Are You Playing to Win?

I was having lunch this week with a new friend, who, not that age matters, is 70-plus years young! Since my parents went home to be with the Lord during my early adulthood, I'm always seeking wisdom and knowledge about how to mature gracefully and have value to others. During our conversation, I asked him what was the best piece of advice that he had ever received. His answer is what I would like to share with you because it very rare that you find such wisdom in so few words.

He began to tell the story about a time when he was in his early teens. His dad had recently retired and taken up the game of golf. He had played once or twice with friends but neither he nor his dad were really golfers at that point.

While playing on a popular course, one that was really beyond either of their skill levels, they came to a hole where there was nothing between the tee and the green but a deep ravine. Not wanting to lose a good ball to the ravine, my friend pulled out what they call a "shag ball" to tee off. A shag ball is a used, damaged golf ball that is good for practice but not really for playing. His dad stopped him and said "Never play shag balls. They show you have already failed in your head."

The more I thought about that statement, the more profound his advice became to me.

I'd like for you to take a moment to consider what he was saying: Using a shag ball means the golfer does not expect to successfully triumph over the course challenge.

Now, consider how that applies to each of us.

  • How often do we anticipate or admit defeat before we even make an honest effort?

  • How often do we reach into our bag and pull out a throwaway instead of risking a good ball and taking a chance on losing it?

  • How often do we fail because we didn't really make a wholehearted try?

In our lives, just as in the game of golf, there are going to be times when you need to take a chance. There are going to be times when the gap between where you are and where you want to be seems like a stretch beyond your skills. You can pull out a shag ball and admit defeat, or you take a risk and just maybe create the memory of a lifetime. This can be possible when you have a limitless mindset supported by a faith in your ability to do uncommon things. If you are not stretching your imagination and behavior, then you will never grow into a more interesting person!

My challenge for you this week:

Become a more interesting and successful person by never "playing shag balls" and always bringing your A-Game.

  • Do you consider yourself an interesting person?

  • How can you make yourself more interesting?

  • What risks will you challenge yourself to take?

  • Keep a daily log of the uncommon things you accomplish.

You will find that as your daily log grows, you will become more confident in your ability to be a limitless person!

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