The Decision to Try

All self-made successful people have one thing in common. They made the decision to try. I hesitate to say “self-made” since I’m not sure I’ve ever met a truly successful person who wasn’t aware that they had lots of help on their journey to success.

But whether they realize they received some help along the way or not that doesn’t change the fact that their success began with a decision to try.

One of the factors that prevent many people from trying is they wait until the timing is right to begin. Some of them wait until the timing is perfect. Those folks are likely still waiting.

People who try know that the best time to begin is now. People who try know that the best place to start is from wherever they are. People who try are willing to fail…bigly, if that is what it takes to eventually succeed. People who try have a 100% greater chance at success than those who don’t.

It is just my opinion but it’s much better to try and risk failure than it is to never try at all. I’d be willing to bet a sizable amount that people who try have far fewer regrets than people who don’t….whether they succeed or not.

I know for certain that people who try will never be failures even if they never achieve the full measure of success they sought. I’m not at all sure that can be said for those who are not willing to even try.

If you’re willing to try then craft a plan that gives you the best chance to succeed. Then put the plan into action assuming it will succeed. When it doesn’t then craft another, better plan and put that one into action with the absolute certainty that this time it will work. When it doesn’t then craft another, even better plan and launch yourself into it head first with complete confidence that you cannot fail.

If you’re wondering how many times you should do that don’t. Just keep doing it until your final best plan actually works.

As long as you keep trying you cannot fail. When you finally achieve your full measure of success remember that your success wasn’t due to the final best plan, it wasn’t even due to all the better plans along the way. Your success was ultimately due to your decision to try in the first place.

So….what are you going to try today?

Your Next Shot

I’ve been blessed many times with the opportunity to visit The Pinehurst Resort. It is truly the golf Mecca of the United States and home of the world famous Pinehurst No. 2 golf course.

If you’re even a little into the game of golf you need to add a visit to Pinehurst to your bucket list and get yourself there very soon. The golf is world class, the food is to die for and the people, well the people who serve you at Pinehurst are the kind of people you would be friends with back home. There are few places like Pinehurst anywhere in the world.

But without question the centerpiece of Pinehurst is the golf course known as No. 2. It was designed in 1907 by the legendary Donald Ross.

Donald Ross designed No. 2 to mirror life, if you hit it straight you had a chance to succeed. If you hit in the the rough well things could literally be rough. You could drive the ball 250 yards but it would count for very little if you couldn’t navigate a 6 inch putt on the delicate and challenging greens. As in life, Mr. Ross wanted little things to matter on No. 2. But no matter what you did with your previous shot always there would be a chance at a better one next time, a recovery shot. Redemption! 

Whether in golf or life we always hope for something better the next time, even the most successful people sometimes need another chance to succeed. 

I’ve hit a lot of bad shots on No. 2, but I’ve hit some good ones too. Either way it’s the chance for another shot, a better shot next time which keeps me coming back for more. It’s really the next shot that truly matters. If it’s a better shot your back in the game, if it’s a worse shot you’re in trouble but still, you have a chance for a better shot next time. 

Life is like that except shots are called choices. We can get away with a bad one now and then but too many bad choices in a row can send us somewhere we don’t want to be. But the only way to recover from one bad choice or even a series of bad choices is to make another, better choice. Continual success does not come from effort, it comes from continual effort. Even if you’ve made ten good choices in a row your success only continues if you continue to make good choices. 

It’s the old “what have you done for me lately” cliché. Our success is determined in large part by the choices we’ve made lately. The fact that we may have been a success in the past does not necessarily mean we are still a success today. For me anyway success in far more about the journey than it is about the destination. (Maybe that’s because I’ve yet to “arrive.” 😉)

Some people like to rest on their laurels but successful people would tell you that laurels quickly become a pretty uncomfortable place to rest. Laurels in fact are where success goes to die.

So go ahead, make a bad shot, make a bad choice and then make some more. Some will be better than others, the true secret to success is to never stop trying. Most successful people indeed failed along the way. They didn’t succeed because all their choices were good, they succeeded because when one choice was bad they took the chance at making another one.