I was once perhaps the most competitive person on earth. There were nights where I’d spend hours in a dimly lit church gym battling a kid 10 years younger than me in horse, 21 or a 3 point contest. For the record, I pretty much always came out on top of those challenges. Call it ego or testosterone or whatever you will but there was a burning drive inside to prove that I was the top bull in the pasture. It also didn’t matter what the game was, I was willing to put all my chips into the pot against any and all comers. Like all great things do, the fire eventually dies down and I became much more human in my desires. Kids, work and life find a way to refocus a mind upon the things that are truly important. Some of the greatest actors and actresses often ask, what’s my motivation? This is for good reason as it’s a means of focus and a way of blocking out the other burdens of the mind.
My father always said “you have to learn to crawl before you can learn to walk”. When I was first married, my wife and I lived in a small home of less than 500 square feet. It cost a grand total of $22,000 and needed lots of work. Although I would have loved to have started in a plush, huge house, the reality was that there was no way that I could have handled it. Living in such a humble way allowed me to learn how to maintain my yard, manage bills and how to work hard enough to make ends meet. I recently met an aspiring chef. He is a hard worker and when I asked him about his goals, they were very high and very short. When I asked him why the rush, he stated that it was all about the money. I have no doubt that this guy will be successful but I also have to question is it always about the money? Motivation driven by cash is often short lived. Think about some of the top athletes of our time. Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods and LeBron James stand as examples of true greatness and self motivation. Once these players had more cash in the bank than they could ever spend, how did they continue to remain at the top of their game? It’s the competitive edge and the desire to impose your will onto the opponent. The body eventually caves into the will of age but the mind remains willing to compete at the highest level. I remember the first time that I realized I had lost a step on the basketball court. My eyes would see the pass being made, my mind pulled the trigger to intercept the ball but my body couldn’t execute the move fast enough to turn the pass into an instant 2 on the other end.
Standing on the tee box for a round of golf or at a Long Drive event can be nerve racking, exhilarating or addictive. The more you stand in the spotlight, the more you’ll slow down and be able to compete. With proper motivation and perspective, you’ll have a shot at sustaining success. I’ve watched some work their tails off to further themselves as well as the sport of long drive. I’ve also witnessed some who are too blind, stubborn or stupid to realize that when some succeed, it paves the way for others. It’s a bit like having a group of people who are building new roads and buildings to provide a better place for all while others are busy tearing down and trying to destroy the progress being made. Hate is a fuel that burns brightly but can’t be sustained. Believing in yourself, working on your trade day in and day out and discovering your limits and how to battle through adversity is the basis for greatness. Self doubt leads to poor execution while self confidence leads to positive results. What’s your motivation? Win with class, lose with dignity and always be willing to learn and improve your entire world view.