This morning and I was reading an article about the 1990 master golf tournament and how Nick Faldo that years winner, used visualisation to create a mental map to win all from a single thought that had entered his mind going into the final day of the tournament.
At the master, the winner of the tournament is crowned in a ceremony where the previous years champion passes on the famous masters green jacket to the new champion. This is all done in front of the TV cameras on the global stage, with full smiles, handshakes and congratulatory speeches. As you would expect from a sport that especially in that timeframe exemplified sportsmanship and gentlemanly conduct. The 1989 champion who would have to perform these duties was non other than a certain Mr Faldo.
As the final day started Faldo was in the top 3 or 4, but he was some way behind the tournament leader. That morning a thought began to form in his mind, he would simply be unable to go through with the ceremony if he lost. It was unthinkable therefore that he would lose.
This single thought provided a basis for a mental map and a visualisation of the win. Long story short Faldo came back from around 6 shots behind to win the tournament after a short playoff. Thereby avoiding the situation that he would have to pass on the green jacket, in a situation he felt he would be unable to face.
This is an area of physiology I have been interested in and experimenting with actively for a long time. I’m primarily interested in what separates elite sports people and the average person in terms of being able to consistently get the result they desire.
If we remove sport from the equation, why are these people able to get results, particularly in times of adversity that the average person does not?
The answer really is the power of positive thought and visualisation. There is vast amount of literature published in this area and I’m not qualified enough to go through it in depth, but i do think based on what I have read and what’s ive taken away and practiced that these people are able to do 3 things that the average person is not doing in their day to day routines, but which if implemented can build us towards success.
1. Build a mental routine, for each thing we do, if its a hobby, a sport, deep work, building a routine that gets you into the zone for that, so that your able to use muscle memory to help complete the task, giving you more brain power to focus on thinking and visualisation.
2. Focus on positive thoughts around the outcome that we desire.
3.Visualise what the end goal looks like when you are successful in reaching that.
Ive been experimenting with this for several years and for me Ive very much found that these things work for me.
Some examples I can give are, in golf which is one of my hobbies, I have a routine I use with feet and hand placement, to get me in the zone, this lets me use my muscle memory to swing the club consistently allowing me to use my brain power to focus on visualisation of the shot i want to play and where the ball is going to end up. I’m still more caddy shack than I am Tiger Woods but it helps my game hugely and I bring this success into other areas of my life.
On my motorcycle I use a similar process, I have a mental routine when I get on the bike and position my body on the bike in a certain way. This grounds me and stops me getting too excited at the start of a ride with negative results. I also plan my route and visualise my escape routes for the scenarios i could encounter on the road. Doing this I stay safe on the road, keep calm and have far more brain power employed on controlling the things I can control while I’m on the bike, which at the end of the day keeps me safe.
In my career I use the visualisation, to see the positive outcomes of me achieving my goals. This has helped me with numerous challenges, its helped me see where I need to go for promotions and helped me realise my dreams of moving to different parts of the world.
Give it a go, positive thinking and visualisation works, you may just be surprised at the outcomes.