Welcome the Ball
David Freund, Chief Leadership Officer

I recently watched an online training based on The 15 Invaluable Laws of Growth when I heard John Maxwell share some advice he received from professional golfer Richard Lee. They were sitting at dinner during a Pro-Am tournament when John asked everyone around the table to share the greatest advice they ever received. Lee responded with this statement, “My mother-in-law advised me to welcome the ball.” Lee went on to say, “Sometimes you hit the ball into a sand trap or the rough. If you approach the ball as if you are glad to see it rather than, ‘why did you end up here,’ you are more likely to hit a better shot.”

I have played golf twice in my life and am definitely not a golfer, but I would imagine that many golfers carry the annoyance or frustration of a bad shot into the next shot. I have watch pro golfers throw clubs and come completely unglued. Life often has us in a sand trap or the rough, and sometimes we may be far in the woods. Unlike golf, we may not have had anything to do with where our ball landed, but we still get to decide how we approach the ball.

In truth, the only thing we can control is how we react to situations as they develop. Assuming a positive life stance when dealing with challenges allows us to become more creative and open to opportunities. We remember the words of Albert Einstein and look for the great opportunities found in the center of great difficulty. When we focus on the negative aspects of the situation, our brains go into a defensive mode. We are much more likely to find excuses for what has happened and reasons for why things occurred rather than what we can learn.

What Richard Lee’s mother-in-law knew is there’s nothing you can do to change where the ball is sitting. When you are welcoming of the situation, you are much more likely to make a good second shot. What a profound bit of advice. If you would like to hear more about how we can develop a welcoming approach to the ball, please join Marisa Norcross and me for Episode 207 of The Next Page Podcast.

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