Alright, so you probably already know that meditation is good for you, and you sometimes say ‘I should probably do it', but you don't get around to it. Whatever your excuses, you NEED to meditate. All of the science that has come out showing the benefits of meditation, just can't be procrastinated on anymore.
With the Mindful Athlete, we learn how the TOP-level championship players in various sports use meditation to overcome stress during the game, after the game, and within their own ego. The author taught the Chicago Bulls basketball team to meditate during their 3-year championship wins (when Michael Jordan was still playing). He also took thousands of other high-level sports players into their top-level game.
Honestly, if you want to be good at anything now, meditation is a must. Meditation allows you to get a clear picture of your own emotions, as they happen. It allows you to step outside of your ego, your fears, your addictions, your vices, your anger, and REALLY understand what is going on inside you. ‘Boredom, anger, sadness, or fear, are not ‘yours', not personal. They are conditions of the mind. They come and go. Nothing that comes and goes is you'.
The author himself is a black male, raised in a very dangerous area of the United States, who had dreams of playing the in NBA. He was a top-level athlete in highschool, but eventually injured both of his legs, and could no longer play going into college. Instead he entered a mind-numbing job in finance, and became addicted to heroine – one of the worst drugs to be addicted to.
Through meditation, he was able to control the addictive emotions, and eventually overcome them. This of course, takes months and years of practice. Through meditation, you are able to overcome the ‘monkey mind': a Buddhist term that refers to a mind that is agitated, restless, confused, or that is hard to control.
Finally, a simple exercise: ‘Before you exercise or do your physical activity, take 5 minutes to be still and practice being conscious of the space between stimulus and response. Stop what you are doing, and return to your breath. Stay in the calm center. Respond from the center of the hurricane, rather than reacting from the chaos of the storm.'
‘As you learn to listen to yourself and practice, you will find you can listen better to others, whether it's your boss, your child, or your teammate. When you really listen to a person, without judging or interrupting, it may feel as though you're hearing them for the first time.'
This book is an amazing fusion between eastern meditation practices, and western sports psychology. I highly recommend this to anyone wanting to get to their top-level innergame.
What Yoda is essentially saying is that Luke Skywalker needs to commit. You either move forward with intention, or you don't. There's no in-between. You do – or you do not. You keep your intentions good and strong. That is right effort – even if you fail.