Furnish yourself correctly...
The mind plays a crucial role in golf, but the majority of thoughts a typical golfer has during a round are useless, counter-productive and waste energy - even many of the positive ones (yes, you heard me right).
Think of your mind like a living room. With the right amount and type of furniture, it's a great place to use and enjoy. If you load that same room from floor to ceiling with the highest-quality furniture money can buy, you no longer have a space to use - just a cluttered, high-quality mess. Buried in there somewhere is the right furniture, but the room is no longer functional, it's a burden.
A "properly furnished" mind - one full of the right amount of the right thoughts - helps you make consistent shots. Great players are willing to kick many high-quality, correct, positive thoughts to the curb (as well as negative ones, obviously). They conserve their energy by limiting their thinking to the most effective thoughts - the ones that invite their best swing to come through. If you find yourself loading your mind with excessive thoughts and inner dialogue (negative or positive) you're not alone.
The million-dollar question: how does one "remove" thoughts from their game? This represents one of the most difficult challenges in the mental game - the answer to which surprises many (in the next newsletter, I'll answer this question).
Until then, do this exercise: pay attention to how busy your mind is in your daily activities. Don't worry about changing it for now, just observe your mind. Then, at the end of the day, ask yourself if any of those thoughts really supported you in achieving your highest objectives. Most of us will find that we spend a lot of time analyzing what happened in our day, but very little navigating ourselves toward our most important long-term goals. In doing this exercise, if you're honest with yourself, you'll get a pretty good idea of how you play the inner-game of golf. This is a great starting point to begin sorting out the thoughts worth keeping and the thoughts that go to the curb.