Golf is a funny game. Perhaps no other game is more challenging to master. There are so many similarities between golf and life. The lessons we learn on the golf course we can take off the course as well.
One lesson is that positive adjustments do not always give us positive results in the short-term. Often times we can decide to make a small adjustment in our golf swing. It could be a positive adjustment to our grip, our setup or our swing itself. Maybe it was instruction given by a professional that we paid to help us get better. While it may be a positive change to make us better, it doesn’t feel that way. It feels awkward. It feels uncomfortable. This results in us hitting the ball even worse. We feel like we are going backwards not forward.
I have experienced this more times than I can count on my golf journey. But I have also experienced it off the course even more. So often the changes we make to get better in the long run bring short term discomfort. We make adjustments to give us a better future, but it makes us more uncomfortable today.
This is the choice we are all given in life. We can stick with what is comfortable or we can risk making an adjustment. It may be uncomfortable. It could even make things worse. But it has the potential to make things so much better.
This why mastering anything is hard. It is a never-ending journey of risking being uncomfortable to breakthrough to a new level.
Wouldn’t it be cool to have a time machine? Going back in time to experience the world or be a part of famous historical events would be fascinating, but I’m not even talking about that. What if we could just back to when we were younger? What things would we love to tell ourselves? What mistakes would we tell ourselves to avoid? What opportunities would we tell ourselves to take advantage of?
Wouldn’t we all want a do-over or at least have some sound advice to give ourselves? Unfortunately, we can’t go back to the 20 years younger version of us. That doesn’t mean we can’t still think about it. If you could go back, what advice would you give yourself? It is a worthy question that requires reflection and self-awareness.
Then I think there is another question that we can ask that is a bit more difficult. What about the 20 year older version of yourself? If your 20 year older version had a time machine and could back and give you advice about your life right now, what do you think it would be?
This is a more challenging question, but worth consideration. It has the potential to give us more clarity today.
What advice do you think the future you would give you today?
I have worked with and run sales organizations for my entire adult life. There is a question that always comes up. You can’t escape it. It doesn’t matter the industry. The question will always be asked…
“What does the average person do?” or “What does the average person make?”
I’ve heard it so often that it is difficult to patiently give a reply. Why are we so obsessed with average?
The average person is out of shape.
The average person is broke and in debt up to their eye balls.
The average marriage ends in divorce.
The average sales person struggles and eventually quits.
The average new business won’t even exist in 5 years.
Average is a terrible thing to aim for. If average is our plan, we shouldn’t even do it. I would say I’m an average chess player, but chess isn’t that important to me. It is something I do very rarely for fun. It is better than watching TV even if I’m just average. That’s OK. It doesn’t mean much to me.
For anything important, we should avoid average. The better questions are, “Who is succeeding? What are they doing?” Then let’s aim at that. Sure, we may fail. We may not be at their level YET. But we can aim at it. We can measure and improve a little each day. If we do that, we will rise above the average.
For many years if you asked me one of my favorite quotes, I might reply with “Do or do not. There is no try.” – Yoda
I would give that answer partly because I love movies and because I am a huge Star Wars fan. I also love the wisdom in the simple phrase. It addresses the mindset of fully committing to something and burning the bridges leaving no option for failure. Clearly, I still love the advice given by the greatest Jedi Master of them all, but maybe it isn’t right all the time?
What about the person who is sitting on the sidelines scared to get in the game? What about the person who is so concerned that their new product or business idea has to be perfect so they aren’t even taking action?
“Do it” implies that our attempt will succeed. If we don’t think we are “ready” yet, we may wait to do anything. Waiting, procrastinating, fear of failing is what keeps us from making progress. We are never ready. If we wait for the feeling of being ready, we may never act.
Who am I to challenge a Jedi Master? I’m just a normal guy. I can’t use the Force to send objects flying through the air. But I can try.
Maybe that is the right advice sometimes. Let’s just try. What if we don’t succeed? Well, let’s just try it. Let’s take the first step.
Let’s not be scare to try and fail. At least, we started. We should celebrate trying. It is a whole lot better than not trying. Once we are trying and taking action, Yoda’s advice makes sense when we want to master it. We have to fully commit and go beyond trying. But we don’t have to start there.
I have challenged a Jedi Master. I may have failed in my attempt, but at least I tried. I can feel good about that.
Are you a driven, goal oriented person? Are you a dreamer with huge plans to change the world? Allow me to offer a little advice that may be helpful on your journey to massive success.
Will Power! Have you ever felt like you needed more of it! Is there something in your life that you know you “need” to be doing, but you aren’t doing it?