Grant Brad Gerver is an entrepreneur and creative consultant for Filibi, a classified and online coupon advertising site and home business. He’s also a YouTube Channel (gbgerver) blues singer-songwriter and guitar player with The Buzzard Brothers. Additionally, Grant writes political humor, thousands of bumper stickers, and humorous movie reviews. He has also worked with various companies as a product-naming specialist. He’s a retired elementary school teacher and published children’s author who works in the health care field. Here is a recent article about his experience with Tim Gallwey.
What if you decided to quit trying so hard? I’m not talking about giving up. I mean holding on to your dreams, but not grasping for them like straws or brass rings. It seems like the harder you want something, like a better relationship, a mended fence, a new car, monetary success, paying off all your debts, the harder it is to accomplish it. It’s as if the more you yearn, the more you push it away from yourself. I don’t exactly know why, but I’ve found when I’m patient enough to look back on my life, the best things that have happened to me (and I’m grateful for plenty) come when you just let it go and let it happen.
I read about Tim Gallwey many years ago in Reader’s Digest. He wrote Zen-like books about sports: Inner Tennis, Inner Golf, and my favorite, Inner Skiing. He could have written Inner Whittling, but it doesn’t matter. He used sports as a vehicle to teach about not being so damn self-critical and letting your mind be free to achieve, allowing your body to follow.
Gallwey discovered this approach on a frigid night in the middle of nowhere in the wee hours of a dark, starlit snow-covered morning. He was driving in the backcountry of New England and his car died. He became panicked and fear-stricken knowing he might well freeze to death. There were no houses or signs of humanity anywhere for miles around. So, he decided that rather than freeze, he would walk until he found someone home, or until it was the end. As he walked in the brisk cold darkness with shining stars illuminating the way, he realized how entirely beautiful his surroundings were. He had a transformation. He no longer felt panicked, but rather, a sense of immense joy and awe at the beauty that enveloped him. He let it go and let it happen, leaving his sense of doom and gloom by the wayside. It undoubtedly saved his life. He finally happened upon a farmhouse where he was gladly taken in by the occupants.
I have embraced his philosophy of inner peace and the Zen-like qualities that can make a huge difference in the lives of anyone willing to give this path a try. It truly revolutionized my skiing and the other sports I’ve played over my 59 years. It helps you get in “the zone.” But, don’t try to recreate it, or think about how you got there, for it is a fruitless exercise in futility. You have to LET yourself find the sweet spot in life without grasping for it, owning it, or writing down the perceived “formula” as if it were a recipe. Just give yourself a break and see what unfolds.
I am in the process of trying to remember these timeless teachings without stressing about them. It is so easy to fall back into your old self-destructive mindset. You can’t get in the “zone” at will. It’s as if you need to be open to letting it find you. And when you do, boy is it a Godsend. Writing about this phenomena here has helped to pave the way for me to get back on track by not looking too hard for the rails, if you know what I mean. Thank you Tim.