There was a popular golf book written back in the 1980’s called “Golf Is Not A Game Of Perfect” by Dr. Bob Rotella. It dealt with the concept that golf is not about making your way around the golf course hitting perfect shot after perfect shot, but more about how you deal with shots that don’t turn out exactly as you had planned. The author’s premise discusses how the success of the golfer would be defined by how the golfer dealt with adversity and failure. I always thought the title was very clever and as I get older I realize how my successes in golf are the road map for my success in the real world.
You see, life is not a game of perfect either. Nor is life about getting it right or wrong.
Often times we worry about whether a job offer is the right one for us or is this move the right move. As if the world is going to stop rotating or we’ll be irreversibly damaged if we make the “wrong” decision. I’ve never really looked at opportunities as being right or wrong. They simply are opportunities. I prefer to see things like this: I am going to work a lot of jobs in my life, is this one that I want to have on that list?
I think the stress we place on the “rightness” or “wrongness” of decisions ruins the life experience. To say there is only one right decision, at this moment in time, it to say there is only one path for my life and if I make the wrong choice I’m going to mess everything up. I am sorry to say there is no right and wrong choice. You assess all the details and make the best informed decision that you can and let the cards fall where they may.
Some decisions you will celebrate and some you will regret. Either way, move on with life.
The idea of getting life “right” is implied throughout our society and no concept could be more wrong!
I have talked in previous posts about how we are expected to graduate high school, go to college, get a good job, get married, have kids, retire and reap the benefits or our hard work. This I guess would be considered getting life “right.” But as life teaches us, we learn our best lessons from our failures. And as I am thinking this through in my mind, our life is actually built on lessons from failing; we might not know what to do, but we sure as heck know what not to do. That kind of concept.
So many times I think the fear of getting life decisions “wrong” impede our ability to experience the situation for what it really is, one more chance to learn. To learn about ourselves and what we are capable of. How much can I achieve? How far can I go? How much can I do? And, all too often, the fear of failing (getting it “wrong”) pushes us to the easier, less challenging, safer of the options.
image credit: constantchangetoday.com
If I never tread into the deeper water I will never drown. True, but if I rob myself of the challenge of learning to tread water, I never grow in confidence, and will always be stuck in the shallow end of the pool.
Unfortunately, one thing that doesn’t change as you stand in the shallow end of the pool; time keeps ticking.
And soon you realize that as you have chosen to limit yourself to three feet of water, your work associates, friends, family have learned to tread and moved on to deeper waters. And there you are with the “kids” of life, stuck in the shallow end because you were too scared or too reluctant to challenge yourself.
“Oh what could have been if I had only learned to tread water when everyone else did,” you say to yourself. What you must know is it is never too late to learn to tread water! Challenge yourself now regardless of age, education, status, employment, etc. Someone in their mid 40’s or 50’s might think they are too old for a reinvention. Where as, the 90 year old looks at them and says “you have your whole life ahead of you kid!”
Life is not a game of perfect; remember that as you go along.