Everything in life can be a learning lesson and if you’re not careful you can get sucked into everything in life can be a learning lesson. Huh? Keep your ears, eyes, and mind open to enjoying the experiences of life and learn a little bit from some of them but don’t immerse yourself in a quest for learning experiences so much that you risk missing the joy of living.
Anyway enough preaching and let’s get back to golf. “How”, you ask “can we gain life lessons from golf?”. Well, it’s simple really and revolves around the premise that you must take one shot at a time. Worrying about what you did on the last shot or fretting about what will happen 3, 4 or 5 shots from now only takes away the focus you need to make the best possible shot NOW. Life operates the same way.
We recently came upon a quote that may put this into perspective and it goes like this: “There is only one day left, always starting over: It is given to us at dawn and taken away from us at dusk.” ― Jean-Paul Sartre
Every day is like a shot in golf. Make it. Make the best one you can. Then move to the next. Once it is done, start over. Forget about the ones that have come and gone; and don’t worry about the ones that haven’t arrived yet. Let’s be clearer on the phrase “forget about the ones that have come and gone” and let’s say not to “worry” about them. You may have learned something from that previous shot that you don’t want to duplicate. Same in life. Forgetting would be detrimental. Learning, correcting and moving on without further worrying can be helpful. Learn from them and move on. Don’t get yourself caught in second guessing and worrying.
Even the golf swing itself is akin to life. Think about it. You begin your life not knowing much, not being able to converse and having a difficult time just standing up and walking (and for a while even pooping yourself). Yet, as the years go by experiences and moments begin to shape who you are and what you can do and the more you practice the better you become. Similar to a golf swing in that each mechanic and instruction is built upon one another to create the best possible swing. Individually you could never even attempt to strike a ball, however, collectively each part harmoniously works together with the others to become an effective ball launcher. Another similarity is at times during the golf swing a “hitch” or “glitch” surfaces and without being known to the player is then practiced over and over again until that glitch becomes a natural part of the swing and most difficult to rid oneself of. In life you have the same issues. By unknowingly practicing a “glitch” in your personality or lifestyle your path of development takes a wrong turn and it again becomes very difficult to remove. Guess this is why therapy is such a lucrative occupation when it comes to both life and golf.
A day on the golf course mimics life as well. It offers time to be competitive, have fun and relax, get angry, learn, suntan, socialize with friends and meet strangers. It teaches you to be patient, strong willed, courteous and what sportsmanship is all about; how to deal with people with whom you may not agree and most of all it forces you learn a little bit more about yourself each time. It reinforces the fact that you must take each shot/each moment one at a time in order to enjoy the whole thing; while also supporting the practice of a positive mindset.
So, take a few life lessons from golf and if you don’t play the game of golf (or life); LiFE is NOW… get out there and take a few swings!