Golfer Rory McIlroy explained it clearly when asked what his key thoughts were on his way to winning the British Open and the third major championship of his career. "I wasn't thinking about the end result. I worked on staying in the process on every shot," is what McIlroy said. "I wasn't thinking about what it would mean or how many further clear it would get me," he continued. That simple ability to stay in the moment is one of the key factors that allowed him to play his final round in a state of the greatest peace and control, and hence allow his deepest talent and desires to be realized.
A present state of mind is incredibly valuable to an athlete or to anyone who is trying to bring forth his or her best when it matters most. The reasons are profound. Presence of mind produces total focus, concentration and connection to the moment. To the degree that one is not totally committed to the moment in front of them is the degree to which their creative energy is diluted and not as powerful as it could be. The analogy is one of using a magnifying glass to try and start a fire. The focus of the light through the lens must be exact and steady for it to harness and concentrate enough the light to produce the heat that starts the fire. If the light is not focused there will be no fire.
This level of concentration reveals a dedication and a desire to make the most of an experience and it reveals an intense commitment to the opportunity at hand. There is a powerful energy that accompanies this intention. It doesn't matter whether you are a key starter on you're particular sports team or trying to create a loving relationship with the person in front of you, the power of the commitment to the moment is the same. There is a certain tangible nature to the energy you emit during this deep state of mind that is felt by everyone in your circle of influence.
One of the great examples in recent sports history of this state of mind and how it affects others is the display Tiger woods put on during his ten plus year stretch of golf between 1997-2008 when he won over 62 tournaments on the PGA Tour including 14 major championships. His performance in some of the most critical moments of competition, and how so many of his closest challengers during this same time fell short in their bid to beat him, was nothing short of astonishing.
This type of presence of mind is not just powerful in the sports arena but can be demonstrated in all aspects of life. In business we have seen this focus in people like Steve Jobs and what he accomplished during the years he was rebuilding Apple. In politics we have seen it with the likes of Nelson Mandela and how he used it to change a nation. And of course anyone that's been in a deep love relationship has felt this creative energy from their significant other and how fast it can cause things to happen. There is a certainty about this state of presence that causes others to not only feel it, but even more importantly, to submit to it in some way. Therein lies its creative power.
Being totally absorbed in the moment also brings with it a very keen awareness. A heightened awareness brings an intuitive sense that just "knows" exactly how to handle the situation at hand. There is no hesitation. There is no trepidation. There is no worry. There is just the sense that one is doing exactly what they need to be doing at that particular moment to allow the best they have to come forth. This is a state of knowing that is beyond the five main senses and the only true way to measure it is by the results.
A good indication that your are being truly present is that thoughts of past negative experiences or potential negative future outcomes do not exist. There are no distracting thoughts in your mind to muddy up the clarity of the task or intention at hand. There is just a natural reaction to your circumstance that is most in line and most beneficial to what you want to create for yourself. This is what allows so much creation to take place in what seems like no time at all.
So what is the secret to entering this priceless state of mind?
In working with and coaching hundreds of individuals, businessmen and women, and athletes to a more powerful state of mind, the following five main requirements are what have been found to work best in order to induce this sacred and creative space and energy. They are;
1. A very strong intention and clarity of what you want to create.
2. A belief that you are capable of achieving it.
3. An ability to acknowledge the truth of your current circumstance in relationship to the goal.
4. A consistent demonstration of your commitment to the goal.
5. An unwavering faith in the process and the ultimate outcome.
Each requirement listed above cannot be taken lightly. There is real work that needs to be done with each one of those requirements. This was outlined in depth in both of my books on self-creation and awareness, I AM: The Power of Discovering Who You Really Are, and my most recent release, Time in a Bottle: Mastering The Experience of Life. There is a process of self-inquiry and understanding that is a necessary path for each one of us along our life's journey. This is a key part of the personal growth process for anyone who truly wants to feel a sense of creative control and satisfaction about life that lasts.
Millions of individuals, business people, and athletes have dreams and desires. Fewer of these individuals believe themselves worthy of achieving these goals. And an even more finite number of people are actually willing to face the truth of where they are in relationship to the goal and then make the necessary personal changes that will get them accomplished. But for those who are willing, persistent and faithful, there is a special and sacred place of personal love, results, and satisfaction that awaits them.
A present mind is the doorway to the most powerful state of personal creation. However, to get there, each person going after their dream must be willing to self-reflect and make the necessary changes to become this new version of themselves. They must be willing to step into the unknown and timeless state of presence fearlessly enough to get the job done. As Sir Edmund Hillary, one of the first two men with the will and focus to conquer the incredible obstacles along the way of the death-defying task of climbing to the 29,035 ft. peak of Mount Everest said about the process, "It's not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves."