All I wanna’ do is ‘veg’ out for a few hours, like a big couch potato, and watch some U.S. Open Golf. My main objective was to block out the world and view the best golfers on the planet play under the most extreme pressure on a golf course that was brutal.
I wasn’t looking to have any epiphanies or ruminate on lessons, old or new, as I reclined on that couch Sunday…but it happened anyway.
The incredibly tough Chambers Bay course beat most of the players into submission during the long final round. By the time the last two groups reached the final few holes, the stage was set for either Jordan Spieth or Dustin Johnson (DJ) to step up and seize the moment.
Fox Network covered this U.S. Open and with on-course microphones they picked up the players and caddies verbal exchanges quite well. You could clearly hear the caddie-player banter. Jordan was on the 17th tee and DJ was in the last group, right behind him. As Jordan teed up his ball, his caddie, Michael Greller, said something to him before he pulled the trigger.
It got my attention!
“Paint the picture,” Jordan’s caddie told him.
Again on the 18th tee, Jordan’s caddie offered him a nugget before he hit his drive. I was listening intently.
“Run the movie,” he coaxed his boss.
Jordan nodded and killed one down the left center. When they reached the approach shot to the par 5 18th green, Spieth knew his position in the tournament and knew exactly what he had to do. He needed to bang his approach shot onto the green and, at least, two-putt for birdie to get to -5. Jordan knew DJ would surely reach the par 5 18th in two shots and probably two-putt for birdie, getting him to -5.
Then there would be a playoff.
Jordan’s caddie handed him a 3-wood and planted one last good thought in his player’s brain. I didn’t miss it.
“Get a good picture in your head.”
As a competitive golfer (and a sales trainer and leader) I was getting the “picture” of what they were doing out there. Michael had been guiding his boss around the long, hot difficult track for four days. All the while he’d been imploring him to, “paint the picture”, “run the movie” and “get a good picture in your head.”
Jordan’s caddie was reminding him how important a positive picture of what you want to accomplish is, especially under pressure.
With that good picture in his head Jordan hit a great approach shot into 18 and promptly two-putted for birdie. Conversely, there wasn’t a hint of any banter between DJ and his caddie. There weren’t any reminders to “see the shot”, “envision what you want to do,” nothing like that.
DJ reached the 18th green in two strokes, but he had a fast, downhill eagle putt to win outright. DJ juiced his eagle attempt four feet past the hole, but still had a very makeable comebacker to force a playoff. But DJ didn’t even scare the hole on his birdie attempt. He missed the putt badly on the low side.
Unbelievably, DJ had three-jacked from 12 feet to hand over the U.S. Open to Jordan Spieth.
I’m not sure what picture DJ had in his head before he missed that short putt, but it probably wasn’t the ball going into the middle of the hole. DJ wasn’t quite ready for the big moment. He will be ready soon, just not on Sunday.
After Jordan signed his official scorecard, he made his way to the 18th green for the champion’s trophy ceremony. The Fox commentator, Joe Buck, questioned him and it was during this discussion that we got another glimpse into Jordan’s psyche.
Joe Buck recalled his dialogue with Jordan after he won the Master’s earlier this spring. During that previous interview Joe had asked Jordan if he could imagine winning the U.S. Open of Father’s Day weekend and then handing the trophy to his dad as a present. Jordan did recall the conversation and remarked that after winning the Master’s…
…he could definitely “see” himself doing exactly that, and that was the vision and the plan.
Joe Buck asked about the next major golf event on the schedule, the British Open. Without hesitation Jordan remarked that he and his caddie are headed overseas in July to see if they can capture the Claret Jug. (The legendary trophy awarded to British Open champions)
So Jordan is already running a new movie in his brain, the movie that ends with him raising the Claret Jug over his head in front of the roaring crowd at Saint Andrews, Scotland.
So what’s going on here, and what got me to put down the Ruffles and onion dip and lean forward on my couch Sunday?
This guy, Jordan Spieth, TOTALLY gets it.
Along with the great skills he’s honed by putting in his 10,000 hours, he’s also created incredible thought processes that he can take with him into battle. He’s refined and clarified his vision of what he wishes to do on each shot. He can see himself already achieving the success he wishes to posses in his career.
“Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”
—Napoleon Hill, Author, Think and Grow Rich
You see, it’s clear to me that Jordan Spieth had these movies running in his head all week. They were clear images of the shots he wanted to hit. He saw long drives splitting the fairways. He envisioned pitches and chip shots hitting the green and finishing close to the hole. He saw each putt rolling into the middle of the cup. He had a clear picture of what he wanted to accomplish at the U.S. Open. He believed he would be handing the U.S. Open trophy to his dad as a Father’s Day gift come Sunday night.
I’ve known how this all works for a long time.
I’ve made many millions in sales commissions over the years, but I didn’t make my first million until I saw the commission in my hands and 100% believed it would come to pass. I would re-cement that belief by playing the movies in my head over and over again—the movies of me walking into the bank and depositing the commission checks in my account. Then I’d look at my statement and see seven figures.
As crazy as that sounds, that was the movie in my head.
