Life Lessons From the Game of Golf #5 Focus
"If you aim for nothing, you're sure to hit it."
My golf game improved when I started to play with a much better player who always asked me a question just as I was about to hit a shot - “What are you aiming for?”
He went on to explain to me that unless I had a specific target for every shot I played, I was unlikely to achieve my goal of getting the ball into the hole in as few shots as possible. And what’s more, without a specific target, how would I be able to judge performance and know what adjustments I needed to make for my game to improve?
It was then that I realised for the first time that my strategy was simply to try and hit the ball in the general direction of the green, in the belief that as long as I went in that general direction, I would eventually get there and sink the ball.
The problem with that strategy was that more often than not, although I managed to get to the hole, time and time again I would find myself in the rough, in a bunker, having gone past the hole or fallen way short and with an awkward lie, resulting in a score much higher than I knew I was capable of.
But once I began to focus and aim for a specific target, I found that not only did my score improve significantly, but I was also able to make immediate adjustments to my game with instant success.
A sad truth about many of us is that although we might have some very clear goals and ambitions, very few of us have a focused and specific plan to achieve them. Most of us go through life with a general idea of what we’d like to achieve and how we intend to do it.
It reminds me of the famous encounter between Alice and the Cheshire cat. In trying to get out of Wonderland, Alice came to a fork in the road and asked the cat which way she should go. The cat asked her where she was going, to which she replied she didn’t know. The cat then told her that because she didn’t know where she was going, either road would get her there.
Unless we are specific about our goals and what we would like to accomplish in life, we are unlikely to achieve them.