Last Sunday I went to play golf.
Well, actually I must say I went to hit some balls because the truth is, I know NOTHING about golf. I am a perfect rookie. Seriously! When it comes to golf I only know those sticks you hit the ball with are called Golf Clubs.
There I was, standing in front of a majestic golf course, surrounded by beautiful nature and lots of people practicing their skills. While my husband was trying to hit his golf balls, I was distracted looking around and trying to grasp the picture ahead of me. Yes, I was lucky enough to make some good hits but the truth was, my mind was somewhere else.
As I enjoyed the view I couldn’t avoid thinking about how similar life is to golf.
Summarizing the basics of this popular game, players need to use different clubs to hit the ball into a series of holes on a course (generally 18 holes), using the least possible strokes and while having to defy several challenges. Some of these are: areas of longer grass (called the rough), the direction in which the wind is blowing, sand traps and water hazards like ponds or streams. The player also has to use knowledge on which club to use depending on circumstances and distance. There are certain rules that players need to obey during the game. As you can see, it takes discipline, skill, knowledge and training to be able to play well and win the game. If you think about it, that’s pretty much what life is about.
As we grow up, we realize life implies certain rules we need to follow if we want to live in harmony with ourselves and others. We need to exercise discipline to put our self aside and understand that it’s not only about us. We are part of a bigger picture.
We develop emotional tools (our “clubs”) which we will be needing along the way, depending on situations and circumstances. We become more and more prepared for some challenges, and yet surprised by some new ones.
As we learn, our knowledge about life, people and ourselves becomes way deeper, forming us into what a mature adult is really about. No wonder why they say we know more simply because we’re older. With age comes the experience. There’s no doubt about it.
Finally, we see our plans and dreams as a big golf course, full of obstacles, but with amazing rewards as we continue moving one step forward. Some dreams we accomplish while some we may have to adjust and redefine along the way. Others we simply give up, sometimes realizing afterwards that better ones unfold in front of us.
Yes, life is like playing golf. We can take it seriously, competitively, taking the fun out of it. Or we can relax, play responsibly, have fun and enjoy the game. After all, it’s a choice we make!