I am standing in center field.
The dew of a day that is ending is all around me.
The lights are on, it is almost dark. I smell the clay, the wet grass in the field. There is a light breeze.
There is a very large man up at bat and I know he is about to hit the ball to me. There is no way he is not hitting the ball to me. It is like he has picked me from all the way up at the plate and it’s just he and I on the field and a ball that will try to conquer me.
There are two scenarios here:
a. I get ready. I think to myself, “Just don’t let it hit the ground. Follow the ball. Don’t take your eyes off it.” Or:
b. I start singing the Cranberries song, “Empty” in my head, (Empty-eeeheee, eeeheee, eeeeheee, eeeheee Empty-eeeheee…” to empty my mind of all thoughts. And hope that my reaction guides me in the right direction and my instincts take over.
In which scenario do I catch the ball? I’ll let you guess.
Right. The one with an empty mind. I do much better when my mind is blank, when my mind can’t tell me it hurts, when my mind can’t tell me to be scared, when my mind can’t tell me to stop. But it took a real long time to figure it out and an even longer time to figure out how to get myself to that place when I need to. So here are my top three tricks I use to clear my mind while playing, exercising, getting a shot of any sort, being in labor, running on a treadmill for an unGodly amount of miles, etc etc etc.
1. I sing songs in my head that have nothing to do with what I am doing or everything to do with what I want my mind to be like, “Empty.” I do cadences (“I don’t know but I been told! Never slow down and never grow old!”) and I sing them at whatever pace I want to be running and by the way, did you know Tom Petty’s Mary Jane’s Last Dance can be a pretty good cadence? or I repeat a phrase, “Quick feet quick feet quick feet quick feet.”
2. I pick a focal point to stare at and do not remove my eyes from it. My mind is blank just staring at this dot or whatever it is I pick and it’s usually some dot on a wall or a tv like the power “on” light or something.
3. I put on my focus face. I actually have a face I make that puts me into some sort of zone. My eyes close about halfway and look like they’re sort of rolled back or like I’m about to get into a gang fight or something. My mind shuts down and whatever it is I am doing, my eyes and my focus face is in control of it. It’s sort of like the face that the Karate Kid made when he was just about to beat the crap out of that guy in Okinawa, Karate Kid Part II, ya know, the one with the drums?
What about you? Do you have any tricks to focusing? And do you do better when you talk to yourself or when you are blank? Please share! Post about it and leave the link in the comments or just leave your tricks in the comments!
Have a wonderful Thursday!
(Visited 5 times, 1 visits today)