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Playing Golf

Golf for Inspiration
by Leon van der Walt

You might be tempted to ask what golf has to do with inspiration. The inspiration in golf, for me, comes from playing it. It is a microcosm of life. Sometimes you win and sometimes you lose. Every shot you take can either be a success or a failure. Each shot you play results in the next shot you have to play. Each shot a result of the shots up to this moment. You can love it (fairways) or you can hate it (out-of-bounds) or you can lie in all the grey areas in between (rough, sand, water).

It is said that once you know the basics of golf, the game is 90% mental. And so it is with life. If you think you can make the shot, you probably will. If you think you can't, you're right as well. To become a better player, you must learn what you can and can't do. And if there are shots that you can't make right now, practice them until you believe you can do it.

Most golfers will remember the best round they ever played. I'm no different: it was a round of 84 (at handicap of 18) on a par 72 course. And if I must say it myself, I played darn well! And so many of us relive the glory days. Instead of moving on and continually striving to improve, we just sit around and talk about the good old days.

But life, like golf, can and should be so much more than a good memory. Don't ever stop and think that the best is behind you. Play every shot as if it is your last. Play every shot to the best of your ability. Accept that mistakes are part of the game, but don't dwell on them. And remember that you aren't playing alone, so do make a stop on the 19th hole.

Don't be so focused on your own game that you don't notice the good shots of your fellow players. Compliment and encourage them to play the game as it should and could be played. Try to forget about the things outside of the here and now. Focus on one shot at a time. Don't just play on one course all your life. Get out of your comfort zone and go and see the scenery (hopefully not the bush and the sand and the water) on other courses. Learn from those more skilled than you are and if they are willing to learn, those less skilled than yourself.

We try to avoid the obstacles that are presented to us (sand, water, etc.) but once in a while - sometime more often than not - we have to face them. And how you face them tells something about your character. You could cheat, you could go for an impossible shot or you can go for safety. Whichever way you choose to go, remember that it is only you that will have to live with it. So make your choice something worthwhile.

So whether you are playing the best or the worst round of your life, do it in courage and truth. Courage to believe that you can always enjoy the game and truth so that you may know that whatever the result is, you are important in the big scheme of things. May your golf and your life hold fairways and greens and once in a while a hazard, just to mould your character!

About the author

Leon van der Walt is an aspiring netrepreneur in the fields of inspiration and financial freedom. Leon has a masters degree in quantitative risk management and when not working on the Net is a bank employee. He strives to continually improve himself and is focussing on increasing financial literacy.

Copyright 2005, all rights reserved. Reprinted with permission.


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