What I Learned While Golfing Today

What I Learned While Golfing Today

Today (Sunday) in Austin, Texas the weather was perfect. With a high temperature in the low 70s and minimal wind it was an excellent day to play golf. With that said, I wanted to share with you what I learned while golfing today.

What I learned while golfing today

It had been 8 months or so since I'd even swung a golf club. Texas had been under a severe drought for almost all of 2011 and the course wasn't as green as it could have been with adequate water, so I didn't play. My wife took time off of work to go back to school so we wanted to save money where we could, so I didn't play. In January, being careless while going down the stairs in our house, I broke my big toe and haven't been able to walk too well until recently, so I didn't play.

So today, after drinking coffee and reading my latest book, I decided that the call was too loud and I had to get the ole clubs out of the closet, dust off the shoes and hit the course. What I learned while golfing today was humbling, a bit funny, and at the very least, a good lesson. Let's take a look at what I learned while golfing today.

Success takes work. I had this weird notion that I could pick up my driver without swinging it for 8 months and hit the ball straight. I was wrong. Way wrong. I won't go into too much detail but hole 1 did not go well for me.

Back when I played golf regularly, I'd practice form in the backyard, I'd go to the driving range and test techniques and I'd play a couple of times a month. Through constant effort and persistence, I'd developed myself into a fairly decent (casual) golfer.

But if you don't use your golf muscles for 8 months, things don't come back as naturally as you'd hope. The same goes for astronauts who have trouble walking when they return to earth after being in a weightless environment for an extended period of time.

This principle also goes for your brain.

To develop yourself into what you want to become takes time and persistence; you cannot take 8 months off, not even 1 month. You have to constantly be learning, developing, training and feeding your brain with the thoughts and information that will make it and you successful.

Success takes work and as Jim Rohn says, you must

Work harder on yourself than you do on your job.

If you go to work every day, you should work on yourself every day.

You don't have to act like you're better even if you are. The group I was matched up with for 18 holes was very interesting. The older two were from China and the younger one, a student, was from Thailand. They ranged in age from early twenties to mid-fifties and all three of them were much better at golf than me.

Even on my best day, I could have only barely kept up with them. The greatest part was they never once made me feel bad about it. They were clearly better than me but they were patient as I warmed up and encouraging when I hit a good shot.

How often do we see people in our lives that are at the top of their game and act like it?

I sometimes get frustrated when those around me don't pick up a skill as fast as I do or understand a concept that I think they should. Today was a great experience in humility and these three men definitely were examples of the quiet truth that you don't have to act like you're better even if you are.

If you want to be a leader, or are one, the people around you already know it, you don't need to throw it back in their faces. Lead from the front; don't push people to where you think they should go.

Be a positive force and people will automatically and naturally be drawn to you, and leading will be much easier.

Have fun and enjoy yourself! Even though I didn't know most of what those three were saying (because they spoke mostly in Mandarin), it was clear that they were enjoying themselves. All afternoon they were laughing with each other, making jokes and loving the great weather.

I know what you're thinking and no, they weren't laughing at me, though I did enough of that myself.

They were just happy to be outside on a nice day while playing a great sport with friends. They asked me questions about what I did and where I worked, they took an interest in me and were generally pleasant guys to be around.

So, all in all, today was a great day. I once heard it said that we shouldn't avoid every experience or ones that we may not expect to be perfect, since we don't know what we'll learn from them; even the bad experiences. This round of golf was definitely one of those interesting experiences. I never expected that I'd learn a lesson in leadership after playing one of my worst rounds of golf.


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