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Embracing Positivity: Thriving Through Challenges and Cherishing Blessings

“If only I hadn’t missed those three short putts…”

“If only I hadn’t hit that ball in the water…”

“If only I hadn’t chunked that chip shot…”

“I would have shot a…”

These phrases may resonate with fellow golf enthusiasts. They reflect the common reflections we engage in after a round of golf. Regardless of our performance or final score, we often dwell on the “what ifs” that could have potentially altered our outcome and defined us as golfers.

These thoughts linger in my mind as I reflect on my recent golf game. It’s a mental exercise that adds a layer of intrigue to the game and motivates us to keep striving for improvement. Each individual may have a different pursuit that elicits similar contemplation.

While these regrets hold some truth, they also present a skewed perspective of our performance on that particular day. While making those crucial shots would undeniably impact our score, we tend to overlook the fortunate occurrences that balance out our game.

Upon reviewing my recent match, I recall several instances of luck playing a role in my favor. Discovering a playable ball in the woods, thus avoiding a penalty, or hitting a tree only to rebound back onto the fairway are instances of luck that often slip our minds.

It seems we tend to fixate on the negatives and forget the positives…

The essence lies in acknowledging both the favorable and unfavorable breaks we encounter on the golf course. Ultimately, the score we present at the end of the round encapsulates a fair representation of our performance as golfers on that specific day and course.

This same principle extends to our professional and personal lives. We maintain various “scorecards” that track our progress daily, monthly, yearly, or even over a lifetime. How we manage our self-perception and expectations plays a pivotal role in shaping our professional and personal fulfillment.

“Regrets, I’ve had a few. But then again, too few to mention · I did what I had to do. And saw it through without exemption…”

In the lyrics of Frank Sinatra’s “My Way,” the notion of grappling with regrets resonates universally. Whether in business decisions, personal choices, or on the golf course, regrets are a common thread in our lives.

Minor regrets often hold little significance in the grand scheme of things. Personally, I lament not fully embracing the opportunity to become fluent in Spanish while living with a Colombian mother. While this missed chance occasionally surfaces during conversations with relatives, it serves as a gentle reminder of paths not taken.

In the professional realm, regrets may stem from choices concerning time, finances, or relationships. However, these decisions are typically made with the best intentions and available information. As Frank aptly put it, “I did what I had to do and saw it through without exemption.” This sentiment likely resonates with many individuals reflecting on their own life choices.

Regret, if dwelled upon excessively, can prove detrimental.

In our human experience, our self-identity shapes how we wish to be perceived by the world. Working closely with numerous business professionals and leaders, the prevalent “identities” include:

  • Business owner
  • CEO
  • Entrepreneur
  • Author
  • Executive
  • Thought Leader

Do any of these identities resonate with you?

Successful business figures carve their paths towards these identities through dedication, perseverance, expertise, and acumen. Their journey entails countless hours of practice and preparation, often at the expense of valuable time spent with loved ones.

And they keep track of their progress.

Every victory is celebrated, while every defeat is scrutinized. These outcomes are deeply personal, reflecting the energy invested, passion exerted, and vulnerability displayed.

In many ways, golf serves as a metaphor for the business world. Golfers willingly expose their vulnerabilities on the course, engaging in a challenging game where failure is inevitable at times. Despite the quantifiable score at the end, the experience is shared.

Similarly, business owners and entrepreneurs navigate a comparable terrain. They embark on ventures that are open to public scrutiny, striving in a demanding environment where success and failure are both part of the journey. While their scorecard may be more qualitative, based on personal assessments rather than numbers, the essence remains unchanged.

This narrative extends beyond business into our daily lives. The decisions we make and risks we undertake are witnessed by others, and we, too, keep score.

Here are a few reflections to help manage expectations and cultivate a harmonious life balance:

  • Embracing vulnerability requires courage and confidence, essential traits for success in both business and personal realms. Do not let fear hinder your willingness to be vulnerable; it is integral to living authentically.
  • Reflect on the “what ifs” in life, akin to my golf anecdotes. While hard work is crucial, acknowledging the role of luck—both good and bad—is equally important. Rather than fixating on shortcomings, express gratitude for the fortunate breaks along the way.
  • Keeping score is part of the journey, not the definition of your identity. Imposter Syndrome affects many individuals when their perceived identity is challenged, leading to a fear of being exposed. Life comprises a series of daily scorecards, reflecting our continuous efforts. Strive to be the best version of yourself each day and find contentment in your endeavors.

In my role as a high school golf coach, I emphasize the importance of relishing every practice session and match. It is a privilege to engage in the game, and this sentiment should extend to our professional and personal pursuits. Our accomplishments, coupled with a touch of serendipity, have propelled us to where we stand today. Embrace the journey.

That, indeed, is how we should tally our score.

Dan Weedin is a strategist, speaker, author, and executive coach, as well as a regular contributor to the Kitsap Sun. He aids small and mid-sized business leaders and entrepreneurs in fostering profitable growth and enhancing their quality of life. Recognized in the Million Dollar Consultant™ Hall of Fame in 2012, Dan can be contacted at 360-271-1592, via email at [email protected], or through his website at