Are you challenged? Has anyone questioned your ability to succeed? Have people scoffed at your passion? Are your goals far-fetched? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you will have a shot at success.
As I read biographies and stories of very successful people, I tend to catch a theme. Most felt challenged, either by others or by the largeness of their goals. Many had to fight just to prove that their passion was worthy. And within the fight and challenge, grew a resolve to succeed at any cost.
It seems as though our world has changed and instead of challenging our young people, we want to make their paths easy. While it makes sense to provide a young golfer with all he or she needs to play well, including a swing coach and great practice facilities, there also needs to be a challenge. If a young player wants ownership over her game, she needs to feel challenged and rise to that challenge with resolve.
If you never have to defend your passion to others, have you stated it clearly to yourself? If you are always given a magic carpet ride to what you need, will you make the effort to get what you want when it becomes hard? If your goals seem crazy and far-fetched, will you still get up every morning and allow them to be what propels you through your day?
Not all successful golfers have dealt with real challenges, but those who haven't have felt imagined challenges along the way. They practice the game with a chip on their shoulder. They tee off with the intention of beating their playing partners by ten shots. They challenge the course with overpowering shots. They find a way to feel challenged and to rise to it.
The next time you go to the course, whether for a practice session or a game, challenge yourself in some way. Walk 36 holes. Hit balls until your hands hurt. Make 100 putts in a row. Do something, anything, to get your attention on what it is about golf that you love and why you would do something so crazy. Fight through your frustration, focus through repetition, conquer a tough shot, tire yourself! Figure out in your own head and heart how far you would go to be successful in your passion and then begin the journey.
Diana Nyad's Ted Talk This is an example of a person challenged by an overwhelming goal.
Larry Smith's Ted Talk In case you need a challenge!