The Monkey Mind

You have heard me tell you over and over to focus on improving the process and allow the outcome to take care of itself. Part of the process is to play in the present without thinking, especially about the future outcome.

By doing this you optimize your brain's chemistry and dramatically increase your ability to perform. If you are fortunate to be able to play in the zone, you know from personal experience the fastest way to lose the zone is to start thinking about the outcome. The quickest way to lower your score is to stop thinking about the outcome, focus on your target and instinctively hit the ball.

Since many of you have been programmed by society to be outcome oriented, here is an image called the "monkey mind" that may help you let go of your propensity to hold onto outcome thinking.

In India monkeys are pests and people don't like to have them around. They catch monkeys by making cages with bars just big enough for monkeys' fingers to slip through. Inside the cage is a shiny object that is very attractive to monkeys. When the monkeys see this shiny object, they slide their fingers through the bars to grab it and won't let go. Rather, than letting go of the shiny object to be free, the monkeys hold on and get caught.

Your mind is restless and loves to think. When addressing the ball, your mind will think about many things, especially the outcome, if you let it. Start viewing these thoughts as shiny objects. Decide if you want to continue holding onto these shiny objects and be caught or let go of them and be free to play on instinct.

Instead of holding onto these shiny objects with a "monkey mind," let them go. You can get control of your mind by constant practice and striving to let go of your thoughts by focusing totally on your target and seeing your ball when you hit it. If you do, your mind will be free of thoughts and your scores will fall.

P.S.: Did you know that there are different types of eye sight and eye coordination capabilities? When playing a round of golf over 5 or more kilometres, and having to aim every shot or stroke, seeing properly is a key element for better golf. Here is a book I have personally read and can recommend: Improve your eye coordination capabilities

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