Are You Awake or Asleep

By David BreslowSeptember 14, 2005, 4:00 pm
The following is an excerpt from an upcoming book:
One of his students asked Buddha, 'Are you the messiah?'
'No', answered Buddha.
'Then are you a healer?'
'No', Buddha replied.
'Then are you a teacher?' the student persisted.
'No, I am not a teacher.'
'Then what are you?' asked the student, exasperated.
'I am awake', Buddha replied.
Being aware is the first step to becoming awake. However, many clients are aware they sabotage their performance but NOT very aware of the cause and effect laws and principles causing this to take place. Awareness is one of the 9 Habits of Success we build on in the FlowZone approach. With greater conscious awareness of what is happening and WHY its happening; great shifts in confidence and overall performance take place. What many people discover when they begin the program is; they are not as aware (or awake!) as they previously thought.
Maria is a 12 handicap who complains she is sabotaging herself on the golf course and doesnt know why. After all Im intelligent and Im aware of whats going on she exclaims. Maria described a number of instances where she reacts negatively, becomes angry or frustrated and slips into what we call the train-wreck. This occurs when a series of bad shots and poor decisions take place over a string of shots and holes one after the other. If you didnt improve anything in your golf swing right now, do you believe you could score better? I asked Maria. Im not saying I dont need to work on my swing but without any changes; yes, I can score better she replied rather emphatically. Let me ask you a question. Do you believe your negative thoughts, negative reactions and poor decisions happen as a result of you doing these things on purpose? On purpose? No. Why would I do those things on purpose? I dont think you would do them consciously on purpose but if you dont who is running the show; you or someone else? This question threw Maria off balance for a moment. I could see the wheels churning in her head. She had a dilemma. If she wasnt consciously sabotaging her game on purpose then who was?
I interrupted Marias struggle to come up with an answer and posed this question, Would you say you are more awake or asleep on the golf course? Marias forehead wrinkled and with a cold glare said, Of course Im awake. What kind of a question is that? Well, if you dont consciously do things to sabotage your performance I wonder if theres a part of you that acts unconsciously out of habit. You say the negative patterns youve been describing seem to just happen and pop up without your conscious awareness and when they do; youre stuck trying to figure out how to deal with them. The term I use for this is asleep. In effect, youre putting out fires that could be prevented from flaming up in the first place. You may not be aware of the specific laws and principles in effect that are causing this to happen. I have a notion you might be more asleep than you think you are. A crooked smile came to Marias face. She didnt want to consider herself to be someone who is asleep on the golf course; nobody does. However, through 20 years experience Ive seen it happen time and time again. Most people dont use the word asleep to describe this experience but automatic patterns take place leaving the player frustrated and in search for something to put the fire out. They are often more interested in fixing these situations after they occur with a quick-fix tip than discovering the root cause performance laws and principles that trigger them to happen in the first place.
You just told me you get thrown off when you hit a bad shot or miss an easy putt. When this happens you automatically react with anger and frustration and as you describe it, the wheels fall off. Yeah, so? Maria asked.
If you had a choice; would you choose to react that way?
Do you mean would I do that on purpose? Maria inquired.
Maria sat silent for a moment trying to figure out where I was going with this. I never thought about it before. I just assumed it was something I do and something I need to work on. I didnt think about it in terms of having a choice or being awake or asleep Exactly, I added. Right now it is automatic. In fact, its so automatic that it happens without your conscious awareness and seems as if you dont have a choice! When these patterns occur automatically and without our awareness, I call that being asleep. Its not a judgment or a criticism, just a reflection of your awareness at the time.
Awake and asleep are the terms I use to describe our level of awareness and consciousness at any given time. When we experience the same thoughts, emotions and reactions over and over again it is easy to make the assumption that this is just the way it is. It is NOT just the way it is. It is the way we allow it to be when we are asleep or unaware of the cause and effect process taking place. Psychiatrists suggest that 90% of the thoughts we had yesterday will be the same thoughts we have today and tomorrow. Our thoughts, attitudes, beliefs and perceptions are imbedded within us creating automatic and even predictable feelings, actions and outcomes. When these are triggered by an external event (i.e. missed putt, negative comments, etc.) we literally act on autopilot without any real conscious awareness of the triggers causing this automatic reaction. Instead, many golfers try to deal with it after the fact! The term asleep relates to a lack of awareness. The term awake refers to an increase in awareness to the point where you begin to take conscious control. When you are awake you can catch these sabotaging patterns before they take place and quickly shift what you focus on, the feelings you want and the actions you take. This is the ultimate goal of FlowZone Golf and the exercises and insights all lead toward this experience.
Your Proof: You have your own proof of being awake or asleep on the golf course (and off!). Do you have automatic reactions to situations/people on the golf course? (i.e. first tee jitters, comparisons to other golfers, worried about what others are saying about you, pressure on short game, negative reactions to missed shots/poor play, etc.?) Write some of them down and then ask yourself if you are awake (aware) or asleep when they happen. Are you aware of the process taking place within the mind/body/performance relationship that is causing this experience?

NOTE: Thanks to all those who have contacted us so far about the 3 session introductory offer. This offer will be available until Oct. 31 2005. As previously mentioned; this will not be duplicated so if you have a sincere interest; please act before openings are filled. For all necessary info, email:
We also receive many wonderful emails describing your success stories. We are putting together a series of testimonials and/or stories of your successes. If youve read Wired to Win or any of these articles and have successes to share as a result; wed love to hear from you! Please send to Thanks! Here are 2 examples!
Sports psychologists (and Ive read many of their books and spent a lot of time working with some) tell you that you need to use your mind as effectively as you use your body to play the game. That may be great advice, but until I worked with David, I didnt know how to do it, much less how to direct my mind to play my best. David showed me how. My on-course fog has lifted'I hit crisp shots to a clearly defined target time after time'and Im more energized when Im done than when I began! Please dont wait to give David a call!
Mr. Marion Lucas (5 handicap)

I didn't know the mental game existed, at least, not in the form David talks about. I thought it was another check list of things to remember and do; draw a line to the target, picture the shot, relax, breathe, remember mom's apple pie, etc. I wonder how many years I wasted on lessons that never broached this subject. How many hundreds and thousands of dollars on new clubs and books and videos that never got around to the one part of the game you cant see, and what may turn out to be the most important of all. Thank you, David!
Jim Fenney

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    Copyright 2002-2005 David Breslow. David is the author of Wired To Win and offers the highly acclaimed FlowZone and Resilience Factor programs for athletes of all levels and business professionals to help them adapt and excel in any conditions. His unique approach is designed to affect real change from a root cause perspective helping people break ineffective patterns. David has appeared on The Golf Channel, ESPN radio, etc. For more programs/services/products or sign up for a free newsletter (write newsletter in subject box). Contact: David Breslow 847.681.1698 Email: or visit the web: For book orders call toll free: 1.888.280.7715.
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