Fear is the Mind Killer
I can say with some pride that I can quote movie and TV shows like scholars can quote Socrates or Dickens. It was just how I was brought up as an American male. I remember watching my dad and his buddy playing Trivial Pursuit Silver Screen edition on summer afternoons over a six-pack of beer. They were naming movies and actors that I had never seen like remembering childhood friends. I think the first movie quote I learned was from the Pink Panther: the classic “Does your dog bite?” scene.
As I grew up, I absorbed movie and TV shows. By 8th grade, I had most of the Monty Python catalog memorized. In college, my friends and I communicated our feeling and emotions through Simpsons quotes. These brain cells might have better been applied to our studies but meh.
Some movie quotes have stuck with me and I see a deeper meaning in them. Their words go beyond the script and characters and I grasp the writer’s true meaning. The meaning I as I perceive it.
Sometimes in golf, we face a challenge where the fear of failure may creep into our minds when we step up to take a shot. Maybe we need to carry a bit of water or the tricky bunker shot looms in our future or our last shot went poorly landing us in a scoring predicament.
I sometimes find a movie quote will help me overcome this fear through the fond memories of the movie and the messages in the words.
Here are some quotes to combat fear in your golf game:
Fear will cause hesitation. Hesitation will cause your greatest fear to come true.
-Bodi – Point Break (1991)
This comes from the original Point Break and is said by the late great Patrick Swayze. The message is that fear will cause you to picture the worst that can happen. Either by your lack of action or poor choice of action, those imagined outcomes will come true. Do not give into fear and instead focus on the positive outcome you desire.
I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path. Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.
-Paul Maud-Dib – Dune (1984)
Dune is one of my favorite books and the movie is epic as well. This is the prayer said by Paul Maud-Dib to calm himself when facing danger. By facing your fear of a bad shot, you recognize you are better than it and can play better. Fear loses its grasp on you and all that is left is you and the potential for success.
Crom, I have never prayed to you before. I have no tongue for it. No one, not even you, will remember if we were good men or bad. Why we fought, or why we died. All that matters is that two stood against many. That’s what’s important! Valor pleases you, Crom… so grant me one request. Grant me revenge! And if you do not listen, then to HELL with you!
-Conan – Conan the Barbarian (1982)
I used this prayer before most of my management class exams in college. Arnie said this line before going into battle with James Earl Jones and his muscle bound goons. It is just so badass. Conan is not asking for help from his god Crom but instead to be the best so he can to please Crom. As you leave the course, will you remember that you played a good round to the best of your abilities or you did foolish things and scored four snowmen because you were afraid of a sand trap?
When faced with a tough shot, you may think of the worst but that does not mean it will happen. Say these lines as you step up. Everyone will look at you like your crazy. Give them a knowing smile and hit the best shot you can for Crom’s sake.
What movie quote is best used during your golf game to bring you confidence and defeat fear?
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