Your game, in fact, everything you do away from the golf course as well functions under the influence of paradox. Those who understand and accept this paradox are those who tend to experience the calm and internal power that flows from it.
What is a paradox? It is defined as:
1. A statement that seems self-contradictory or absurd but in reality expresses a possible truth
2. An opinion or statement contrary to commonly accepted opinion
Ive witnessed many golfers fall prey to the paradox that literally rules performance. The challenge we all have is described perfectly in the definition above. The phrase, commonly accepted opinion is the real obstacle. It is important to realize that just because something is commonly accepted doesnt mean its the most effective, efficient or productive way to do things. You can see the proof of this all over the golf course!
One common example occurs when golfers try to kill the golf ball. Everyone has done this at some point and its rarely very effective, efficient or productive. What happens when you try to kill the ball or crush a golf shot? The most common responses I hear to this question are:
I swing too hard
I lose rhythm
I lose power
I lose accuracy
I dont hit a very good shot
Interesting. Just the opposite of what we want isnt it? Yet the most commonly accepted opinion when you want to crush a ball is to try to hit it harder. It is the most commonly accepted opinion but it is also not the most effective, efficient or productive way to go about it. So, why does it remain the most commonly accepted opinion if it clearly doesnt get us what we want? I believe it is because we have not fundamentally accepted the paradox involved. The great thing about a paradox (or any of the laws that govern performance) is that a paradox does not require our belief or acceptance for it to function and affect our game. Its going to do it anyway whether we accept it or not. The real question is:
Heres another example. Have you ever gone to bed at night but found you werent very tired? This is frustrating as we stare up at the ceiling hoping that we fall asleep soon. What happens when you try hard to go to sleep? Do you fall asleep easily or is it more difficult? The answer most often given is, its more difficult. Once again, the paradox raises its head. Think about this. Do you really think Trying hard to relax will cause your body to settle into sleep?
Trying hard to crush the ball and trying hard to relax and go to sleep are direct reflections of the paradox at work. Truly understand and accept the paradox and you immediately and positively impact yourself and your game.
What is the paradox I refer to? Its the most common paradox that is most commonly resisted. It is: less is more. Doesnt this fit the definition that says, An opinion or statement contrary to commonly accepted opinion? The commonly accepted opinion is, Do more to get more and yet look what happens when you try harder to crush the ball or fall asleep.
There are many other situations both on and off the golf course in which paradox plays an important role.
Are you willing to see it?
To Your Best Golf!
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