How many of you have been unable to kick start your 2014 New Year Resolutions? Or how many of you have already abandoned your great intentions to improve your health, wealth and GOLF? Be kind to yourself and allow today to be your second chance!! With the greatest desire to inspire you to a better you and your best golf in 2014, I share the following from my book, Mentored by the King, Arnold Palmer Success Lessons for Golf Business and Life.
Champions aren’t made in the gym. Champions are made from something they have deep inside of them – a desire, a dream, a vision. ~Boxing legend Muhammad Ali
“Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal,” motivational speaker and author Earl Nightingale said, A “worthy ideal” is not just another great idea; it’s an idea that’s better than all the rest. It’s not just an idea that you like; it’s something you love. It’s the thing you would do anything to achieve, the thing you would give up almost everything else you possess in an effort to gain. The worthy ideal is also the thing you never give up pursuing regardless of how many times you fall down or fail trying.
The typical journey toward greatness is laced with heartache and hardship. If they do fall, winners get up, dust themselves off, and grow from the experience. Victors don’t lose the vision of the goal; the guiding vision is part of their heart and soul. Those most devoted to their worthy ideal would tell you they would rather fight to the death than consider giving up short of the finish line.
Inspired by his early string of successes, Arnold Palmer continued to steadily move closer to his worthy ideal of becoming the greatest golfer in the world. In some ways, this sounds obvious, but knowing where you want to end up before you embark on your journey is critical if you’re going to have any chance of getting there. You’d be surprised how many people forget how important it is to map out a deliberate and detailed strategy – or even clearly state an objective. It’s become a bit of a cliché, quoted in music and recent films, but “if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will take you there.” It sounds good, but it’s just not so. Your destination will be determined by other forces. I’m more inclined to embrace the wisdom of Yogi Berra. “You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you’re going,” he once mused, “because you might not get there.”
Set Your Sights
When your picture of success is fixed in your mind, it becomes like the North Star to the sailor, providing a constant bearing by which to guide your efforts. All too often we play it safe; we fail to fully commit to the direction of our worthy ideal. There could be several reasons for this, the most common one being our fear of failure. We often try to explain away our reluctance to take a chance by repeating some version of the following: “If I commit to my dreams and fall short, then I’ll be disappointed – maybe even devastated. I’ll be terribly embarrassed if anyone finds out how pathetic I really am. It’s better and safer to just wait and see what happens, and if I begin seeing that I could really do something, then I will reset my goals.”
Does this – which might qualify as the “Underachiever’s Creed” – sound familiar? The problem with this “wait and see” approach is that all too often we give up at the first sign of difficulty or disappointment, and it’s impossible to benefit from the laws of momentum if you’re standing or sitting still.
If you’re really in love with an idea, you must do as Arnold Palmer did and commit yourself to making it happen. You have to live and breathe the dream. It sounds almost like a cliché, but it’s true: great discoveries come only when the captain of the ship is willing to lose sight of the shore. You often have to take a chance and assume the risks that accompany the adventure. Robert F. Kennedy, a U.S. senator, attorney general, and civil rights activist, said, “Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.”
You don’t need to have all the answers and you certainly don’t need to possess all of the resources in order to capture the vision of your worthy ideal. But the ascent and career of Arnold Palmer should remind us that catching a clear glimpse of your goal is the best and only way to give your dream a chance to come true.
So, how can declaring a worthy ideal affect your golf game? Fourteen months ago I began working with a young man, whom at the time had a USGA handicap of 12. This 20-year old told me that he desired to become a professional golfer. Today, Tony is a +3.2 handicap at Bay Hill Club his home course, and this past November turned pro. He has competed in five professional events so far, playing well enough to finish in the money twice. Certainly, he is an outlier, but without Tony declaring his worthy ideal raising his bar and focusing daily on his lofty goal he would not have accomplished such great strides. How about you? What lofty goals have you set for this new year? What is your worthy ideal, on and off the course, the thing that makes you stay up late and get up early?
Each month this year, the DailyBrew Blog will be sharing stories from my book, Mentored by the King, Arnold Palmer’s Success Secrets for Golf, Business and Life. Each chosen story will deliver an inspirational message that if practiced like a pro, will allow a positive vibration and your greatest golf!
Until next time, happy golfing,
A Top 100 Teacher by Golf Magazine and PGA class-A Professional, Brad successfully competed on the Austral-Asian PGA Tour and Hogan/Nike Tours, developed the training curriculum for high-performance juniors at Saddlebrooke Preparatory and applies these experiences to his teaching and coaching at Rosen Shingle Creek in Orlando. Brad was awarded the North Florida PGA Teacher of the Year and Junior Golf Leader of the Year, Edwin Watts Golf Top Instructor Award, along with the honor of Top 50 Instructor in Florida by Golf Digest.