At the height of his career, championship golfer Arnold Palmer was called “lucky”
because he won so many tournaments. “Yes I am lucky”, he reportedly said, “and
the funny thing is, the more I practice, the luckier I get”.

Any situation in life when we pursue a goal with something at stake can be understood as a drama. The higher the stakes, the more vivid, compelling and stressful the drama becomes.

Drama means literally “action taken where there is conflict, emotion, and consequences
for a protagonist”. Whenever you enter a situation where you have something to win or
lose, you become, in effect, the protagonist in the dramatic action of your own life.

The key to remaining effective in high stakes, “real life” situations is to cultivate your
ability to play within the drama, and not be overwhelmed by it. To give yourself room to
remain flexible and adventurous. To understand that you are, in some sense, an actor in
a play that you are co-creating with those around you; a “response-able” co-author and
fellow actor, not a victim of the situation.

Like every actor who ever lived, you can choose to improve your skills, enhance your
creativity, and develop your power and range. Developing this proactive “response-ability”
does not take any special talent. Whatever talent you were born with is enough. What it
takes is a willingness to commit to action. To risk opening yourself up to the situation you
are in and learning from it.

Management consultant Richard Tanner Pascale said something like: “It’s easier to act
your way into a new way of thinking than it is to think your way into a new way of acting.”
This is a good way to describe what it means to practice Actor’s Mind.

Andrew Harmon, London 1999