Step 1: Developing The Mind
The mind is your intellectual control center. It is the catalyst for your success. It is the area that promotes your health, well-being, emotional stability and accomplishment. The mind is the fundamental property that you must develop first to assure that you reach the zone or Wei-Wu-Wei. This is unquestionable. Failure to do so will simply limit your ability to become a great player.
The mind is impossible to measure objectively; and, for this reason, many people do not realize that it actually does exist. The brain, which is not to be mistaken as the mind, is real. It is a functioning organ that people can see. You can measure its growth and define its function. The physical body is also very real. You can see it, feel it and measure its physical changes.
The mind on the other hand is not visible nor can you touch it. This makes it difficult for some to comprehend and associate with athletic success. Its ability to grow and have a positive effect on you is very subjective. Only you can measure its effect on you athletically.
The mind is comprised of 3 dimensions. The conscious mind, the subconscious mind and the unconscious mind. Each is dependent on the other. Master the mind and reaching the zone will be much easier.
The Conscious Mind: The conscious mind is the here and now. It is exterior perception or feeling you currently have about yourself. It is the dimension that all people are clearly aware of but incorrectly perceive as part of the brain. The brain is a pathway house for your thoughts. The conscious mind is free to make choices and is independent of the brain itself. The brain does not control thoughts. It allows them to occur.
The conscious mind is basically your ego and how you feel about yourself and your surroundings. Your feelings will reflect your athletic performance. If you feel positive; you’ll be positive. If you feel timid; you’ll be timid. The conscious mind is a reflection of yourself. What you feel or what you project is what you’ll get. It dictates your confidence level.
The conscious mind is truly the building block to your athletic success. Success or lack thereof is predisposed by the positive or negative thoughts you have regarding your sport and skills. All future success begins with the initial thought generated at the conscious level. If you think you cannot succeed or you are constantly apprehensive, then you are creating insecurity because of the negative thoughts the conscious mind is already committed too. The negative force will impede or hold back your success from the beginning. Remember that true Wei-Wu-Wei is conditional on the absence of negative energy.
From the onset, always have a positive perception about yourself. Maintain a positive attitude about your surroundings and about learning the game. Understand that you will make mistakes but that you will learn from them. But be positive and patient about your performance. You must consistently harness a positive attitude at the conscious level in order to successfully and consistently enter Wei-Wu-Wei.
The Subconscious Mind: The subconscious mind is all of the knowledge or feelings from the past that is stored within you. The subconscious mind is waiting to be released and is generally released on command (by your choice) or by some releasing stimuli or trigger. The information will rise to the conscious level forcing you to process and deal with it as it arrives.
The subconscious mind stores negative and positive energy or information which can be disruptive. It is your responsibility to turn the information into positive energy. For example, you may have played an opponent weeks before that shut you down and dominated you and your team. Your subconscious mind has stored this information. Now, you have to play him again during the playoffs. Are you going to allow this information which is now at your conscious level to be negative or positive? Most athletes allow it to affect their confidence and their thinking, They fail before the game even begins. They never enter the zone because of the recurrent negative energy that exists from this memory.
You must combat the negative energy when it clouds your conscious mind. If you do not constantly think positively or learn from the subconscious, entering the zone will be impossible. You must be able to harness the energy that the subconscious mind delivers and turn that information into something beneficial while playing within Wei-Wu-Wei.
The subconscious mind will compete with the conscious mind. You must make every conscious effort to maintain harmony between the two, otherwise, Wei-Wu-Wei will not occur. Do not allow the past (the subconscious) to interfere. Learn from the past and turn it into a positive.
The Unconscious Mind: The unconscious mind is a powerful dimension that is above your control; however, it is within your influence. It is relentless and thoughtless energy that is only unleashed when the conscious mind and the subconscious mind work in harmony with one another. The unconscious mind does not influence the conscious or subconscious, but it is directly influenced by their positive relationship. When the unconscious mind is released and in full force all thought at the conscious and subconscious level is totally removed. “Without-thinking” occurs and you are in a state of Wei-Wu-Wei. You are playing with unconditional perfection.
Mastering the fundamental dimensions of the mind is the first and foremost step toward playing in the zone. It is the one area that many athletes overlook when training. The mind is like the body; it needs training and attention to assure perfection. Do not underestimate its power.