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Performing Under Pressure: Gaining the Mental Edge in Business and Sport by Saul L Miller

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Chapter 3. HIGH-PERFORMANCE IMAGERY

Clear, positive intention is a quality of a winning mind. The root meaning of the word intention is "to stretch out." Winning intention involves stretching out or projecting a clear image of what we want to create. The high-performance mind has the ability, even under intense pressure, to tune out limitation and negativity and focus instead on power, possibility, and ease. It's an ability you can enhance with training.

Imagination is the most powerful quality of the mind. It's important to understand that the body doesn't distinguish what's real from what's imagined. It simply reacts to the mental pictures you focus on. One of the easiest ways to avoid the drag and distraction of pressure is to have a clear mental pictureofwhat you want to do, have, or be, then tune into that image, and work to make it a reality.

We both create and react to our images. Try this simple experiment. Imagine feeling very hungry. You haven't eaten all day. Then someone hands you a plump, juicy navel orange. Imagine yourself admiring its deep orange color and the texture of its skin. You smell its aroma. As you peel the orange, its thick skin comes away easily. It's ripe and juicy. You break off a section of the fruit and pop it into your mouth. As you bite into the piece of orange, its sweet, tart, delicious juice instantly fills your mouth. Take a breath and notice that as you imagine the taste of the orange, you may actually start to salivate.

Almost everyone has had ...

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