No. It’s an actual story that demonstrates mindfulness, or being focused in the present. It was too late to dig through the books to find the exact story. I just found it online.

From the Inner Game:

Three men are in a car driving down a city street early one morning . . . The car pulls up at a stoplight, and crossing the street in front of the car is a beautiful young lady who catches the attention of all three men. Her beauty is particularly apparent because she is wearing no clothes.

The man on the right becomes engrossed in thoughts of how nice it would be to be with this lady under other circumstances. His mind races through past memories and future fantasies of sensual pleasures . . .

The man sitting in the middle is seeing an example of modern decadence. He’s not sure that he should be looking closely at the girl. First miniskirts, he thinks, then topless dancers, and now they’re out on the streets in broad daylight!

Something must be done to stop all this! He thinks that he should begin by straightening out the playboy on his right.

The driver is seeing the same girl that the others are observing, but is simply watching what is before his eyes. Since his ego is uninvolved, he sees neither good nor bad, and as a result, a detail comes to his attention which was not noticed by either of his companions: the girl’s eyes are shut. He realizes that the lady is sleepwalking, and his response is immediate and uncalculating. He stops the car, steps out and puts his coat over the woman’s shoulders. He gently wakes her and explains that she must have been sleepwalking and offers to take her home.

My friend Bill use to end the story with a twinkle in his eye, saying, ‘There he received the rewards of his action,’ leaving each listener to hear what he would.
Gallwey, pp. 41–42

W. Timothy Gallwey, in The Inner Game of Tennis, offers this story, told by his friend Bill, as an analogy for three kinds of tennis players:

Here they are:

  1. ” The positive thinker, filled with self-esteem because of his superior attitude and mental toughness that make up the core of your game
  2. The negative thinker, constantly analyzing what is wrong with him and being negative toward himself if his game isn’t up to standards of his game
  3. The player of the Inner Game, simply observing, enjoying and doing that which seems natural and reasonable.”

Written by

Ad agency creative director, writer & designer at https://guttmanshapiro.com. Former pro tennis player and peak performance coach for professional athletes.

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