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Preparing For the Second Shot

January 20, 2011

A Letter from SMPS Boston President, Matt Hawk, Sr. Marketing Coordinator at Fay, Spofford & Thorndike

It took less than 10 seconds to go through my routine to address the ball on the 9th hole of my favorite golf course. I closed my eyes, my mind’s eye, and watched a ball struck with a square face lift up into the air with a slight draw then land in the area far below from the elevated tee box. With my mind’s eye now open, I draw the club back, release, rotate through the ball and follow through. As I look up to catch the ball in flight, it is doing exactly what I have visualized. I try to recreate this drive every time I step in to this particular tee box.

By visualizing this shot, I set myself up for my second of this par 5, which is as important because of the hole’s layout. In this position and my tendency to pull my irons, I had plenty of room to the right to aim. I was comfortable knowing my ball would fly left then leaving me with an open shot to the green or even landing on it. The point of visualizing the first shot was to set up my second shot for a greater chance at success. I would be exaggerating if I said I had an epiphany that day, but I learned that with a little planning and visualization the rest of the task looked easier.

My success and continued improvement relied upon repetition, mental consistency, and a forgiving approach that the next shot will be better. When I added the fourth component of visualization the round, the holes, and the shots allowed for a more relaxed and loose approach. Visualizing a shot was an opportunity to center myself, gather my nerves, strength, and go for it.

Work with me on this. Get out a pen and paper then write down the general outline of your day. If you’re having trouble, check your intranet site for your job description and rewrite it, then read and reread it. Take some quiet time to review those items. What are you good at doing or not good at doing? Is there something there that you love? Loathe? Close your eyes and walk yourself through the steps to complete the task with a smile on your face. Write down what you did to reach that pleasant success. In order to succeed in your next task, you have got to apply yourself to this one.

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” –Annie Dillard (1945- )

Do you visualize your day? Goals? Life? Please share your thoughts on visualization or comment on mine.

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