I have racked my brain trying to figure out what Moe meant when he called his golf swing the “Feeling of Greatness”. Actually, some part of me, especially when I am hitting balls understands it. I think.
I often wonder if he meant the feeling of the strike of the ball solidly off of the club face? I have definitely felt this. Was he describing his body sensations when playing golf. I have felt that too. Was it some sort of emotional golfing euphoria? I would have to think about that.
The problem is that I haven’t found anyone that can, with any certainty, define feel? What is it? Most people relate feel to touch?
According to Dr Tom Waller, who runs Lululemon’s research and development arm, Whitespace, touch is one of the least understood of the five senses. And yet, touch can be transformative.
“Not just the brain, but the entire nervous system and behavioural psychology, is directly related to this thing called the science of feel,” said Waller on the stage of VOICES, BoF’s annual gathering for big thinkers hosted in partnership with QIC Global Real Estate. “There are tiny nerve endings — 3,000 pressure sensors — that work as motor controls. When you know about those, then you can start to think about hacking them. If you can hack touch, then you can start to achieve some really, really interesting things.”
But Moe’s Moe’s Feeling of Greatness was more wholistic and emotional than Dr. Walker’s definition of touch.
Debbie Hampton describes the difference between emotions and feel on her website “The Best Brain Possible”, she states:
“Feelings originate in the neocortical regions of the brain, are mental associations and reactions to emotions, and are subjective being influenced by personal experience, beliefs, and memories. A feeling is the mental portrayal of what is going on in your body when you have an emotion and is the byproduct of your brain perceiving and assigning meaning to the emotion. Feelings are the next thing that happens after having an emotion, involve cognitive input, usually subconscious, and cannot be measured precisely.
Hampton’s description more closely resembles Moe’s explanations.
“I wake up every day and know I have a 365 day swing”.
“I’m the only golfer that knows I’m going to hit it pure every time.”
“I can taste it before I hit it”.
Dr. Sarah Mckay, neuroscientist and author of the Your Brain Health blog explains it like this:
“Emotions play out in the theater of the body. Feelings play out in the theater of the mind.”
Feelings are sparked by emotions and colored by the thoughts, memories, and images that have become subconsciously linked with that particular emotion for you.
Wait. Feelings are secondary? Actually, not always.
According to Hampton, It works the other way around too. For example, just thinking about something threatening can trigger an emotional fear response. While individual emotions are temporary, the feelings they evoke may persist and grow over a lifetime.
Because emotions cause subconscious feelings which in turn initiate emotions and so on, your life can become a never-ending cycle of painful and confusing emotions which produce negative feelings which cause more negative emotions without you ever really knowing why.
While basic emotions are instinctual and common to us all, the meanings they take on and the feelings they prompt are individual based on our programming past and present. Feelings are shaped by a person’s temperament and experiences and vary greatly from person to person and situation to situation.
Was Moe’s Feeling of Greatness an emotion of confidence that created empowering thoughts?
After knowing Moe, I can make one very important conclusion. Hitting a golf ball and playing golf wasn’t just a hobby. He couldn’t relate to the world but hand him a golf club and he transformed.
Moe emotionally and physically identified with golf and his ball-striking ability. He seemed wired for it. When his hands held the club it appeared that he had never held anything else. Thor’s power came from his hammer, a surgeon’s comes from a scalpel and Moe’s from a golf club.
The Feeling of Greatness was Moe’s way of describing his dominion. When I asked him how he achieved it he said:
“Hard work, you can’t buy it”.
In the next blog I will explore what he meant by this and how we can work smarter.