Sometimes you begin as the #2
We recently lost one of the greats of golf. Arnold Palmer was a winner. But what you may not know is that in 1960 challenging for the 1960 U.S. Open as an amateur, Jack Nicklaus finished in second place, two shots behind winner Arnold Palmer.
Nicklaus turned professional at age 21 toward the end of 1961. I remember an interviewer sharing with me that Nicklaus attributed his success and consistency to the fact that he would visualize every shot BEFORE playing it. Jack would see the end result – the ball landing exactly where he wanted it to and then quickly he would see the swing and shot. Then he would hit the ball as he had visualized it – exactly. That kind of consistency is priceless and earned him countless championships.
Visualization is key
My daughter spent her high school years working on becoming a golfer, with the goal in mind of getting a
golf scholarship at an NCAA Level 2 or 3 school. She could picture herself being a golf pro, or at the very least, playing golf as a business woman someday.
While she hasn’t mastered Jack’s art of visualizing every shot, she can visualize “walking the course”. So to get to the 18th hole of her dream, she watched golf shows and she took private lessons. She also played on her golf team at school and in the local junior golf league. At age 16, she was excited to get her drivers license, so she could drive to the golf range and practice.
Adjusting your goals
Now, while she didn’t end up going to school on a golf scholarship, in her senior year she developed a more mature and realistic vision, that of becoming apsychologist. She not only made terrific grades, but she got accepted into a prestigious program at the University of Warsaw (yes, in Poland) that only accepts 44 students each year. And in just 5 years she will have her masters degree. And best of all, the tuition is unbelievably low with very reasonable living expenses. Imagine that, her masters is costing us a fraction of her high school education!
Visualization in business
I was recently asked how and in what ways have/do I use visualization to achieve my own business goals? Visualizing my goals is like breathing for me. This is second nature and it is one of my gifts.
When I set out in the car to go somewhere, even before GPS came along, I have always seen the route visually in my mind as if from above, seeing each turn and where the end destination is in relation to my starting point.
In business it is the same for me. Like Nicklaus, I can visualize success before it happens and as a result it never feels beyond my reach. I like to call it my Business Success GPS.
It is only when you can’t see it that fear can creep in. Instead you see only those things that in the natural would be roadblocks. When I drive, if there is a roadblock, I don’t sit and complain, I immediately “recalculate” and take a different route.
In business that is also necessary as even when you can visualize a positive outcome, there are still setbacks. It is how you handle each setback and how quickly you can get back on your way that makes the difference in your business success journey.
I don’t play golf, but I know that you not only have to visualize your own “18th hole” but also see them handing you the winners cup.
Are you ready?