Monday, November 12, 2012

ZEN GOLF Tip of the Week: Process Over Result

Thinking too much about the result you want from a shot can get in the way of executing it properly. It can make you tight with tension or excited with anticipation. Either way, it means interference with the flow of your routine and your swing. A better approach is to focus entirely on the following four-step process:

1. Choose a target that will leave you in the position you want without too much risk of landing in trouble.

2. Have a good image of the shot you want to play to that target.
3. Feel the swing you want to make to produce that image.
4. Commit to that swing. Keep a smooth flow through your routine and address, and a good tempo through your swing.

Take care of the process in that way and the results will take care of themselves.

excerpted from GOLF: The Art of the Mental Game
© 2008 Dr. Joseph Parent

Friday, November 9, 2012

Zen and success at work

 If you have ever watched Tiger Woods play golf, you know the look. Brim pulled down over the eyes, which are locked on some point far down the fairway.

Despite all the hubbub, he is locked into the moment.

His opponent stands off to one side gnawing his knuckles, knowing another defeat is just a few holes away. Credit meditation for Woods' extraordinary focus.

An essential part of Tiger Woods' success is what he calls "staying in the present" and not letting his mind wander off to hoisting a trophy or depositing another million-dollar cheque.

While other golfers may live in the future, at the moment Woods plays his shots, he is apparently free of the conscious worry which plagues the weekend duffer.

And he puts much of this down to meditation and the Eastern philosophy, mostly Buddhist, he learned from his Thai mother.

In addition to his early morning workouts and hours on the driving range, he also meditates daily.

The value of meditation has long been known to those who practise it. David Lynch, the director of Blue Velvet and Wild at Heart, established a foundation for "consciousness-based education and world peace" inspired by his 30 years' practising transcendental meditation.

Lynch's ambition is for children to spend one class a day "diving within", so they can better deal with stress and be more creative throughout their lives.

In the United Kingdom, William Hague has credited his meditative practice with helping him ride the roller coaster of politics.

With so much stress in the economy, meditation is also gaining popularity with business executives.

After the past couple of years, who couldn't use half an hour a day to tame what Buddhists call "the wild horses" of the mind?

One of the most prominent advocates of meditation is William George, a Harvard Business School professor and board member at Goldman Sachs. George started to meditate 35 years ago while running the medical devices firm Medtronic.

He calls meditation "the single best thing that happened to me in terms of my leadership". He says that it "enables one to focus on what is really important; and I haven't had high blood pressure since the Seventies".

Meditation Boosts Mood, Eases Pain & Stress

While most people associate meditation with religion, this simple and powerful practiced transcends religious beliefs. Meditation is like a short vacation away from the stresses of everyday life to allow you to center your mind and create a peaceful feeling. And, the research is showing that meditation is great for your health.

In one study published in Health Behavior News Service, scientists found that brain scans and blood tests showed positive effects of meditation. In this study of 48 employees at a biotechnology company, half were trained in meditation and practiced it for one hour a day, six days a week using guided meditations that had been prerecorded. The other half of the participants did not meditate. Dr. Richard J. Davidson at the University of Wisconsin found that the meditators had greater electrical activity in their brains than the non-meditators. Some of the effects of meditation continued for up to four months after the participants discontinued their meditative practice.

Other research shows improvements in mood, pain threshold, immune system activity, and bronchial and arterial smooth muscle tone. The studies also show a decrease in stress hormones and a reversal in the effects of chronic stress.

Daily practice offers the greatest benefits. Over time it becomes easier. By meditating on a regular basis you can train your mind to relax and release stress.

There are several ways to meditate: breathing meditation, walking meditation, sitting meditation, mindfulness meditation, guided meditation, and visualization. Choose the type that has the most appeal for you and best fits with your lifestyle and health goals.

Breathing meditation is one of the easiest and most convenient forms of meditation. It can be done anywhere at almost any time, even if you only have several minutes. It requires no special equipment other than your lungs.

Read more:

The Zen Way To Build A Successful Business

 According to Zen philosophy,  there are “five fingers” of success that have worked for thousands of years

1. “Always trust yourself. There is no truth outside yourself.”

As the leader of a company, only you can chart the right path for your business. Mentors, consultants and family members can provide helpful advice, but no one person can do it for you. There is no consultant on a white horse coming in to save you. Seek and integrate all of their advice, but then follow your own vision and plot your own course. Every business leader has a version of the truth. Accept that members of your team may also have a different truth. Respecting this will lead to productive discussions and great decisions.

2. “Always start from where you are right now.”

Stop kicking yourself for a bad decision, hire or a similar failure. You can’t go back and “remake” that decision. The “what if” game is pointless. Unfortunately, something that happened hours ago or last week can continue to influence your actions today or even next month. Learn what you can from each outcome and move on! Every time you take a new proactive action, you give your business another chance at success. Most companies that survive more than five years do it as a result of many small successful steps, not one giant or risky leap forward.

3. “Always believe in the infinity of your life and the world.”

We are not all destined to volunteer our time or make large donations to the millions of worldwide charities. However, every small business owner can make an impact on the world by building their business to solve painful problems for their customers. These types of  contributions actually do make a real difference in the world.

4. “Always direct your thoughts towards what is good, what is noble and what is true.”

