The Character of Golfers:  Part 3.. Going Beyond the “Self”

By Dr. Raymond F. Hall, DC

Going beyond the “self” is an incredibly powerful tool that can tremendously enhance our experience on the golf course. Golf renders us a perfect setting for developing this attribute. Envision one of your favorite courses; perhaps one of the incredible settings designed by greats such as Jack Nicklaus, Pete Dye, or Robert Trent Jones Jr. and Sr.. The course can be powerful in itself. It can give illusions, beauty, and mystery.  It can be the simple manifestation of the presence of the connection between oneself and nature.  It is important for any golfer to have confidence in the way they swing, in the way they look, and the way in which they believe they will perform. But even more important for us is;  to keep a healthy perspective on life.  I firmly believe that a healthy perspective is what defines “Going Beyond the Self.”

A healthy perspective can be defined as living in the present and enjoying each moment as if there will be no tomorrow.  In other words, it is important to think of the bright side and to not  “sweat the small stuff.”  The small or menial issues can build up over time and create large, negative patterns or programs in our brains.  These tend to perpetuate and develop behaviors and negative psychochemical patterns that are hard to modify even if one gets the proper treatment.   We need to understand that everything we think, feel, act upon, enjoy, or dislike create different  chemical reactions and stimulate the emotional centers in our brains.  Emotions are the catalysts that our brains use to change or alter chemical synapses about information from our experiences.  As a doctor, I see that the more we know, the more we understand that a healthy perspective is living freely in the present, and being mental positively.  In everyday life, there is simply no downside to positivity and only favorable results will occur. In life, of course there are a few exceptions:  Lateral or tangential thinking like contemplation or calculations of outcomes may be helpful to weigh strategies of worst case-best case senerios or for example a proper risk assessment when it comes to topics such as strategic arms or in the manufacturing of automobile safety mechanisms.  But for the sake of enjoying life and emoting gratitude and a creating a healthy perspective, there are no negative effects from positivity.

Truly living every moment with a healthy perspective of the reality that life is precious and short as well as appreciating everything around you are the key concepts of going beyond the “self.”  The great gift that golf provides is that it conceptually lays down the prefect psychological playing field for success. It is the combination of naturebeautiful course designs, great people, and the incredible history of the game itself which give it rich aroma if we simply take the time to appreciate what we have.

For example, before and during your next round of golf, take a big breath, look around and appreciate the course itself.  Be present in the moment and climb to the next step.  Enter into the broader picture; it is all of nature’s marvelous beauty that we must learn to appreciate.  Let your eyes roam and reach out to see natures beauty:  Take time to look at the leaves turning, the cactus’ characteristics, the fullness of the grass, and take a moment to lean over and smell the roses. Living beyond yourself by appreciating, focusing on gratitude and incorporating the value of nature as a synergistic partner will exponentially help you find a peace and tranquility.  Developing and integrating this integrity of mind and gratitude will give you a sense of completeness, confidence and serenity which can definitely fortify your inner confidence and be additional components in the psyche of success.


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