You're never too young or too old to start learning the power your thoughts have in creating every experience in life. Each summer during my Nike Junior Golf Camps in Pebble Beach, I make sure the kids leave the program with a nudge in the right direction related to this important realization.
About midweek we sit the kids down in a classroom at the Robert Louis Stevenson School, which hosts our program. We begin our mindset training by showing a short motivational film that features a real-life story of achievement. As a staff, we love digging for the perfect new movie each year. Our criteria is always that the story must feature someone who demonstrates a high level of courage, works through adversity and, most of all, never falls into the "victim's mentality."
Following the film, we have an open discussion about what made the person's journey so incredible. The ultimate conclusion is always that the "achievement" was a product of the person's ability to "think" in a manner that continually served him or her in the face of what most others would perceive to be impossible circumstances.
After our discussion, we present each camper with an unusual item: a fishing weight hanging from a six-inch string. We use this to conduct an exercise that's all about "imagery." The kids are directed to hold the end of the string as the weight hangs quietly downward. As the campers focus intently on the weight, they're asked to, "in their mind's eye," create a clear mental picture of the weight swinging in a pendulum fashion towards and away from them. Within seconds, the room fills with surprise as the weights begin swinging according to the mind's command. Next, the kids are asked to change their mental picture, this time imagining the weight swinging in a circular fashion around the numbers of massive clock. With each pass they're asked to picture the weight picking up speed, eventually spinning out of control. Again, the weights begin to zip in an arc just as pictured. By now the room is buzzing as the kids are blown away with amazement.
As the exercise comes to completion, we ask if anyone was "consciously" trying to move their weight? With the answer being "no," we then ask, "if you weren't trying to move the weight, then how did it move?" Once we eliminate superpowers and Jedi mind tricks, everyone understands the weight was swinging because their hands were physically creating the motion, even though they were totally unaware of the action.
Through this simple experience, the kids learn perhaps the most basic and powerful of all mental-toughness mantras, "What I think IS what I do!"
Spend some time upgrading the quality of your thoughts by creating your clearest mental picture of success and you can count this week's challenge as complete.
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