A STUDENT LEARNING TO PAY ATTENTION

               I was part of a great foursome today, but I didn’t pay much attention to the other people, even though I managed to appear quite social.  So, I felt that there was no one around to disturb my golf “meditation.” . The first hole should have been an easy par. Of course, that very thought, created expectations that brought me already to the second tee at even par. Instead, I hit a weak drive into the right rough, a good hybrid recovery, then a stinger wedge over the green, ending with three putts for a double bogey and a feeling of disappointment.  Maybe that weak fading drive was due to poor technique.  It certainly was.  I did not complete my swing or shift my weight – but I knew better, and I’m convinced that it was the mental expectations of an easy par that kept me from being present and engaged in the right fundamental movement.  So what happened? I had insulted the golf gods by not showing enough respect for an “easy” golf hole.   I was not paying attention to the process of the present moment. Expectation is a killer. Too bad I did not think of this before teeing off. At least, I realized what was happening and I battled to pay attention to the process of each shot for most of the front nine.  Oh, what a peaceful walk.  My scores were not breaking any records, pars and bogeys – but the state I was in made that of little concern.  After I finished nine holes, I felt hungry and started to focus on eating, which distracted me again for another three holes before realizing where my attention really was.  Another lesson here, as you had told me - remember to bring some calories.    

 

Dr. Rich