In today’s world, our lives are filled with many distractions. The pace of our day-to-day activities has increased and because we communicate through text messages, cell phones, emails and social media, we are expected to produce responses ‘now’.
Through it all, our messages can get lost and our intentions can sometimes become blurred by others.
We think too much and we ‘feel’ too little.
The importance of finding our focus has never been more important and in doing so, it can have a profound impact on your ability to find that balance that you so desperately need in your life.
For me, my focus is the game of golf and the impact that it has had on me goes well beyond the simple enjoyment of playing the game.
This is not a golf story. This is a story about finding my focus in a way that was far beyond anything that I could have imagined.
The game of golf has always played a very big part of my life, both from a business perspective as well as from the social aspect. I have built many relationships and closed several important contracts on the golf course over the years!
Following my diagnosis with Stage 4 cancer in 2011, I would find out just how much of an impact that the game of golf would have on my life.
Through the most terrifying and uncertain times, golf provided me with an outlet to ‘get lost’ during my treatments. While I physically could not be on the course, I would visualize every shot during a round at my home course – one of Clublink’s finest, Diamondback Golf Club.
I would ‘see’ the clubface going through the grass, connecting with the ball and watching the explosion on impact! I could ‘smell’ the grass as I walked up the fairway and thought through the strategy of my next shot. I would ‘hear’ the ball rolling into the cup…. and then I would do all of this over and over again, 18 times.
Before I knew it, the fear of going through my daily treatment would be gone, at least for another day.
Most importantly, I couldn’t wait to get to the course and spend time with my friends. Missing that camaraderie was something that drove me even harder to get better and to be back with my buddies at the club!
Within the first hour after being diagnosed, still numb and in shock from the news that I had just been given by my doctors, I thought about 3 things: Will I die? How will I tell my kids? Will I ever play golf again?
Still in a ‘fog’, I remember saying to myself, “I am going to get over the water and onto the green in 2 on the Par 5, 18th hole at Diamondback.” Who does that? Who thinks about that less than 60 minutes after receiving such devastating news?
My treatments were like ‘going through hell and back’. In 9 months, I had lost 50 lbs. yet through all of my treatments, I thought about watching the ball go over the water and land on the 18th green…. in 2! Even if it took me a couple years, this was my goal and it was very important to me – for so many more reasons than just making a great golf shot!
Late that season, the guys encouraged me to join them and play a few holes. Due to my competitive nature, I was hesitant to come out; after all, I was ‘skin and bones’ and still very weak. I had not picked up a club since October of the previous year. Reluctantly, I decided to go out with them.
Making my way around the course, I played most of the holes on the front 9 however, very tired, I took a few holes off on the back 9. As we came to the 18th hole, the normal bantering among the group seemed to become much less as we got to the tee box. The others teed off and as I stepped up to hit my drive, the atmosphere turned into an eerie silence.
I ‘nutted it’ – crushed it and hit my ball right on the sweet spot of the driver. We all know that feeling and there is nothing else like it!
Walking down to my ball, I could tell that I was in a great position. For the last 100 yards, I would walk on my own – away from my buddies, just kind of ‘lost’ in the moment. I came to my ball; I was 256 yards from the center of the green with water to carry.
There was no way that I was going to try and get over right? Wrong.
I pulled out my 5-wood, set up and made just one practice swing. Head down, I took the club back and came through with one of the smoothest swings of my life; I watched the ball ‘explode’ off the clubface. I’d done all I could with no expectations.
Seconds later, with a silence in the air, I watched the ball land to the left side of the pin. I had made it over the water and onto the green…in 2 and on the 18th hole…just as I had thought about months ago, moments after my doctor said, “You have cancer.”
Right there with ‘high-fives’, a few watery eyes and a look of amazement were my buddies – the same guys that I thought that I might never get the chance to play golf with ever again!
What amazes me to this day is the power of visualization and focus. The power of the mind is unexplainable. Getting ‘lost’ in something that you love can be so incredibly powerful! For me, that love was the game of golf and the game was there for me during the most challenging times of my life.
Finding my own personal focus changed my life forever. It may be one of the most influential and impactful things that you can do for yourself and when you do, the impact can be profound and ever lasting.