This past summer I took up the game of golf. Over the summer my golf game improved. Now it wasn't that my swing improved dramatically, or I mastered the one-putt, what improved was how I managed the misses I knew would happen. Instead of a great shot followed by a series of shots that would make even Tiger Woods consider giving up the game, a series of average shots, not too daring but not too lackluster turned out to garner the best result. While this is the safe route that I’m sure golf ball manufacturers are glad few people take, it is not the strategy that I believe I should live by.
I believe that attempting those great shots is something that I should strive for; I also believe that I need to be ready to lay up out of the rough when the shot goes awry as it does so often. Or to put it another way: life is not a series of successes; life is a series of setbacks disappointments, and potential opportunities. It is through the management and overcoming of these setbacks that we become stronger individuals.
My later elementary and early middle schools years were marked with this management of setbacks and disappointments. Finding out that I was ahead in math and pushed forward to the next grade level was a huge success for me, but finding out that what I had done when teaching myself was wrong and having to relearn concepts proved to be a real challenge for me. Moving back to the St. Louis area after two years of my father not finding a job in Phoenix, disappointment to him and affected the whole family.
While I at the time I hated the fact that my father had wasted two years of my life, looking back I have to admire my father for the decision that he made. Not only did he essentially move us back home, he went back to the company he left. He set his pride aside and hit out on the fairway of life and still made the green in regulation.
What I believe, is that taking a moment to recover from a setback is not admitting failure but the smart play that may present opportunities you never knew existed.