Handling Pressure


The winner of last weekend’s Master’s Golf Tournament, Adam Scott, came through under pressure to win the title, the green jacket and vault Australia into the winners column at the event for the first time.

But that’s not the way it was less than a year ago for Scott at July’s British Open where he choked miserably at the end.

Some great people somehow manage to let pressure get to them.  Fellow countryman Greg Norman blew a six-strike lead in 1996 at the Masters.

What we learn is that losing helps our resolve. 

Helps make us rehearse in our minds how we will deal with pressure the next time it confronts us.

In our daily lives, stress is a major factor.  When the stakes are high, stress is greater.

In a post-match interview, the young Scott said that with the weather turning bad and the opportunity that his playoff partner had given him it was time to just go out there and get it done.

That’s it.

When pressure envelops us, go out there and get it done.

“There is a lot of pressure put on me, but I don’t put a lot of pressure on myself. I feel if I play my game, it will take care of itself” – LeBron James

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What’s the Best Thing That Happened To You Today?


A friend of mine recently shared a childhood story that resonated loud and clear.

She recalled fond memories of sitting around her family’s Kansas City dinner table and hearing her father ask the same question every day: 

“What’s the best thing that happened to you today?”

Dad wouldn’t accept, “I made it through the day” as an answer or the stock reply “nothing”.

Something more meaningful was required – more specificity.

The children were being positively programmed to see good routinely no matter what else life was offering on its menu that day.

Increasingly families don’t eat dinner together and when they do they don’t enforce the “no digital devices” rule.  Eat, talk and build your self-esteem.

Gratitude is like penicillin.  It cures most everything and unlike penicillin, no one is allergic to gratitude.

So, for one day only – try this.

Ask those you care about, “What’s the best thing that happened to you today?”  And don’t grade it, make fun of it or dismiss it because you are saving a lot of money on psychologist bills.

And while you’re at, for one day only, ask yourself the same question.

“Acknowledging the good that you already have in your life is the foundation for all abundance.” – Eckhart Tolle

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It Takes Only 10% To Cause Real Change


It’s hard to find a person who doesn’t want to improve – to make real changes in their lives.

It’s also hard to find many who have a plan for effecting that change.

That’s because change is difficult.  It requires an understanding of the problem or situation and a game plan to respond.

But often that is the easy part, believe it or not.

The hard part is sticking to the plan.

Change never happens overnight.  Sometimes you have to work hard to nudge things just a very little.  Folks get discouraged and frequently give up.

Significant change comes when you succeed as little as 10% of the time.

You’re ability to live in the present, for example, is improved greatly if you fail at 90% of the things you’re trying, but succeed at only 10%.

Same is true in sports.

Your golf game gets better not when you hit the ball like The Masters champion but when you hit the ball 10% better than you used to.

So, try the 10% rule and stick with it.

Oh, one more thing.

It’s really hard to know what exactly 10% better is so be prepared for much more then start by setting a realistic goal.

“When you’re trying to motivate yourself, appreciate the fact that you’re even thinking about making a change.  And as you move forward, allow yourself to be good enough” – Alice Domar

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Chase Your Dream


While speaking to a class of college students, one young man who coveted a career as a musician, asked me “When is it time to give up on your dream?”.

Apparently his father, a college math professor, wanted him to have a career with a more substantial and predictable income stream.  A valid thought for a parent, for sure.

However my answer was: never stop chasing your dream.

But, he replied, “How do I make a living?”

I cautioned not to confuse making a living with following your dream.  Sometimes they are the same.  Sometimes they are not.

As long as we live on this earth and have the ability, why would we knowingly decide to throw our hands up and stop going after that which ignited our passions.

No employer, no mate, no friend, no enemy has the right to prevent us from chasing our dreams. 

Because today’s dreams are tomorrow’s accomplishments.

Dreams help enhance our self-esteem.

And perhaps more importantly, our dreams today lead us on the next great adventure tomorrow.

Say it – display it – embrace it.

“You have to speak your dream out loud” – Kelly Corrigan

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Dealing With Disappointment

If you watched any of golf’s Masters Championship recently, perhaps what occurred to me occurred to you.

How awful it must feel to work so hard to compete in this major event and lose.

The same feeling emerges when a politician we support loses an election, when we fail to get the promotion we have worked so hard to get and so on.

Dealing with disappointment is major because we are disappointed so much.

No one plays to lose, but too few of us play to win because we played.

Participating in The Masters — check off, well done.

Running an election campaign – check success.

Working hard for a promotion that eludes us – chalk one up for being a hard worker who will soon not be denied.

The problem with losing is that we make it worse in our minds than it really is.  Not everyone can win a golf tournament.  Only one person may.

Where did we get the idea that we have the right to be disappointed for more than 24 hours and that’s the special rule I want to share with you this morning.

I allow myself 24 hours to be human and be disappointed – to sleep it off and start over again the next day.

Then resurrect all the good things we’ve done short of getting all that we wanted.

It’s true that to win tomorrow we have to lose today – and build our self-esteem rather than diminish it.

“Anytime you suffer a setback or disappointment, put your head down and plow ahead” – Les Brown.

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  • Rather than putting your head down and plowing ahead, perhaps the lesson that we should take away from this, was displayed by Angel Cabrera and that is to keep your head up, then plow ahead, display the utmost professionalism and celebrate being there by congratulating your worthy opponent.  I gained so much respect for Cabrera, enjoyed the drama of the Masters, the class, dignity, true sportsmanship, as well as the lesson about how to accept defeat when you’ve done your best.

  • Love it J!