The Devil or Angel?

An idle mind is a devil’s playground.

-American Proverb

We all know the concept of the devil and the angel, but unfortunately in many cases, its the devil that comes out. So in honor of Halloween, I’d like to discuss the devil (negative mindset), its ability to overpower the angel (positive mindset) and what we can do to keep him contained. 

  1. The devil is much stronger than our angel
  2. The devil will fill any void of space

So let’s figure out how to lower our golf handicap with them. We’re on the course, getting into our golfing stance and about to hit our tee shot. It’s a dog leg right with a lake running along the left side of the fairway. Our angel is on our right shoulder, you can feel the soft pitter patter of her feet, light as can be. On the left shoulder is our devil, his talons are digging in and he’s weighing our left side down. 

The angel has a sweet singsongy voice, “You got it. This hole was made for you! You play a natural fade.”

The devil’s voice is gruff and menacing, “Don’t you remember that one duck hook on the range? What makes you think you won’t do that right now?”

The Angel pushes back, “Don’t listen to him, he’s just nasty and bitter because he never got to accomplish his life aspirations. You got this!”

The devil scoffs, reaches across the back and pushes the angel off without ease. She staggers backwards and tumbles into our golf bag. He then expands to the other shoulder to take her space so he can now have both your ears to whisper golf tips.

He remains there for the rest of the round. Our angel tries to climb up multiple times but is ruthlessly flicked off over and over throughout the round. 

Research shows that humans are naturally pessimistic, naturally verging on the glass half empty side. Furthermore, when we even just make contact with the loss mentality (aka devil), it is extremely hard to convert back to the gain mentality. This is why it is so important to fill your mind with positive thoughts and strengthen your angel otherwise, it leaves room for the devil. Unfortunately, the devil will always be there and strong as over, its in our DNA. What we have to work on is strengthening our angel.

Here are three ways on how to strengthen our angel:

  1. Practice gratitude. Start a gratitude journal, constantly train your brain on ways to look for the positive things. When we’re not playing well, instead of focusing on how much life sucks, focus on the beauty of nature. If its raining, instead of focusing on the lack of sunshine, choose to focus on the crisp smell in the air. 
  2. Choose to talk about the positives. It’s so natural to want to vent about everything that went wrong with our round, from how awful our drives were or how none of the putts dropped. What about focusing on everything that went right? Such as how awesome our chipping was, that allowed us to make so many up & downs!
  3. Be friendly and spread positivity. I think we as humans are searching for a greater purpose, to give back in some way. Why not just start with smiling at someone? Paying a genuine compliment? Just by commenting on your partner’s round, such as improvement of his drives can make his day and create a ripple effect. 

Let’s focus on strengthening our angel so she can stand up to the devil, until the day he finally knows his place and backs down. 

Here’s the Ted Talk that I based this article on, it’s absolutely amazing and I recommend watching it so you can take this from tee to street.


A golf gypsy and sock fanatic on a mission to inspire golfers and golfers to be to bring the spirit and philosophy into the game of life #teetostreet

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