A friend and I recently played a round of golf. It was my first time on the course in well over a year and I was a bit nervous at how I would perform. Did I still “have it?” Would my old swing come back and shine or would it fail me? Being out of practice I stood at the range, did some preliminary stretching and then let ‘er rip.
A couple of times my club went straight into the ground just before the ball causing me to hit it ‘fat.’ That hurt as the shock waves from hitting the ground reverberated throughout my arms. “Find the ground,” I told myself. “Swing easy, don’t hold your breath, just let go.” And whoosh – off went the ball sailing into the distance toward the pin. “All right,” I told myself. “You still got it!” After a few more practice hits, off we went.
If I did not hold my breath nor allow my mind to fill me with worry or trepidation, I hit the ball well. Considering my lack of practice, I scored the same that I always used to and was pleased. Yet I started thinking as we drove the cart down the fairway. Here we are chasing a little white ball down the fairway and into a little hole. What about this constitutes ‘fun?’ So often I witness people chewing themselves out when they miss a shot or have a high score for the hole. Are they really having ‘fun’ when they are so intense, determined and judgmental? And I wonder if a person really enjoys getting the ball into the hole or the actual journey of playing the hole, noticing the wonders of Mother Nature around them?
If you correlate golf to life, both are not as much based in “being perfect” as “striving for excellence.” A person must fight fear and/or worry of past (negative) performance and trust in himself/herself that he/she will do well. If stress can be released, performance will improve. We all know that stress causes us to stiffen or clench up. Remember life, like golf, is a journey. It requires physical and mental skill and your only true competition is you.
So, I ask, what are you thinking when you address the (proverbial) ball? What are you thinking when faced with any challenge in life? People become who they think they are – if you have limiting beliefs, you will limit yourself. If you dream big, the opportunities are endless! In the end, it’s how you enjoyed, what you accomplished and how you made a positive difference throughout the journey that matters. I welcome your thoughts which you can post below.