10 Tips to Golf with the Brain in Mind

1.Shoot for a higher target than you typically land. Need a birdie to remain under par? Then  shoot for an eagle. Your brain leaps to challenges and can create new synapses that stretch your swings to the next level. From that first shot off the tee, golfers capitalize on kinesthetic intelligence and naturalistic intelligence.  The game also adds brain chemicals for sharper focus. A growing body of research suggests how the links hold mental benefits for business brains, beyond what most golfers realize. Perhaps more even than rich alliances and friendships gained on the course, golf keeps players in top mental form.

2. Laugh lots and make light of missed shots. To keep serotonin high for the next good whack, use laughter as a fuel for a better ride on the next round. According to this YouTube video a new hazard – a fox – is now in full operation at Missoula, Montana Golf Course, near Clark Fork River Lodge. This fifteen pound red fox  is outwitting golfers at almost every hole and its fairways heists keep the most serious golfers in stitches.  It seems the little hoodwink fox is seen as a nuisance to a few poor sports yet laughed at by most golfers at the club, who take their shot and then take their chances against the 4-footed thief. What makes you laugh before you swing?

3. Conquer one hole at a time. Bank extra points for the tougher holes and with your deposit in place, relax to ward off stress before you swing for harder holes. Cortisol chemicals surge in a brain under pressure and will work against your golf skills. If you get better shots on the front nine, for instance, work harder for fewer strokes, and then treat the back nine as a learning curve. Challenges that often don’t exist in the first 9 holes tend to pop in the last 9 to give you practice shots from many angles, if you can snip the amygdala before you start the game. Rather than resent the back 9 – see it as a way to improve your brain for a better game.  Now there’s a hole-in-one-thought that offers you practice opportunities to grow new skills. Start your game with this winning plan in mind and it helps to keep your head down and swing through – though –  even on the back nine!  Ellen and Robyn win Rotary Tournament

4. Watch fellow players and expect growth regardless of age.

How To Motivate Yourself To Actually Achieve Your Goals

Starting something new is hard. It can even be a little terrifying. Maybe you don’t know where to start, or maybe you’re scared of failure. But the only way you’ll ever get anything done is if you just get up and do it. Here’s how to conquer those fears, get off your arse, and actually achieve those goals.

We all have unfinished projects, and a lack of motivation is one of the biggest reasons we don’t accomplish them. Maybe it’s that book you’ve been planning on starting for National Novel Writing Month; perhaps it’s the new job you always find excuses not to search for; maybe it’s the abundance of artistic talent you waste sitting on the couch watching a movie marathon.

It’s easy to continually put off new projects in favour of sticking to the status quo. But as Mythbusters host Adam Savage points out, when we set our minds to something, we all go through the same process:

    (1) I don’t know how, (2) I can’t afford to pay someone else to do it, (3) I have to do it, (4) hey, that wasn’t so hard!

Getting off your arse and getting things done is not easy — nor will it ever be — but it doesn’t have to be hard. If you have the right plan and attitude, you will be a lot more likely to succeed. In fact, getting off your arse and doing something is incredibly easy and only requires a few steps:

    Find your goal: You don’t even have to do anything — just sit and think about what you want to do.
    Research: The more research you do, the easier the task in front of you is going to be. Heck, you can do anything if all it takes is following directions.
    Set deadlines and stick to them: Setting deadlines is easy — just pick a date. Keeping yourself to them is a bit harder, but you can work a rewards system into it to keep you on track.
    Give yourself the time to work: At least 15 minutes a day. That’s easy, right?
    Start: Seriously, all you have to do is start into it — if you enjoy what you’re doing, you’ll keep it up.

The whole process of getting off your arse and motivating yourself really is that basic. But if you’re struggling with it, lets take a look at some of the tricks you can use to keep yourself going.

Find Your One Goal And Write Your Manifesto

5 Ways to Make Meditating More Effective

Do you meditate? If so, how often? I know some people who meditate daily at the same time and place without fail, and I know people who only meditate when they want to connect with their spirit guides to get an answer to a life question. Meditation is a powerful tool you can use to get clarity in your life, peace in your heart, and wisdom in your soul. It can assist you in clearing up health problems, and help you raise your vibration. I highly encourage you to learn how to meditate if you’ve never done so. If you are an accomplished meditator, you probably already have some effective methods. If you’re just starting out or want to improve your meditation experience, here are five ways to make meditating more effective.

Find a good spot

You will increase the effectiveness of your meditation if you meditate in the same location every time. It will condition your mind to immediately go to a meditative state or to move there faster. Some people like to meditate in bed, but the danger with that is that if you’re going to bed for other reasons, you may end up in a meditative state without really meaning to. So before you decided that the bed is the best place to meditate be sure that’s really in your best interest. If you want to lie down, you can try a couch or a mat on the floor.

A lot of practiced meditators like to set up a spot in a corner or some other dedicated room location. Sometimes they use pillows or a mat or a chair that can recline. You can set up your meditation location with extra goodies like candles, incense, or a CD player so you can listen to meditative music. Make your meditation location comfortable and relaxing. Then, every time you go there, your mind will automatically start going into a meditative state. If you only use that location for meditation, all the better. You can also try meditating outside or in nature. Let the ambient sounds of nature lull you into a relaxing meditative state.

Pick a good time