As many know, I constantly use golf as a metaphor for life, and for good reason. Seems more truths about life manifest themselves through my excursions on the links.
A few weeks back, during one of my Wednesday night rounds of golf with My Man Mike, I was lamenting about my swing when I said, “You know Mike, it seems like when I don’t play for a while, I swing too hard.” To which Mike replied, “Yeah Jer…you and everyone else.”
Ding Ding Ding.
I try too hard. We all try too hard.
To elaborate, whenever I haven’t played golf for a while and I pick up a club, I simply swing too fast, trying to kill the ball. This does not work. The intricacies and timing of the golf swing cannot properly be executed when the time you take to do them is truncated. The swing is as complex as you want to make it, but essentially it comes down to efficient placement of the center of the clubface on the ball at impact. And to do this requires smooth movement, not brute force. Swing hard, and your chances of making contact with the center of the clubface greatly diminishes. Hello water hazard and triple bogey.
And it has been my experience that this is subconscious behavior. In other words, I just automatically do it. And further, the only way to stop doing it is to beat my body into submission. I have to hit hundreds of balls until I tire out so that all the energy I have left is to make a smooth, lazy swing. Well guess what happens then. Yup, The ball springs off the clubface, directly at the intended target. And when this happens I just end up laughing at myself. I then take the relaxed swing to the course and I play great.
Now. Apply this lesson to life. I cannot speak for others but only for myself, but I will dare say this – don’t we all try too hard? Don’t we all over-impart our will on a situation until we make the situation worse or simply tire out? I certainly do. And again, in my case, it is subconscious behavior. That’s just where my brain automatically goes. ‘I have to do this…I have to do that.’ When the true answer is, I don’t have to do anything. I just have to relax.
I have recently made some fundamental positive changes in my life (vagueness intentional). Changes that were both needed and wanted. By making these changes, I have put much of my effort on instilling these changes while letting other aspects of my life just be. And guess what is happening – those other aspects of my life are unfolding quite nicely. In other words, they didn’t need my attention, or in keeping with my theme here, over-attention. They didn’t need me to ‘do something’ about. They just needed me to get out of the way. Because here’s the truth about these situations – they will unfold just as they are supposed to, whether I like them or not, and whether I ‘do something’ about them or not.
If you suffer from Type-A Personality Sickness like I do, this is an easy remedy to whatever ails you.
Maybe Frankie Goes To Hollywood was right after all.