I have never written much about what lead me to recognize and commit to the inner game. In short what lead me to it was a period of utter confusion and despair where Self 1 seemed to be in total control and had convinced me I was helpless, hopeless, and worthless. I not only felt it, I intellectually accepted it as truth, and it manifested first within, and then without. Unsure from early childhood of my nature, I compensated by pursuing what I was told was good, including being good at what I put my mind to, including, tennis, golf, grades, status, and even girl friends – anything that would serve to prove I wasn’t as “bad” as some feeling or lack of feeling, convinced me I was. In short I became increasingly disconnected from myself and my ambitions to prove myself driven my doubt and deep fear, gradually turned from success to utter failure – the opposite of all my ideals became my reality.It was just at the beginning of recovery I was offered a job as a tennis pro, an inspire of my conviction I could never hold the job, I accepted.
I strung tennis racquets, bought and sold ladies tennis dresses, and on occasion gave group or individual tennis lessons following the current model of teaching the correct behaviors and giving “feedback” on the incorrect. Clinging to the few things I could still do, I made a start to emerge from my dark period, longed to be as I used to be, and much to my surprise became someone entirely different, teaching myself as I taught and learned from my students the value of awareness, without judgment, true in oneself, and clarity of choice, some of the foundations of the Inner Game which when I saw their results in performance, learning, and enjoyment of students wrote seven books about the simple applications of these skills as well as a theoretical structure that held all the elements together and directed them towards one goal: Mobility – the ability to move or be moved in the direction of one’s denied outcomes in a fulfilling way and in a time frame that was acceptable. I leaned from teaching students that the common method of teaching was antiquated when it came to most skill and development of qualities, to say nothing of determination, and learning from experience.