My call-to-action this year for my family, and close friends is: “it’s time to start playing offense in 2012.”.
We’ve skimped on stuff we’d liked to buy, we’ve downsized, and we’ve even gone without for far too long, now it’s time to attack. What do you need to play offense? You need a dream and a game plan. While the circumstances financially in many of our lives may not be much different than we’ve seen them the past few years, I sincerely believe that we still have dreams – or at least a few goals we can pull off the shelf, dust off, and start pursuing again.
There is a difference between believing a dream can come true and BUYING INTO your dream. I’ll use myself as a bad example. In 1996, when I met Jessica, I had made efforts during my relocation to Portland, to walk on to the Portland State Golf team. I believed that I could make the team, they had spots, and I still had two years of eligibility left after Jr. College. But I didnt buy-in. I let fear keep me from investing everything into my dream. Instead, I tried to do the “responsible thing”, and started a business so I could care for my new family. The golf clubs went into the garage, and they stayed there for 11 years, because while my dream to play professional golf was strong, playing golf without ever being able to play at the highest level was too painful for me to enjoy so I just buried the dream. But even though I had given up on my dream, God never did. See Romans 11:29 says:
“For the gifts and the calling of God are without repentance.” – KJV
Put another way:
“God’s gifts and God’s call are under full warranty – never cancelled, never rescinded.” MSG
In 2008, having a lot of confidence and a little money, I played in my first PGA sanctioned Pre-qualifier in Memphis Tennesee at the Stanford-St. Jude at Wyndike country club. I did everything wrong, I flew in late the night before, practiced too late, the guards locked the gates and I had to hop the fence and call a shuttle back to the hotel, I couldn’t sleep until 3am, and had to be up a six. Not having a caddy pre-arranged, I had to carry my own 50 lb tour bag with only a single strap in high 90’s heat around a 7,200 yard golf course on 3-hours sleep, while playing golf at the highest level against guys who played 4 competitive rounds every week. I shot 90 I think, BUT, my playing partner who shot even par was +1 after 7 holes and I was only +3 at that point!
With that little glimpse that I could compete, that I could train and get better… kept me going and in 2010 I played in the US Open regional qualifier. In May found my coach, and started training a couple of days a week (4) and started playing courses once a week. We budget for it, live less lifestyle because of it but even when I was playing in the Pre-Qualifier for the Fry‘s Open I knew my sacrifices have been worth it. Even though I haven’t made any money at golf yet, I keep getting better, and the personal energy and momentum I’ve received from attacking my dream head on these past 3 1/2 years has been the difference maker for me in my whole life.
While I’m not 22 coming off an NCAA national title, I have hope with men like Steve Stricker still making several million dollars a year on the PGA Tour at 45, and with Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer both competing into their mid-sixties, and Tom Watson finishing 2nd to Stewart Cink at age 59 in the 2009 British Open. I can conservatively say that I’ve got another 15 years maybe 20, where I can live my dream traveling the world and competing with the best players in the world on the best golf courses in the world as a tournament golf professional. And I’ve never been happier, ever. “Better very late than not at all.”