On the Sweet Spot (Paperback)
Stalking the Effortless Present
Simon & Schuster, 9781501125850, 272pp.
Publication Date: September 19, 2015
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Keefe recognized that the feeling golfers and other athletes have of "being in the zone" is basically the same as a meditative state. And as a researcher with experience in brain chemistry, he went one step further: If we can figure out what's happening in the brain at such times, he reasons, we can learn how to get into that "zone" instead of just waiting for it to happen. This is the Holy Grail of sport psychology--teaching the mind to get out of the way so the body can do the things it's capable of doing. Keefe calls it the "effortless present," when the body is acting of its own accord while the brain has little to do but watch. All religions describe some kind of heightened awareness in their disciplines; Keefe explores whether such mystical experience is a fundamental aspect of our evolution, an integral part of what makes us human and keeps us from despair. And he brings the discussion back to the applications of such knowledge, reflecting on our ability to use these alternate planes to achieve better relationships, better lives, better moments. Keefe's true subject is extraordinary experience--being in the zone, in the realm of effortless action. On the Sweet Spotbuilds from the physical and neurological to the mystical and philosophical, then adds a crucial layer of the practical (how we can capture or recapture these wondrous states). It is a work in the proud tradition of The Sweet Spot in Time, Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience, and How the Mind Works.