It is a shame that for most of us, time living on this planet is the only thing which increases our knowledge of the best way to live. It seems by the time you have it figured out, you can be too old to reap the benefits of your hard fought wisdom. I love the game golf and play as much as I can. I was recently reflecting on how those things which makes one a better golfer, can also make one more successful in other aspects of life as well. Following are some things I have learned that contribute to a good round of golf, but can also contribute to a better life as well.
In the game of golf, as in life, it is important to live in the present and stay focused on your current task at hand. In golf, one must focus on the present shot and the swing needed to execute it. The last shot, whether it was successful or not, is in the past and can not be changed. The next shot may be dependent on what is accomplished with the present one. So it is with life, one can not change the past and can only affect the future by the actions taken in the present.
One of the most common errors that people make when golfing is taking their eye off the ball during their swing and looking up. This results from a tendency to look where the ball is going before the club head makes contact with it. Looking up during the swing can result in the club not making solid contact with the ball, causing a bad shot. The same is true for life in a way. If one substitutes a focus on today's requirements for tomorrow's promise of success, i.e., "looking up", failure may be the result.
When I was a child, learning the game of golf from my father, he always told me to swing the club slowly and evenly and let it do the work. I relate this advice to life in as much as success is built over time and can not be rushed. One can not hurriedly execute the requirements of success, for that will almost always lead to failure and disappointment. In Golf, as in life, one must find a certain rhythm and timing that allows for consistent execution.
One of the hardest lessons of golf and life for me has always been not allowing myself to be affected by previous failures or successes. A bad shot must be learned from and then forgotten, otherwise it could affect the current one. Conversely, a great shot must be modestly celebrated and put in its proper perspective. Allowing one's emotions, whether it is anger over a failure or joy over a success, to dominate the present, is the best recipe for losing focus on the current task at hand, whether one is playing golf or living life.
And finally, to achieve success in golf, one must keep one's feet firmly planted on the ground. Firmly planting the feet far enough apart to achieve balance and strength is important to a good golf swing and in living life. The things in golf which contribute to a solid stance are quality golf shoes and strong legs. In life, a solid stance is achieved through strong adherence to principles, values and faith. Life is also like golf in one more aspect, both are to be enjoyed, but that enjoyment comes as a result of hard work and practice and is not just bestowed as a gift.