Steve stood with cue stick in hand while watching Ian prepare to take his last shot. Only the 8-ball was left and Ian was concentrating on which treatment to give this last shot to win the game. He did a few gentle practice strokes before hitting the cue ball so hard that it flew off the table. To Steve’s amazement, the cue ball bounced off the floor towards the wall, and from the wall it ricocheted towards the ceiling where it dropped back down to the pool table to push the 8-ball into the side pocket. Ian had won the game.
“Nice!” Tony the bartender exclaimed.
“How did you do that!” Steve asked.
“Would you believe this was my first try at a shot like that?” Ian said to Tony as he racked up the balls in preparation for the next game.
Turning to Steve, Ian said, “Okay Steve, I want you to sink all the balls in one shot.”
Steve was stunned. “I can’t do that.”
“Give it a try anyway,” Ian said as he removed the plastic triangle that held the balls in standard formation. He rolled the cue ball to Steve and Steve lined it up with the balls in preparation for the break. Taking aim, he hit the cue ball hard enough to break the balls out of formation but only sank a few of them.
Ian quietly gathered the balls so he could rack them a second time. “Try again,” he said. “but this time, imagine yourself being able to sink all the balls in one shot.”
“I can’t,” Steve repeated.
“That’s why you couldn’t do it the first time,” Ian said. “Remember, we’re in Dreamland, where we can do absolutely anything, including defy reality. Remove all doubts from your mind and convince yourself you can in fact sink all the balls in one shot. Then see what happens.”
Ian removed the rack and rolled the cue ball back to Steve. Again Steve lined up the cue ball in preparation for the break. This time he concentrated on being able to sink all the balls in one shot and then hit the cue ball hard enough to send the balls scattering in all directions on the table before they all disappeared into nearby pockets.
“There you go,” Ian said. “Congratulations.”