Translating Golf to Life

My favorite insights about life originate in my experiences with the game of golf. In “Trust: Understanding My Why” I share a fabulous conversation I had with Judy Bell, chairwoman of the USGA women’s committee. Upon learning of my frustration with match play golf, she proceeded to tell me a story about one of the greatest golfers of all time, Bobby Jones. The crux of the story is that golf is not fair, just as life is not always fair. Learning how to calibrate that lesson was hard for me, because sometimes the “unfairness” seemed particularly brutal. But what is so powerful about embracing the concept is to then create strategies and skills to persevere through the perceived unfair condition to realize a better outcome. This clarity made me work harder and develop a tireless resilience.

Another favorite life lesson that golf teaches is the harder I try the further I get from my destination. That seems counterintuitive to the commitment of grinding through and work ethic, which can be priceless qualities, however, sometimes in order to find the benefit of our hard work we need to “let go” and let the process reveal the benefit. I find this even more applicable today when I am prepping to coach a workshop. After spending time designing programs I need to walk away and let the ideas breathe on their own. That “letting go” process allows for the strongest ideas to surface and new complimentary ideas to emerge. 

In “Trust: Understanding My Why” I share the most important life skill golf taught me: being present. In order to learn the physical skill requirements of golf, I needed to be fully present in thought, action, and emotion. Any distraction from being in the moment in the learning process will derail growth.  “Being present” is also the greatest asset for relationship building. Think about the times you were engaged in a conversation with someone and you felt like the most important person in the room. You felt that way because the person you were engaging with was giving you their full attention. It is a precious gift for you to give to someone else.

It is hard for me to imagine how different I would be without growing up with golf. I think some of the life lessons would have taken a lot longer to learn and it most likely would have led to some very frustrating setbacks. My purpose in “Trust: Understanding My Why” is to share the learning, how I reflected on the learning to give it meaning in my life, and how I took the lessons and expanded their influence into all parts of my life. That journey is attainable for everyone.

#golf  #trust  #beingpresent #author