...the real zone. Oh, you've heard this one before. "Flow" "The Zone" they're all the same. Okay.
But chances are a real zone ain't what you think. Commonplace notions of what the zone is are to be wholly absorbed in what you're doing, and that's part of it. But see, once you enter a real zone, you're not going to have any choice as to whether you're wholly absorbed with something, you just will be.
And some think the zone is about concentration, and again, it is, but also again, you're not going to have any control over that if you're in a real zone. Something else will be doing the concentrating.
When you're in real zone, you're gone consciously. You're on auto-pilot. No, it's more than that, SOMETHING ELSE is flying the plane. Gee, that sounds creepy. It's not! It's fantastic! Because this something else is God or the Universe or your Soul. Whatever you want to call it. And this is where you transcend ordinary human capability.
Athletes get the most attention when it comes to the zone. But very few get to the real zone. Masters and U.S. Open-winning golfer Raymond Floyd said this:
If I was known for something, it was "the stare," a wide-eyed look I'd get when I was near or in the lead. It was the result of being in a zone-like mental state, and what a peculiar feeling it was. I'd feel very light on my feet, almost like I was floating. When I had an important chip, I could see the ball coming off the club and landing on the green perfectly. The different shot options whirred around in my mind like little movies. The stare was my way of letting my imagination take over my conscious thought.
Now does that sound like someone that's just concentrating very hard or wholly absorbed in something. Un-uh. He is being 'taken over.' He has entered the real zone.
Another golfer who knew the real zone was the late Payne Stewart. Here's what he said:
Through preparation and hard work, you can prepare yourself for a mental attitude— a "zone." When it happens, all you see is the ball and the hole.
'When it happens,' he said. Not 'When I decide I want to enter it.' See, the real zone is something that just takes you over. There's no conscious thought involved whatsoever.
Like Payne Stewart said, it takes preparation and hard work to get into a real zone, but once you're there, you feel like Superman.
I've been in a real zone only a few times in my life, and I'm doing everything I can to get back into it as much as I can. I want to live there 24/7. How about you?