Actually, I believe life is more than fair but it’s all about what you make of what you have to work with.
What made me think about this topic is my golf game and the results of the Hohenwald Invitational Golf Tourney we played in this weekend. Four of us have played in this annual event for well over 20 years. Chris Cantrell and Chris Ideker (the two in the middle of our team photo below) always team up against Larry Johnson and me.
Larry and Chris C. are by far the best golfers although I used to be able to give them a run for their money until I stopped playing more then a few rounds a year. Been playing more this year but the results haven’t shown up yet, , , need more practice I think. Well, actually I know that’s the case.
It takes work to do anything well and golf is no exception. I’ve put in more time for golf this year but the last 20 years of very little play have coated on some thick layers of rust, , , and then there’s the fact that I’m not as young and flexible as I once was.
Still, I see a few positive signs from time to time, a good drive here, , , a couple of good iron shots to the green, , , a few nice putts. Soon, we will put a good round together if I keep on working.
Results of this weekend
Larry and I ended up paying Chris and Chris $3.00 so they get bragging rights for a whole year – OUCH! Our scores were not great but we had a great time as we always do, , , and after all, that’s the whole point. Larry and I have won three years in a row so it was time for the “other team” to rebound. If Larry’s partner (that’s me) had played well we would have taken the crown another year.
- Larry J. 77 – 72 149
- Chris C. 71 – 79 150
- Mike S. 85 – 78 163
- Chris I. 87 – 90 177
There were many actually, but none like last year when Larry made a hole-in-one. That was special.
- Chris C. posts 3-under for the first 9 and 71 for the first day
- Larry J. shoots 3-under for first 9 of Day-2 and 72 for the day
- Chris I. hits his best shots from back tees of #1 with a crowd watching
- Mike S. ends Day-2 with two birdies and looks to next year
Remember my post earlier this year about “Make a decision: Get in the game or get out”? Well, I have been playing and practicing to improve my golf game and even though I hit the ball poorly most of the weekend, there were some “all world” up and downs from just awful places, , , places you don’t want to go on this golf course. And, there were a few good tee shots and iron shots, , , not many mind you, , , but a few.
The good news is that I broke 80 for the first time this year and did it twice, , , the practice round on Friday and then again on Sunday. That’s under 80 even when hitting the ball pretty bad, , , so there is light at the end of the tunnel and more fun to come. And hold the presses, I shot even par 36 on the last nine holes.
This same principle works for managers, you know. Even when you perform poorly, there can be parts or moments that you can look to as making positive progress, , , you may just have to look for it. The key is to maintain a positive outlook and think of the good things to come. We become what we think, , , and I’m convinced that I’ll shoot under par once again. I’m a long way from that right now but it’s going to happen.
So, the morale of this story is, , , believe in yourself, put the necessary work in to prepare yourself, and persevere through the struggles that you will likely have during your journey. It would be nice if steady improvement was a straight line, but it usually isn’t. Be prepared for some falls along the way, but if you keep working at it, the goal you seek will ultimately be achieved.
If you had told me I would shoot 78 the way I hit the ball yesterday, I would have laughed. What’s even funnier is that it would have been 2 shots better (76) if I had just tapped in two putts, but I was so disgusted I mishit two backhand tap-ins. Took the extra strokes and went on.
The most positive thing of this weekend is that even though I struggled terribly, I never gave up and called it quits. I truly tried on every shot (except for those two backhanded tap-ins). 🙂 🙂
Take the lesson I learned from all of this in that often you are actually doing better than you think you are. Most of us in IT are high detail people and we can be our own worst critics, , , something we all need to work on.
Give yourself a break and stop being such a perfectionist. Perfection rarely happens, and you don’t need to be perfect to do extraordinarily well in life and career.
My wife will read this post later and I can already hear what she will say, “Mike, you need to take some of your own advice.”
Hit ’em long and straight !!