16, 2010 - Ralph Cissne

Language frames our reality. In grammar school we were taught to think before we speak. If you had siblings like me this was a challenge. On the golf course, players often make statements such as, “I am the worst putter” or “I can’t control my driver.” These negative comments become self-fulfilling prophesy. You would never speak to a close friend this way, so why speak to yourself in ways that are counterproductive?

In the mid-Eighties I coached my son’s baseball team. The boys were nine year olds and full of possibilities (and themselves). At an early batting practice one frustrated player said, “But coach, I’m trying.” I stopped and gathered the team. My son rolled his eyes, knowing what was coming. I gently reminded them what Yoda said to Luke Skywalker in Star Wars, “There is no try. There is only do and not do.” Then I demonstrated how to focus their attention and visualize hitting through the ball. Almost immediately they transformed into a wrecking crew. When I said, “Get a hit.” They said, “Will do, coach.” Clearly, “trying” implies the possibility of failure. So what’s the point?

The debate over the nature of consciousness has raged since the last Ice Age. We still don’t know how we know. Truth varies depending on whom you ask, so consider the possibility everyone has a point of view based on a unique set of experiences. With belief there is always a measure of doubt. In golf when you hit a great shot you are having an experience “beyond belief.” Know you can recreate this experience at will.

Our point of view is a matter of choice and knowledge is based on the sum total of direct experience. So, there is really no excuse, is there? When your game is out of sync it is easy to get down, but find the humor in your humanity and watch your language. Take a lesson. Make adjustments. Work it out. You will enjoy your game and your playing companions will enjoy you. WOG
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