7 Steps To Succeeding I Learned From Golf

Playing golf has helped me develop a higher standard for myself (or at least brought them to the fore front).

Here are 7 steps that I apply not only to my golf game but also to my life and career.

  1. Analyze yourself. Where in your game (career/life) are you not succeeding? Think about the areas in your game (career/life) that you are not satisfied with and figure out how to make a change.
  2. Set realistic goals. I don’t want to be Tiger Woods. So why set that as a goal? My goal this season was to break 90 in my golf score. Where do you want to be in your game (career/life)? What will it take to get to that level – training, practice, etc? What are the steps that will lead you there?
  3. Create a game plan. Develop a game (career/life) plan with detailed steps of how you will get there. Set incremental milestones for yourself. My plan is to play more and practice when I could.
  4. Change your thinking. To be successful, you must believe in yourself. Beliefs are what control our behavior. Think through the beliefs that limit your game (career/life) and replace them with positive thinking.
  5. Reward yourself. Focus on small accomplishments and reward yourself for them. For example, I shot my first 90 this season, so I rewarded myself by buying a new set of irons. Once you start making progress in your game (career/life), you will continue to build momentum.
  6. Take action every day. Your effort will accumulate if you try to take appropriate actions toward your goals every day. If I cannot hit the driving range or course, I try to watch a video or read an article on how to improve my golf game at least once a day. The same philosophy can be applied to your career and life.
  7. Surround yourself with people who have higher standards than yours. Find who has already succeeded at the game and play with them. I find playing with better golfers elevates my game also. Playing with A players elevates your game (career/life) to an A level.

Learning From Failure

From success to failure is one step; from failure to success is a long road. -Yiddish Proverb

One of the most difficult things that I’ve had to learn over the years was how to embrace failure. Failure is the thing most of us spend the most amount of energy trying to avoid. It is hard to accept, and we don’t look forward failing. However, when you remove the emotional aspect from failure, failure is only feedback. As executives we can and should learn from our failures, by understanding what does not work, and by continuing to adjust our strategies until we find out what does work.

Most of us think that failing is bad. But is it really? As children, we were very familiar with “failure” when we were learning how to walk. We made countless attempts trying to find out what to do so we could walk without constantly falling down. Failure’s role in our lives and careers is to teach us. It is a method of learning; learning to change and adapt. With every failure we have, we learn one more way that does not work and we can focus in the correct ways.

Any new task we strive to accomplish there is always the risk of failure. In fact, we might fail many times before succeeding. It is only by risking failure will we ever be able to grow. If you are failing, at least you are trying something new. Woody Allen once said, “If you’re not failing every now and again, it’s a sign you’re not doing anything very innovative.”

When you fail, ask yourself this question, “What could be positive in this situation?” This allows you to obtain feedback from the experience and to learn from it. Remember, we often achieve our greatest successes right after we have experienced our worst failures.