Famous book. The Magician’s Way.

I’ll paraphrase a scene from the book, but it’s a great story about life

A person wants to play golf and gets lessons from a well known golf instructor.

The instructor says “hit a few balls”. The golfer lines up and takes a few swing. He starts hitting it all over the place, with little to no consistency.

The golf instructor tells him to put the club down and follow him. He brings him over to an area with a tree in front and puts golf balls in his hand. He says, “throw the ball at that tree”. Boom! He hits it. The instructor tells him to do it again.

The golfer keeps hitting the tree.

Now the instructor asks him what he was thinking about when he threw the ball at the tree.

The golfer says the tree was his focus.

The golf instructor says, “so were you thinking about the velocity of your arm and the degree from which to come at the throw, and how much force to apply, and exactly where your arm should be at each moment”?

The golfer says “no”.

The instructor then replies “And what about your stance. Were you focused on exactly where your feet should be?”


The golf pro says “That’s golf.”

Then, he brings the new golfer back to hit some more balls with the club and boom he hits it straight and towards the target he focuses on every time.

Don’t think so much.
Think of your target.

It’s the same thing with life,
Don’t over complicate things too much.

Does that mean that you shouldn’t go into detail with things?

No, of course you should go into detail, but only after you cross a certain threshold of professionalism.

Tiger Woods wanted to get even better at the height of his game when he was the best golfer by a large margin, and it was suggested by his coach that he should change his swing. He did and it brought him to an even higher level. That was a risky move for any pro golfer to do, let alone the golfer who was the best in the world.

But you should mainly go into a lot of detail only after you’ve reached a certain level of good.

For most endeavors, if you want to get good, it’s very instinctual as opposed to something that’s an overcomplicated matter. If you want mastery, you will have to overcomplicate. But not when you first take something new up!

When you take up golf, you can get into the 80’s by playing very frequently and going off your natural instincts. But to get to the 70’s and eventually the 60’s, then you will have to go into tiny details. But…and here’s a big but… if you try going into tiny details when you’re shooting in the 100’s, you might actually find yourself being very inconsistent and not seeing much progress at all because you’re focusing on little details when your body hasn’t even recognized the common patterns within your instinctual framework.

Hope you had a great holiday season and you have a great New Year’s Weekend!

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