There’s not much sexier in this life than trying. It doesn’t matter what the outcome is, just that you give it a go. Things don’t happen when they are not attempted; I’m pretty sure.
Branching out, testing the waters, diving in, just get it going and the rest will come naturally. It’s the stagnation and talking about future attempts that paralyzes us. That’s not to say that planning is a bad idea, but that there comes a time when we just need to do. That time is now. Try something new this week, whether it’s something you have always wanted to do or a thing that you never thought you would do. Give yourself the gift of starting something. It will pay off down the line.
I’ve had countless poor performances on the golf course; it comes with the territory, but each one of those was a chance to succeed and a learning experience. I’ve fallen down so many times it would fill a 40 column 30 line spreadsheet, and each time is a far cry from a fun experience, but life is bigger than one day and what happens today is not necessarily indicative of the long term pursuit. That’s true as long as an open mind allows one to avoid falling into the same patterns and mistakes time after time. In golf, this is tough as it’s very easy to hit the same bad shot over and hard to realize the small changes in improvement over short periods of time, but if you look back to months ago the evolution is more evident. Each time I try something new and stick with the plan is one millimeter in the right direction.
The mental game is the same. You don’t just wake up one day having a tough mental game and overcoming everything bad that happens to you, but you learn through hundred of failed attempts how to push through those times in lieu of the good. You have to hit behind trees or in the water countless times until you get to the point where you are confident you can hit the recovery shot you need and once that confidence is in place, hitting the slice in trees isn’t the end of the round, it’s just a chance to further hone your recovery skills and an opportunity to shine from the trouble.
That’s perhaps not the best example of trying something as you are forced into those situations, but the point is that when you go out of your comfort zone it’s a lot easier at first to fail than to succeed. This can’t stop us. Failing is learning and learning is growing. If we don’t fail at first, the task was probably too easy and we should take on something greater the next time. If we do fail, it’s not that we are “untalented,” but that we need to learn from the experience and make small improvements until we make our goals.
So many things in our modern society are based around instant gratification. This doesn’t hold much clout for me. In the long run, breaking a sweat and sticking to it are the real nuggets of gold.
Let’s all try something new this week. As far as golf goes, I’m going to start each morning with chipping in a ball basket from 40-50 yards and not moving from that until I hit the mark. No matter how much time or how frustrating it gets, I’ll stick a ball in the 2 foot basket from 40-50 yards each morning before I move on. It will probably take me all day Monday, but as the week goes on I am sure I’ll learn a lot about distance and direction control. This isn’t exactly a ground-breakingly different approach to practice, but it’s something new for me and something that I will try.
I’m going to give it a go. That’s all we can do in this life.