May 13, 2010Lessons Learned from Shooting Pool
I thought I'd continue with the theme of new beginnings during the first week of the new year by telling you a "biggie" for me - something I had to learn at a deeper level than just on an intellectual level. I took up the game of pool about a year ago. And like everything I do, I jumped into it "full bore" and with ferocity unmatched by any other living creature. I practiced hours every day in this mad-like rush to conquer this goal as soon as I possibly could.In general, my enthusiasm and full commitment pay off in learning and conquering new goals, but there are some that actually require a
approach. That was tough for me. I got thoroughly emotional whenever I missed even one shot! I quit several times out of utter frustration. Fortunately, I have a great coach/teacher who keeps trying to get me to be quite robotic. He has me do what amounts to a ritual routine with each shot: look at the shot and imagine it happening as I put chalk on the cue tip. Then, put the chalk down and I pretend I'm doing the shot once or twice in the air, then get way down on the table and do practice motions up to the cue ball and then fire.Once I am down, no more thinking, moving, judging...just faith that my mind and body have this covered. This took the better part of a year to learn. But it works.The too easy frustration with myself comes from a most critical father's constant berating of me, and taking up pool has helped a tremendous amount with getting rid of that knee-jerk response. I was setting up my weaving loom the other day, and everything was going wrong. The set-up looked seriously trashy. But instead of getting down on myself (like I would have done before), I just smiled, leaned over, cut it all off the loom and threw it away. I walked away feeling quite accomplished! Why? I just accepted that sometimes it doesn't work - thrown away yarn is not the end of the world - and having the calm to make that decision to come back and loom another day is a big victory!I hope this story helps you.
Posted by Staff at 1:08 AM