I had the privilege of playing in a golf tournament recently. It was my first time to play on a private course (Quail Creek in OKC) and it was legit. They "checked" our bags as we walked in and they were waiting for us when we picked up our cart. Unlimited, pearl white practice balls at the driving range. The greens were pristine, fairways were like carpet, and the rough...well...it wasn't.
Here are a few things I learned from playing in this golf tournament.
1. Don't play it safe. I was nervous. I was the least experienced member of our team and I didn't want to blow it. Because of this I tried to play it safe and not embarrass myself by messing up. Oddly enough, this caused me to mess up even more because I wasn't comfortable and confident. Although easier said than done, just be you in new situations.
2. Don't be afraid to take a mulligan. Mulligan is a golf term for "do over". In a golf tournament you usually have to pay for them and it simply gives you the opportunity to correct a mistake. Everyone is going to mess up in life and there is nothing wrong with taking a mulligan every once in a while. Just acknowledge that you can do better and prove it.
3. Better competition makes you better. I was playing with people that were better than me so I was able to get some tips and tricks from better golfers. Just watching them and hearing them talk made me better. Surround yourself with people that you can learn from. Find a mentor, role model, or anyone you can look up to in your profession, as a parent, as a spouse, as a spiritual leader, etc. Just being with them will make you better.
4. Luxury breeds envy. As I was playing on a private course surrounded beautiful homes with perfectly landscaped backyards and luxury vehicles in the parking lot, I must say I got a little envious. I started to wish I could live this luxurious lifestyle. The good thing about this is that it can give you the desire to work harder and put yourself in a position to live this lifestyle of luxury. Unfortunately, it can also cause you to get your priorities out of whack and put "things" over relationships.
5. Everyone contributes. The tournament was a "scramble" which means that we used the best hit ball on every shot. Even as the weakest golfer on our team, there were times when I had the best shot. Just because you are not the best at what you're doing, doesn't mean you can't contribute. Simply do your best and your time will come.