I’m tempted to begin this post with a sentence saying that I play golf. That might be a bit of an overstatement. I spend time on golf courses hitting a small white ball. I hit it too often to call what I do playing golf. Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson play golf, I play a round.
My regular golf buddies and I fully understand the rules of golf and we mostly follow them completely. We play for large amounts of money, I once had a very good day and won almost 6 bucks! Even with the high stakes the weekly game is always friendly, and forgiving. On the first hole of a round we “allow” a mulligan. A mulligan is a “do-over” with no penalty. If your first shot is less than you had hoped for you just hit another one. No harm, no penalty!
It’s too bad life doesn’t offer mulligans. In golf there is no consequence for a bad first shot when you take a mulligan. When we mess up a part of our life there frequently are consequences. We, or someone, generally pays for our mistakes.
Just because there are consequences however doesn’t mean we don’t get a do-over. If your life isn’t heading in the direction you would like then by any and all means possible, change direction.
If a change of direction isn’t enough then take a life mulligan. Start over.
The starting point for your do-over is wherever you are today. Take from the past only the experiences which will help you in the future. Leave behind your regrets, mistakes, and failures. Above all, leave behind the fear that causes so much hesitation and doubt.
You may also need to leave behind those things and sadly, people who do not provide you with the positive influence you need to succeed. It’s not easy to start over, but most successful people have done it once, twice, or even several times before they found their ultimate success.
In golf when you take a mulligan you (at least I) rarely try something different. You just tee up another ball and hope for a better result. Sometimes it works and most times it doesn’t.
In life, doing the same thing and expecting a different result is a pretty good definition of insanity. If you’re taking a life mulligan only to do the same things the same way then just skip it. You’ll only end up at exactly the same place you started.
Set new goals, make new plans, get a mentor, educate yourself, and leave much of the old you behind. You’re never too young to begin again and you’re never too old to become the person you’ve always wanted to be.
I’ll take a mulligan!