Sunday, October 9, 2011
The Power of Metaphor: Onami the Great Wave!
Onami was a powerful sumo wrestler who lived in Japan about 100 years ago.
Onami was so strong and skilful that he was able to beat his own teachers during wrestling matches in private training. Indeed, Onami never ever lost a practice match.
However, Onami had a problem of stage fright. Crowds made Onami nervous.
He was unable to perform at his best during public matches in front of large audiences. During public matches, Onami was beaten even by his own students and also by untalented wrestlers only half his size. Onami’s stage fright became so serious that he lost twenty consecutive matches.
Troubled by his stage fright problems, Onami consulted a Zen master.
The Zen master told Onami, “Your name means Great Wave. Imagine you are a Great Wave. Visualize yourself sweeping your opponents aside like a powerful unstoppable wave.”
Onami did as the Zen Master said. He spent the days and nights visualising himself as the Great Wave, an earth shaking wave, big as the ocean itself, sweeping his opponent aside with great unstoppable power.
When the day of the competition came, Onami went into the ring of a public match with this mental movie of himself as the Great Wave. The moment the referee started the fight with the wave of the fan, Onami the Great Wave surged forward with tremendous power. He swept his opponent away with an unstoppable shove.
Visualisation is a powerful yet simple method to manage your feelings and your body for peak performance when facing acute challenges such as during a crucial contest, final examinations, or during public speaking.
For example, when making an inspirational speech, imagine in detail that you are Martin Luther King. When playing goalkeeper during a soccer match, imagine in detail that you are a cat. You can imagine anything you want as long as it gives you power.
Try it, you will be amazing.