Another epic Fall Classic, The World Series, the final serenade to a long season of cracking bats, summer nights, and stadium hotdogs and beer. This time of year, also brings me back to one of my favorite movie lines. In the movie, For the Love of the Game, fictional character Billy Chapel, who is pitching the last game of his illustrious career for the Detroit Tigers, is in the midst of pitching a perfect game at Yankee Stadium. Near the end of the game with the crowd screaming Billy looks at his catcher, and before throwing the pitch says to himself, “Clear the Mechanism” and at that moment all the crowd noise goes away, creating a moment of complete serenity & focus as Billy delivers a strike to end the inning and eventually completing the perfect game.
Each day for me begins by trying to “Clear the Mechanism” as I begrudgingly ingest imprecise news, review sports scores, and check various social media platforms. The day then continues with trivial gossipy conversations and other sensory distractions that infest my routine.
Personally, I joke with my wife & confidant Abbey that most days it seems like 70% of what I hear adds little value to my life.
This daily onslaught of static can create numerous distractions that throw you off your game, divert your focus, and send you adrift in uncertainty.
How am I able to temper the static and focus on what is most important in my life.
Listed below are three simple ideas I use regularly to keep my mind focused on Clearing the Mechanism:
- Prioritize my professional & personal values & goals- At the end of the year my staff& I write down and discuss specific goals for the upcoming year. This allows us to reflect on the previous year and to establish the goals moving forward. Completing this exercise will allow you to develop an organized, measured & focused plan to achieve the desired results. Creating a roadmap will allows us to eliminate distractions as we progress throughout the year.
- One of my favorite daily activities is to spend some time meditating to focus on breathing & quiet relaxation either by taking a yoga class or in a pre-exercise routine. This will allow the mind to have a healthy escape from the daily pressures and related stress, and have a calming & stabilizing effect on my mind.
- Get away & disconnect (including from electronic devices). As frequently as a couple of times a day (even hourly) take 5-10 minutes to re-focus and clear the mind of static.
Also try to take a day a week to focus on yourself and people who positively influence your life. Finally take a vacation every couple of months, one day or a week, with minimal distractions. Personally, taking a ski trip, spending time on a beach pleasure reading & scuba diving, or hiking in the mountains enable me to escape the daily onslaught of
static, noise & distraction.
With temptation and distraction surrounding us always, I try to live by two axioms: 1) keep it simple, don’t unnecessary complicate your life and 2) try to go to sleep every night with a clear conscious, this makes sleeping much more consistent and enjoyable.
Now go “Clear the Mechanism” and finish the perfect day!!
Congrats to the World Champion Nationals!!