The Power of Intention

By David BreslowJune 30, 2004, 4:00 pm
Intention is a very powerful word. Most of us intend to go out and play a great round of golf but along the way something happens. Situations, circumstances and events take place that seem to take us away from our original intention to play a solid round of golf. When this happens, our intention soon turns to frustration. Why do the best intentions turn around so quickly? I can sum it up in one word; conditioning.
Every one of us has been conditioned over time by our experiences, beliefs, interpretations, society, family, etc. The mind and emotions become conditioned over time to think the same thoughts, feel the same feelings and interpret things the same way. Psychologists report that 90% of the thoughts we have today, we will repeat tomorrow and the next day and the next. When we truly understand that our thoughts trigger our emotions, our actions and our outcomes we can see how the same thoughts will trigger the same feelings, behaviors and results for us. Sounds like the classic definition of insanity doesnt itdoing the same thing and expecting different results? The conditioned pattern will repeat itself time and time again unless we learn to break the pattern at some point.
Intention is one of the most powerful tools you can use not only to break old patterns but to create new ones as well. Intention also has the ability to fuse attention, energy and power together and you can use these to lift the level of your game. The Spielberg Factor is a term I use to describe how much power we have to direct our own mental game. Steven Spielberg, the well known film director has a very clear vision and intention for how each scene must look. You are the director of your own movie when out on the course as well yet many golfers still replay the old movie because that is what has been recorded on their subconscious tape. This is the conditioning I mentioned earlier. However, we are the directors, choreographers, script writers, make-up artists, producers, lighting, sound and lead actors in our movie. The director chair is yours if you want itor you can let your conditioning direct the movie. The choice is yours.
What does this mean for you on the golf course? This means that when you declare your intentions you are reasserting yourself as the conscious director of your game. Intentions have the power to harness your focusing skills, increase energy and reduce tension. Are you intending to hit a particular shot or hoping for the best? Do you INTEND to enjoy yourself (no matter what!) or are you hoping for the best?
Heres why intention has such a strong impact:
  • A strong and clear intention causes the mind, body and emotions to become aligned and communicates to them to direct them toward your intended outcome. This alignment leads to thoughts, feelings and actions that take you toward your intended target.

  • When you make clear intentions you build confidence. When you make conscious choices you feel more confident because YOU are making the choice and youre not acting out of conditioned habit.

  • Intention creates clarity. When you state an intention you bring clarity to a situation and your best golf will occur when you are free and clear over the ball.

  • Outcomes are a by-product of intention. Some people think that outcomes influence intentions when it is intention that influences outcome. If your intention is unclear or not a strong one, your outcomes will be in line with that. When your intentions are clear and deeply held, your outcomes will reflect that as well.

  • Intention reduces stress. When you make clear intentions you set the mind up to be focused and that triggers the body and emotions to be more comfortable because you are directing it properly. Unclear messages such as doubt or fear send unclear messages to your nervous and muscular systems causing hesitation and tension in your swing. The mind and body love clarity because it produces confidence and comfort internally.
Remember, your body is receiving messages from you all the time. When you send specific and clear intentions into your system you create confidence, clarity and comfort. Intention affects the entire body including how you walk, talk, think and feel. How do you intend to play your next round of golf?
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