I have a friend who meditates and visualizes his whole day in the morning. I do the same thing before a race….the day before and in the morning just before it starts. The brain is quite capable of creating a nice flow and even can fill in the blank spaces that will show up unannounced beforehand so the day will seem to progress rather smoothly.
Then comes those times when, in unfolding, the plan doesn’t work at all….survival and the lizard brain, that’s partially in your gut, takes over and the break in the plan gets filled in with the quick intuition of your “second brain”.
But I’m talking about a situation where you can actually plan in advance; such as a game, race, project at work, or painting a room. The tougher situations are those where only the goal is known, without any idea of what to do to get there.
Such as “how I’m going to get there” is a mystery, but the goal is clear and has a deadline, all hell has to break loose to get the end result. Enter oh-oh; you’re FORCED to create a speedy start, middle, and end of the project. I’m not saying jitters is necessarily palpable, but it’s there.
Simple example: you’re on your way to deliver a presentation that you’ve gone over many times, looked at all the ways to cover parts of it, and are prepared. When you get there you don’t have the [USB with the presentation, the DVD, whatever] so you have to wing it. Every part of your body is suddenly involved; especially your gut, the fastest and best part of your brain. The endocrine system is dumping chemicals helter skelter into your blood stream and you’re performing at your best, putting together an ad hoc presentation; at this time you have become almost superhuman and accomplished the undoable. Your gut has come in to rescue you.
A good coach is one who prepares someone for those places in their race, in their game, or in their lives, where a crazy thing can happen after they’ve practiced and visualized it beforehand and feel like they know how everything will go. So when the wheels come off, suddenly, they will instinctively rely on their training as angst, the lizard “second brain”, jumps to high alert and the ability to cruise through the unexpected situation will be relatively painless.
Instinct is underrated, in my eyes, and the more someone is prepared to improvise, the better equipped they are for life. Really, when you think about it, life is a continuum of improvisation; life is good practice for living.