Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Mental Management when you can die Part 1

or, "Are you really serious about this stuff?"


Late January saw me driving half way across the country to take a two day seminar from Lanny Bassham. If you don't know Lanny or know about him, the short version is that he was a Silver Medalist in the 1972 Olympics. Silver was great, but he could have gotten the gold if he hadn't lost his mental game. Lanny really wanted the gold and he spent the next four years understanding why he choked in '72. What he came to understand about the mental aspects of personal performance paid off; he won the Gold in '76.

I have twenty pages of notes from those two days and will spare you the agony of trying to read my hand-writing. What I want to share is a view into my story as it is being written. You will see the triumphs and challenges as I integrate Lanny's concepts into my life. What makes this a challenge for me is two-fold. Not only do I have to be honest with you if I fail but I'm taking this experiment into a dangerous place. While the Olympics are stressful and challenging, my project is more subdued and lethal. If I lose my mental game badly enough I die.

Please don't think I'm nuts, just having learned something in a short seminar and then throwing my life away to prove it. While I can't contest my lack of sanity at least in this one instance there's actually a reasonable and logical basis for success. I have been a student of Lanny through his books "With Winning in Mind" and "Freedom Flight". Highly recommended! If you apply them they can change your life. I have used his techniques for a couple years and they have given me a good measure of success. For example, right after class I drove a few hours to visit my daughter and used tools directly from class to make that visit more of a success.

My daughter, by the way, is a wonderful young lady. However, our family fell apart when she was very young and I've not been the best dad to her. Actually, I've been a lousy dad and there's a long list of lousy excuses for my choices. This weighed on my mind as I drove to see her. One of Lanny's lessons become the modus operandi for my plan. I would not care about how the time with my daughter turned out as there are too many variables outside my control. There is a different path to the deeper success I wanted.

Lanny speaks often about success and how to achieve it. I have failed to do great things with my daughter because I want to do great things with her. Too much focus on the end goal impairs the ability to perform activities that will provide her a great time and stronger relationship. She deserves the best I have and Lanny helped me better connect with her. The trip didn't undo two decades of challenge but we really had fun, we really connected, and I saw her as the awesome person she is. That pleases me to no end.

As this blog installment continues I will show you how to apply mental management to a specific activity where mental failure can mean death. Hopefully I learned enough from Lanny to reach the end of the series. Hopefully you can find ways to integrate these concepts and better face your own challenges.

Join me on the path to success.