One of my favorite weeks of the year is Father’s Day week here in the US.
It’s also the week of the US Open in the golf world.
Most golfers would probably agree that the US Open is the most mentally challenging golf tournament.
Pros feel. I don’t know what it feels like.
But observers can see it. They can see the frustration on the players’ faces.
Every year there are 156 players in the US Open. Only a fraction of that have the talent to win. The physical ability to hit the right shots at the most demanding courses.
And of those with the physical talents only a fraction have the mental fortitude to deal with the challenges the US Open presents.
Jack Nicklaus has said that he used to walk into the locker room at the US Open every year and listen for players that were complaining.
Complaining about how difficult the course was. Complaining about the USGA, the governing body that sets up the course. Complaining about anything and everything.
Jack would just smile and check the complainers off the list of possible winners.
Because if you’re complaining about something before the event even begins you’ve already mentally lost.
So much of life is out of our control.
I would say that I skew toward the side of the spectrum of people that like to be in control. That like to plan. That like that feeling.
So I struggle with this a bit.
I play golf and it’s a game that tests your mental fortitude all the time. There is nothing worse than hitting a great shoot only to see it land on some funky piece of ground and take a weird bounce.
That happens all the time in the US Open. And it drives players crazy.
But the successful players at the US Open are those that are least affected mentally by uncontrollable things.
And it’s not just golf.
There are a million uncontrollable things that happen all the time in life.
We can’t wish that others would do things differently. We can’t hope that a particular employee would be more reliable with their work.
We can only control what we can control.
Life is a lot like the US Open.
You probably know people that complain all the time about all kinds of things. Usually things that are out of their control.
Those people have already lost. They’re probably not going to have future success. They’re already making excuses for reasons that they can’t do something.
Don’t all into that trap. Life will throw you uncontrollable situations. How you react affects your future success possibly more than anything else.