This practice of visualization had its birth for me during the summer of 1982. I leaned against the wall at the back of the auditorium at the network-marketing seminar and rally. I was 21 years old and all dressed up in my dark suite and red power tie. But, I had nowhere to go because I hadn’t really achieved anything of merit in that organization. There were countless people going across stage that night, being recognized for their achievements. The applause was deafening. I politely, but unenthusiastically, clapped for those people. My mentor saw me, walked over and leaned in.
“Can you see yourself up there on stage in a few months?” he asked.
I nodded my head rather unconvincingly. He wasn’t buying it and he wasn’t done with me. I sometimes bristled at his rather intense—give you the needle—nature, but he was the kind of mentor I needed at that time. God dropped him into my life for a reason. My guru decided to go on a little rant.
He fully intended to get a rise out of me.
“I’m not sure you really see yourself up there yet. I’m not sure you have the balls to commit to it. When you want to OWN it let me know. When you come to me and say, ‘I’m going across stage at the next function. Take it to the bank!’ I’ll know you’re serious. When you can actually picture yourself up there on stage, let me know.”
Then my mentor turned and walked away. He’d delivered one of the most powerful and scalding lessons on vision I’ve ever received. I stood there against the wall for the remainder of the event. When the speaker finished I quietly slipped out of the back of the auditorium and drove home.
Back then; I wouldn’t drive in my car without either loud rock music blaring from the tuner or a PMA tape playing in the cassette deck. I opted for neither that night. I drove home in silence. I thought about what my mentor had said…the challenge he threw down.
“When you can actually picture yourself up there on stage, let me know.”
The truth was, that night; I COULDN’T see myself walking onto a stage in front of hundreds of people. I didn’t see myself being recognized, being handed the microphone and asked about my success. The film in my head—the one of me walking on stage for an award—wasn’t produced or developed yet.
I had to script it out, shoot it and develop the film.
Our next major seminar and rally came five months later. I’d killed myself to build my downline after the previous event. While I was working diligently on my physical business I was working equally as hard on my imagined business. In the prior five months, I’d learned to visualize what my organization would look like in advance of it actually happening. So, by the time that late November event came around I’d fully formed and scripted the pictures and movies in my head.
It was uncanny to me, even surreal, how accurately my mind had created the sights and sounds of that evening’s events, but well in advance of it!
As my name was called it sounded exactly like the movie I had produced in my head. The smell of the stage that night sticks with me. The stage in the rented school auditorium was made of wood and the aroma of that wood mixed with fresh varnish was just like the film in my head. (I’d been dreaming in ‘smell-a-vision’)
As I walked onto the stage to be recognized, I looked to the front few rows and saw my parents and my sister smiling back at me, just as I’d seen their faces in my imagination during the prior five months. My father had a smile on his face that was a mile wide and an unbelievable twinkle in his eyes that told me just how proud of me he was. People in the audience rose and clapped. The sound of them cheering was identical to what I’d seen and heard in my head.
That night, in the high school auditorium in Redondo Beach, California, I experienced the power of conceiving and believing.
It was the first time I’d successfully practiced the technique that Jordan Spieth, other top athletes, entertainers and business people all know, practice and refine.
You must picture yourself doing the things you wish to accomplish well before they become a reality.
As the Fox coverage went off the air and I imagined Jordan’s celebration with his family, I envisioned him walking the U.S. Open trophy over to his father and asking him to grab ahold of it. I imagined what he probably said to his father and how he’d honor him when talking to the press.
I got up early Monday morning and saw the photo above and these comments below.
“I was certainly playing this round for my Dad. He’s the one that got me started in the game. He was the one who gave me any opportunity to do what I wanted, to do what I loved. It didn’t have to be golf—it could have been anything.”
My guess is that Jordan Spieth saw himself accepting the trophy on the 18th green months ago, well before he actually won it. My guess is that Jordan saw every good shot he hit last week, well before he hit it.
So, my late afternoon Father’s Day couch surfing adventure was awesome. I witnessed a piece of golf history that may also yield more golf history in its wake. I saw a few players succumb to the pressure of the moment and saw one player seize the moment because he already knew how the movie would end.
Seeing Jordan hug his father after finishing his round caused me to think about my father and the times he was able to see me up on stage accepting awards before cancer took his life just a few short years later in the spring of 1987.
Watching Jordan’s caddie remind him to “get a good picture” in his head reminded me that all great athletes, entertainers, entrepreneurs and salespeople do about the same thing.
They create a very clear picture of what they wish to DO, BUILD or BECOME and then they fixate on that picture—they run that movie with the happy ending in their head.
My main goal Sunday wasn’t to have any epiphanies, to reminisce or to re-examine old lessons but it happened anyway.
I took the time to run a few old movies in my head and also forced myself to script one or two new ones.
Do you get the picture?
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Joe Buzzello is a nationally recognized expert on direct selling and sales leadership. He has built legacy sales teams and experienced unprecedented success in individual and business-to-business markets as well as the network marketing industry. Joe has held executive level positions for Fortune 500 companies, but he has never strayed far from the art and science of selling, which he loves. In early 2014, Joe began writing, speaking, and coaching through his proprietary platform, The CAP Equation©. Please visit Joe at: http://www.CAPequation.com