Our ability to think is one of our greatest assets. Our depth of thought and free ability to do so is an amazing ability. Our ability to think can lead us to success and freedom but it can also trap us and enslave us. Our internal thought processes can be an asset but our thinking can also lead us astray from seeing the world as it really is.
A good example of this can be found in athletics. Specifically related to how an athlete evaluates his/her ability, performance, and results. Gary Mack, in his book Mind Gym, titles one of his chapters “the Mirror Test”. In this chapter he talks about the importance of having a clear conscience and giving ones all no matter the circumstances. For all levels of athletes, competing with a clear conscience and awareness of ones own responsibilities, level of intensity, pureness of focus, and motivationn is key to living well.
It is this reason that Mack makes the statement “all that matters is if you can look in the mirror and honestly tell the person you see there that you’ve done your best.” At the start and end of each day this test can and should be a part of an athletes routine. Comparing oneself to others as well as to a standard of excellence can prove fatal. For an athlete, success is found in evaluating oneself to who that person was before the practice, competition, or training session. Accurate analysis will lead to success but improper thinking can lead to downfall. Improper thinking of a performance level will not lead to something good. Mack’s discussion in his book on thinking is quite helpful. It is important to think rightly and evaluate yourself accurately.
To sum up his chapter he says this, “Success comes form the peace of mind of knowing you did your very best on and off the field as a player and as a person.” No matter the situation, a player has to give it his/her all and fight, not just for the win but for the opportunity to look themselves in the mirror and see how hard they worked. An athlete who looks themselves in the mirror doesn’t allow their thoughts to falsely effect their life. “all that matters is if you can look in the mirror and honestly tell the person you see there that you’ve done your best.”
Giving your best is what matters in competition and in life. If you have really given your best then that is a success, however not giving your best and believing you did can cause problems. Looking in the mirror and seeing the truth accurately is the only way to live.
Cox, R.H. (2007) Sports Psychology: Concepts and Applications. New York, NY; McGraw-Hill
Mack, G. (2001) Mind Gym: An Athletes Guide to Inner Excellence. New York, Ny: McGraw-Hill