Masters of Uncertainty
Great players of the game we love, that's who, of course...
The ability to accept the fact (where are the facts today in the golf, and golf swing realms, what with the incessant noise and information attacking us from every imaginable angle..??) that outcomes - playing conditions, where the ball comes to rest, final results (and much, much more..) - are so very much out of your hands.
Yet you, like me - and all other human dwellers of Spaceship Earth - are a control freak. It's OK; admit it, acknowledge it, embrace it - for your own wellness re the uncertainties surrounding us in current times, on and off the links.
And like with a golf index or handicap, some of you have a firmer 'grip pressure' on the need to 'control' than others. Death-grip holders: can you learn (it's never too late) to let go, postulate, plan and prepare for what you want - then adopt a laissez-faire attitude and detach from the outcome? I'm confident you can, and like with all, 'tis a process. Shall we begin?
Here's your Monday morn tutorial/tip (careful - like with an iceberg, much unseen under the surface...) from the CS classroom:
1. You play a game called golf. Like with all games, there is a large measure of uncertainty. Is that not part of the charm & reason we play? You want definitive certainty? Head down the hallway to the mathematics class...
2. Make a list of the things you control 100% on the course (hint: sticking to a functional - for you - pre-shot routine), and those elements that are not 100% (hint: playing conditions) in your control. Then, be sure to spend your ever-so precious energy and attention on those you can take charge of; that's the "Focus and Discipline 101" class, folks.
3. Build a friendship - kinship, even - with uncertainty. She's not going anywhere, ever. You can try and ignore her, hide from her, or pretend (don't we have enough posers out amongst us, as it is?) 'she's not there,' but wherever your turn, there she is. Why not sit down with her, acknowledge her presence (and gifts - are those not 'presents' as well..??), and get to know her better? Don't treat her like a zombie, please... "Social Studies 201."
Time for what we are all far too skilled at this mid-April day 2020: the 'clicky click.' On the image below for a potent reminder from The Zombies and their classic offering from 1964, "She's Not There."
Then, on the collage up top for an article from Scientific America on the role of luck in life success. It's sure to add some perspective to that controlling part of self.
How about some perspective on how fortunate most of us are, to be playing this game, anyway?
Re aforementioned collage, a threesome of its participants (can you name them all, and who amongst them has donned a green jacket?):
- Ben Hogan's future was rather uncertain after he and his wife got whacked by a bus in the late 1940's.
- Certainly wasn't on Bobby Jones' radar that he'd go from winning the Grand Slam in 1930, to being stricken with a gnawing and rare spinal disease called syringomyelia that forced him to give up golf, and into a wheel chair.
- How about the uncertain future of a boy born into poverty of Mexican-American descent who grew up in a four-room shack without running water, electricity, or his father. The 'Merry Mex,' aka Lee Trevino, won six majors, 29 Tour events, and beat Jack Nicklaus in a playoff for the U.S. Open. Certainly didn't plan on being struck by lightening in 1975...
When these assignments are completed, students and friends, c'mon back my way for some further ideas & insight on a more fruitful path to progress for your forays in the golf park...
"Well, let me tell you 'bout the way she looked
For a coaching relationship that is less 'zombiesque' (where you're spending the bulk of your time whacking balls into large blue-it screens with plug-and-play toys spitting out approximations -talk about uncertainties - with a coach who's more enthralled with the data than your actual motion, feels, and look in your eyes?).
The way she acts and the color of her hair
Her voice was soft and cool, her eyes were clear and bright
But she's not there"
Yikes! Hope those lyrics don't describe your golf guide, he, or she... More into the way they look and sound on SM, and the like? Coolness over content? Smart talk over simplicity? Not really 'there' when you need them?
I'm sorry - and it's not too late...
Rather, one that is more authentic, enlightened and enlivened? I have a plan for you..
Remote and in-person coaching options (still available with me in OR). The development of an optimal practice regime for you, your needs, and your schedule. Ideas and referrals in the equipment domain - those sticks in your bag, and your physical body. Science and experienced-based help and direction in achieving higher mental acuity on the course. A competent, comprehensive and on-going loop for learning, regardless of where you are on the planet.
Contact me for a consultation, and options.
“I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing. I think it is much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers that might be wrong. If we will only allow that, as we progress, we remain unsure, we will leave opportunities for alternatives. We will not become enthusiastic for the fact, the knowledge, the absolute truth of the day, but remain always uncertain … In order to make progress, one must leave the door to the unknown ajar.”
-- Richard P. Feynman