Slings and Arrows

If I understand anything about my own work—teaching, writing, and speaking about the fact that there is not a true connection between our feelings, the circumstances of our lives, and our ability to perform—it’s that when you challenge a common mode of thinking you will be ridiculed. Slings and arrows will come your way. Not a day goes by when a psychologist, researcher, scientist, or coach doesn’t come down on me like a ton of bricks. Here’s an example from a sport psychologist’s Twitter account:

“.@garretkramer just said that to hit a quality golf shot, belief in yourself at that moment isn’t necessary. The dude is clueless.”

What I’ve learned, however, is that this actually means that I’m getting somewhere. People will get their dander up to the extent that their faulty belief systems are questioned. And while it’s not always easy, when that happens, it’s simply my assignment to hold firm. To stick to truth. To not pander. In fact, to me, it’s not about the critics anyway. It’s God who’s challenging me. He’s making sure that I have what it takes to be part of the paradigm shift that’s coming in the arenas of psychology and self-help. Plus, when a clear-thinking soul reaches out and thanks or encourages me, this is God’s way of saying: “Keep going, you’re on the right path.”

Throughout the history of mankind, the greatest change agents have always been the most persecuted (Jesus Christ, King, Mandela, Gandhi). So, what about you? Do you have what it takes, or are you falling in line? The masses will never change the world for the better. Consciousness is spread by a fortunate few.

Instant Truth

Here’s an interesting personal story about the power of truth, and how you just never know.

Recently, I received a call from our lawn-care company. The company wasn’t happy with the condition our yard and offered to aerate it for free. I responded, “Thanks, but can you just aerate the problem areas? Our two dogs run all over the place, and I don’t want them tracking the remnants of your work into the house.” The person on the other end of the line agreed.

Flash forward to that Saturday when the work was performed. Well, it rained the night before, and contrary to our agreement, they worked on the entire property. As a result, there was mud everywhere—including in the house from the dogs. What a mess.

I immediately called Dave, the owner of the company. In a calm but firm tone I insisted that they come out and clean up their mess. His first words to me were: “We’re not trying to aggravate you, Mr. Kramer, but . . .”

I replied, “Dave, let’s get something straight—you have no ability to aggravate me.”

Dave got silent for a few seconds and then quietly said, “We’ll make this right tomorrow.”

A few days passed, and after Dave’s workers had finished the clean up, I called Dave to thank him. His response this time caught me completely off guard: “What you told me on our last call hit me right between the eyes. At first, I thought you were being sarcastic, but then something changed. I realized that I can’t cause my clients to be angry, and they can’t cause me to be angry. I’ve been reflecting on what this means all week. My mind’s on fire. It’s amazing.”

I pressed on: “So what does it mean?”

“It means that nothing or nobody can make me feel a certain way. And when I saw that, I instantly felt better.”

“Me too, brother. If you ever want to talk more on the subject, let me know.”

“I’ll call you next week,” Dave said. “I can’t thank you enough.”

“Ditto!”

It happens every time: When people wake up to the power of looking within for answers (truth)—they self-correct as peace, resilience, and love automatically flood in.

Trusting Our Children, Trusting Life

I was out in the garden today. As those of you in California know, we’ve had a drought, and things haven’t been looking so swell. I haven’t had time to put the energy in, but I’ve been worrying about the garden nonetheless. It’s looks a bit crap, frankly. I’ve been[…]

Why recovery from addiction doesn’t have to be a struggle (podcast)

Why recovery from addiction doesn’t have to be a struggle… with Reed Smith Apple: Click here to listen on iTunes now Android: Click here to listen on Stitcher now Subscribe to The Born Happy Show Don’t miss out… there’s fresh episode each week, if you subscribe then you’ll get each new episode delivered to your phone every Thursday (that […]

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The Five Myths of “Thinking” Like a Champion

In my work with sports teams, high-performing athletes, and organizations, it’s becoming more and more standard for me to address falsehoods propagated by mental-performance coaches. These coaches mean well; they want to help their clients think like champions. But, unfortunately, most of them believe in the widespread and longstanding myths that actually hurt, rather than help, performance.

In this spirit, here are the five most common myths and the truth that will help you feel and perform your best.

Myth 1: Mental strategies are beneficial.

Mental strategies require you to think. And, as anyone who has ever been in “the zone” would attest, we’re at our best when we’re not deliberately thinking. The truth is that everyone feels and performs better from mental clarity—and you can’t find a clear mind by strategically adding thought.

Myth 2: To be your best you must eliminate fear and doubt.

Many of the greatest performances of all-time began with the performer admitting that he or she was feeling insecure and anxious. Doubt and fear are part of being human. You can’t eliminate them. Trying to do so only adds more thought into an already cluttered mind. Remember: Doubt will fade when you don’t try to eliminate it. The key is to carry on, avoid the temptation to cope, and allow your mind to clear.

Myth 3: Confidence can be developed.

The pervasive theory that confidence is the result of how you perform, or that confidence can be cultivated, is backwards. Regardless of what’s happening on the outside, confidence results from the ebb and flow of thought. Clarity breeds confidence, clutter the opposite. Both are normal.

Myth 4: Focus requires focus

Like confidence, a feeling of focus (or being present) is the byproduct of clarity of mind. Trying to focus requires thought and hard work. And thought and hard work clutter the mind, reducing the sensation of focus. Focus can’t be forced. Allow the mind to clear and focus automatically returns.

Myth 5: Thinking can be controlled.

This myth is the ultimate performance killer. It’s where most performers and sports psychologists get off track. In truth: When you understand that you’re not in control of your thinking, negative thoughts and feelings lose their grip. Understanding thought, not controlling or managing it, is where your power as a performer (and human being) lies.

There’s the list. As you can see, the less you rely on the theories of others—and the more you appreciate your inborn penchant to self-correct—the better you will feel and perform.

Any questions, as always, you know where to find me.

Garret

The Five Myths of “Thinking” Like a Champion

Here’s a primer for new readers and simple reminder for the rest: Below are the five most glaring falsehoods propagated by mental performance coaches today:

1.  Mental strategies are beneficial.

Everyone feels and performs better from mental clarity. Mental strategies require you to think. It sounds silly, but you can’t find a clear mind by adding thought.

2.  Doubt or insecure feelings must be eliminated.

Doubt will fade when you don’t try to eliminate it. In fact, many great performances began with the performer admitting that he or she was feeling insecure and anxious. Then they carried on (avoided the temptation to cope)—and excelled.

3.  Confidence can be developed.

The widespread idea that confidence is the result of how you perform, or that confidence can be cultivated, is backwards. Regardless of what’s happening on the outside, confidence results from how much thinking you’re carrying around in your head at any given moment. Clarity breeds confidence, clutter the opposite.

4.  Focus can occur deliberately.

Like confidence, a feeling of focus (or being present) is the byproduct of clarity of mind. Trying to focus requires thought and hard work. And thought and hard work clutter the mind, reducing the sensation of focus.

5.  Thinking can be controlled.

This myth is the ultimate performance killer. It’s where most performers and sports psychologists get off track. In truth: When you understand that you are not in control of your thinking, negative thoughts and feelings lose their grip. Understanding the principle of thought, not controlling or managing it, is where your power as a performer (and human being) lies.

There’s the list. As you can see, the less you rely on the theories of others—and the more you appreciate your inborn penchant to self-correct—the better you will feel and perform.

Any questions, as always, you know where to find me.

Garret