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Winning the Inner Game

John Milton Fogg

In the introduction to his groundbreaking best seller, The Inner Game® of Tennis, friend and author Tim Gallwey wrote:

"Every game is composed of two parts, an outer game and an Inner Game®. The outer game is played against an external opponent to overcome external obstacles and to reach an external goal. Mastering this game is the subject of many books offering instructions on how to swing a racket, club or bat, and how to position arms, legs or torso to achieve the best results. But for some reason, most of us find these instructions easier to remember than to execute."

Mr. Gallwey goes on to explain that real success in the playing of any game must include attention to the skills of the Inner Game®... ...the game that takes place in the mind of the player.

He points to such internal obstacles as lack of concentration, nervousness and self-doubt as "habits of mind" that must be overcome before excellence in performance and producing winning results will be accomplished. He writes further:

"The player of the Inner Game® comes to value the art of relaxed concentration above all other skills; he discovers a true basis for self-confidence; and he learns that the secret of winning any game lies in not trying too hard. He aims at the kind of spontaneous performance, which occurs only when the mind is calm and seems at one with the body, which finds its own surprising ways to surpass its own limits again and again. Moreover, while overcoming the common hang-ups of competition, the player of the Inner Game® uncovers a will to win which unlocks all his energy and which is never discouraged by losing."

Honestly, doesn't that sound wonderful? Wouldn't you enjoy being calm, at one with your body, surpassing your limits again and again, and in the process uncovering a will to win that's never discouraged by losing?

Seems like great (and perhaps even profitable) fun to me. And what if you could do that in the game of life-what would that look like to you? What would that mean for you?

Life is a game.... just like any and every other game you've ever played.

There's a field of play, there are rules, gear and goals and required skills... all of which you need in order to play. And when you arrive at a certain level of competence and confidence where you consistently play the game well, you will win and you can keep on winning.

The skills and attitudes you need to succeed and be a winner in any game are the very same ones you need to succeed in life itself.

You can learn what you need to know about "how" to do most things competently with a little effort done consistently over time. Let's say you wanted to learn a foreign language: Practicing one hour a day every day, how long do you think it would be before you'd be able to speak the language quite well-I'm not saying like a native, but well enough to get along in interesting and engaging conversations confidently and comfortably?

Or how about playing a musical instrument: Practicing one hour a day every day, how long do you think it would be before you'd be able to play quite well-again I'm not saying playing the guitar as a virtuoso like Eric Clapton or the piano with the mastery of Vladimir Horowitz, but well enough to perform a number of pretty complex pieces confidently and comfortably?a

I've asked these questions to audiences all around the world and the answers are always the same. In each case people say it would take about two years... at most.

So, if you can become competent and confident and most Outer Games in about two years... what's the problem? Why don't more of us succeed more of the time?

The problem is that even if you have a handle on all the proven knowledge, resources, skills and even the most closely guarded secrets... that alone won't make you a winner. You've got to become competent and confident playing the Inner Game® first.

The Inner Game® is the one played in your mind. The one where you compete with yourself, where you are challenged or empowered by your old paradigms-your past programming; the thinking that either limits or liberates you; those beliefs that stop you or inspire you.

The Inner Game® is the game that must be mastered before you can succeed on purpose, consistently, for the rest of your life.

The Inner Game® is simply, The Greatest Game in the World!

... and WINNING the Inner Game® is what life is all about.

Thanks. I appreciate you!

John Milton Fogg is an internationally recognized writer, editor, speaker and coach. He authored the million-selling classic, The Greatest Networker in the World. His most recent project is BeliefBusters and his vision is to have over 30-million people change their lives for the better forever by shifting their unwanted, self-sabotaging beliefs to empowering beliefs that assure their success fast, in a proven way that lasts. To sign up for your free weekly BeliefBusters Report and learn more about this life-changing 3-month course to Build Self-Esteem... Stop Negative Thinking... and Be Healthy, Wealthy and Happy please visit us today!

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