This I Believe

Paul - Oak Forest, Illinois
Entered on May 3, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: sports
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Life is Like a Round of Golf

I believe life is like a round of golf. To succeed in life or on the golf course, I must learn from my mistakes to put together the best round or day possible. When golfing, every shot is like a situation in life. I may hit only a few of my shots perfectly, just like how I may handle very few situations in life perfectly. However, when I hit a bad shot, I discover what I did wrong and learn from it. This is exactly how it is in life. I will make a lot of mistakes, but I hopefully will learn from each and every one of them.

My biggest learning experience occurred in 2006. In September of that year, I was starting my freshmen season of college golf. I was expecting to perform just as well, if not better, than I did in high school. I put pressure on myself to perform well in order to make the starting lineup. However, my inability to accept anything below perfection caused me to have a bad temper and a lack of patience. Also, I would never accept responsibility for my bad shots. I would always blame the wind, a bad bounce, bad luck, or the occasional person driving by honking their horn! As a result, I played below my expectations and standards, which put me outside of the starting lineup. After playing only once the whole fall season, I was no longer enjoying golf as much as I used to.

I then discovered that my behavior on the golf course would often transfer over into my behavior in everyday life. For example, I became extremely mad, irritated, and impatient whenever my schoolwork was not exactly perfect or when I was struggling to accomplish a goal.

After realizing that this behavior was affecting my golf game and everyday life, I knew I needed to change my behavior. I then attempted to make the transition from having a bad temper, a lack of patience, and being irresponsible to being calm, composed, patient, and willing to accept responsibility for my actions. I needed to develop some techniques to calm me down. In order to learn several calming techniques, I watched professional golfers on television. I then began to practice some of these techniques. The main techniques I learned were to take deep breaths and to concentrate on something else, such as the green grass or the blue sky. These techniques helped me to cool my temper and make this transition.

After successfully making this transition, my everyday life and golf game improved because I was no longer mad at myself. Instead of being uptight and stressed out all of the time, I began to relax and have fun again. This transition showed me how I can learn a life lesson through golf and how similar life and golf truly are.