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by Garret M. Kramer, Principle Based Practitioner and founder of Inner-Sports, LLC
I have often mentioned Tiger Woods as the most clear thinking athlete alive today. To be clear, the fluent state of mind often discussed, was solely based on my observations of his on course resiliency and success. Honestly however, if you had asked me a week ago, I would have said that this high level of well being was mostly present in his off course life as well…I guess I was mistaken.
Simply a sad situation
To me the whole situation is just sad; sad for Tiger, sad for his wife, and sad for a mostly adoring public, many young fans in particular. In actuality, it is hard for me to even blog on the subject, for my blogs are always written about events or principles that I am passionate about and, whether or not I agree with the subject matter, this passion usually leads me to a positive perspective when I am through. Here I’m typing and trying to find the good at the same time. I’m not succeeding (so far) by the way.
You have the choice between judgment and compassion
In any case, as I have said before, I strongly caution anyone about judging someone else’s behavior. Not because you may be right or wrong but because when you judge someone else, it will always lead to a lousy feeling for you. That is, every situation we face or observe is an opportunity to react and apply judgment, or look deeper into what’s really going on and offer compassion and a possible solution. What is especially interesting, is that the choice between these two courses of action has nothing to do with the person or situation in question…It’s all up to you!
My colleague, Dr. George Pransky, whose consulting practice has had a profound impact on my life, once humorously said: “When I used to meet someone and they rubbed me the wrong way, I used to think there was something wrong with them.” Applied here, what Dr. Pransky is saying is that how we see Tiger Woods has little to do with him; it’s all about our own inner-state of mind. And while it might seem easy to scoff at or condemn Tiger’s behavior, believe me, when your mind ascends to a high level of psychological functioning, you will look upon the events of the past week with compassion and concern for all parties involved.
Message to Tiger: Apply your on course principles to your personal life as well
When Tiger was young, his father was insightful enough to remind him about the “out of bounds” stakes or the “water hazards” that existed on a particular golf hole. For, he knew that it was inevitable, during a tournament, that a thought about these danger spots was bound to pop into Tiger’s head. Hence, he would clearly be in trouble if he allowed himself to play victim to those thoughts. Today my message for Tiger Woods is to simply apply the same principles to your personal life as well. Like the public’s temptation to judge, Tiger needs to understand that (just like thinking you might hit the ball into the water) the lure to stray is merely a self created illusion at a particular moment in time, it’s not a call to action! And the doubt and insecurity that spawns from this type of deviant thinking is an obvious warning sign that you are about to head down the wrong track.
Finding the positive
Therefore, while there is no doubt that Tiger has been well trained (on the power of thought) to handle on course distractions, applying the same understanding to his life away from the game, will ultimately produce the same positive results…. Thankfully, I found the potential for good after all!
This article was originally posted at Inner-Sports.com. Join us every other Thursday morning on our radio show to learn more about Garret Kramer and Inner-Sports LLC.