Money and success are a game and you have to know the rules and practice. So let me compare my favorite pastime – golf to the game of money.
To be good in golf – there is no doubt that you have to “practice”. Consistent good rounds of golf and a low handicap are the rewards for good practice. So goes your relationship with money and your goals in life.
Most golfers don’t know how to practice. They don’t make time to go for lessons or the driving range, they play once in a while and expect to have the perfect shot and get a low score.
It never works. They may get lucky on a few holes but it definitely catches up with you on the next one…
The same is true in real life. We want the results and for some, they measure it by having the biggest home – most toys, lifestyle… but at what cost?
In my experience most people don’t want to be ‘rich’, they just want to have a comfortable life, have the freedom to do what they enjoy and really… to be happy. What does being ‘rich’ really mean to you anyway?
Same is true in golf – we think a low score is the ’be all – end all’. Is it? Most definitely to some, and that’s okay, because if it is – guess what they are doing… you got it – out there practicing and golfing 3-5 times a week (my husband!) And trust me – they really have to love the game and enjoy what they are doing to make that commitment. If you don’t practice – you miss the whole point of the game and your life; you miss the shots in between the tee and the flag. When the ball is in the hole, there are no more shots.
If you genuinely measure success on how well you play the shot, rather than where it finishes, you will considerably raise your chances of playing your best shots, shooting low scores and really enjoying your game.
As soon as you measure success by the outcome of each shot, or hole, or round, you place yourself at the mercy of the golf course. Not only will you feel more pressure before shots, you will be less present over shots (thinking about all the things that you need to do!) and find yourself looking up too soon to see the result and then be relieved or angry depending on where it finishes!
Struggling in golf can be the same things you struggle with in life and money. Whenever you think you are starting to get good, the swing you thought you’d mastered becomes inconsistent and ineffective.
One piece of advice that’s made a huge difference in the consistency and improvement of my game, is to ease up and don’t swing so hard. Relax your grip. Let the club head fall naturally through your swing. This is however counter-intuitive. If you have a goal that you want to achieve and you really want it, usually your first inclination is to wind up and swing with as much force as possible. You golfers know what happens next … not a good shot.
In golf as in life, sometimes you need to go back to the basics, refresh your skills or learn new ones. Welcome past mistakes or failures, without them we don’t grow, learn or get a chance to do it differently.