Golden Visions and Associates | Coaching for Success
Thought for the Week
Your Success Thought for the Week of August 26, 2009
What Makes the 8th Top Internationally- Ranked Golfer Ashamed?
The JELD-WEN Tradition brought golfing legends, hall of famers and major champions to beautiful Central Oregon this past weekend. 
I was fortunate to attend an intimate dinner of 30 with golfing great Gary Player.  Having heard how dynamic and charismatic he was, I was not surprised that he had the crowd mesmerized with his stories. 
One story that characterizes Player's tenacity took place in 1955.   Only nineteen years old he traveled alone from South Africa to play the British Open.  While Player's competitors slept in fancy hotels and dined in fine restaurants, he slept on the beach with his golf bag, not having enough money to stay in a hotel.  Player won that tournament four years later, in 1959 and then again in '68 and '74.
From that humble beginning, he stayed tenacious, winning 163 tournaments including nine majors which made him the most successful international golfer of all time. He was the first non-American to win the US Open in 1965 and one of only five golfers to ever have completed the career "Grand Slam."
I had the opportunity to ask one of two questions from the room. 
"Gary, as a leadership coach, I have the honor of working with highly- successful individuals as yourself each day. 
I know that you cannot stay as positive and focused as you are right now.
Everyone gets down from time to time. 
What words do you tell yourself to pull 'you' back up when you are down?"
The room grew silent as he collected his thoughts for this unexpected question. All other questions were about, well, golf.
Player's voice was low as he slowly began to answer this question.  You could tell that being 'down' was not a place he allowed himself to be often.  His answer:
"I get ashamed in myself because of what I've seen in the world. 
I've seen people without a bed to sleep in, without homes or clean water. 
We in this room are in the top 1% of the world.  We have clean sheets, good meals, safe homes, and riches others cannot imagine.
We have to be positive and realize all that we have. 
Be optimistic, appreciative, have hope and faith.
With any difficulty we face, it's the only place to go.
Do we have the right to feel down with all that is going on in the world? 
No, we do not.
This is what I say to myself when I get down."
Player went on to discuss the power of the mind in golf and life and how we've barely scratched the surface of controlling our thoughts to favor those above.
In any given moment, you alone can manage your thoughts to be productive.  On national TV, we watch golfers recover from a shot that cost them the game in a split second.  These are masters of self-management. 
Too many of us carry anger from past events or perceived injustices with us for weeks.  Where's the mastery in that? 
This week, I urge you to follow Gary Player's advice and gain perspective of all that you have!  Let go of anything that is holding you back or weighing you down, any perceived injustices-just let them go and appreciate the bounty you have.
You are in the top 1% of the world.  Appreciate that and go out and make a difference in your world today. 
Enjoy your discoveries and have a grand week!

To see more of my published articles, including ''Beyond 360 Degree Surveys,' go to:Golden Visions & Associates, Coaching for Executive and Leadership Success and then click on Writing and Wisdom across the top.

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Permission is granted to either reproduce copy or distribute "Your Success Thought for the Week" for August 26, 2009 as long as this copyright notice and full information about contacting the author is attached. The author is Ann Golden Eglé, GV&A, Golden Visions & Associates, Coaching for Success, 541.385.8887, PO Box 1696, Bend, Or. 97709.