Friday, May 27, 2011

Don't watch.

I was 16 years old with a new boyfriend.  With a tournament coming, he wanted to go to the driving range and practice his golf swing.  I wanted to spend time with him, so I bravely decided that I could learn to play golf, too.  I'd never DONE so before, unless you count the miniature golf course at Putt n Video.  But, I was intent on being impressive! He showed me a few tips on how to stand, how to hold the club, how to shift my weight at the right point in the swing.  And then he let me have my way with that bucket of balls. (Shush.)

Did I mention I'd never done this before?  I took a couple swings, missed them both, and realized that... I was probably not going to be terribly successful.  As I pretended to ready myself for the next swing, I watched the other golfers.  I watched what they were doing, how they were standing, how they were holding the club.  I squared myself off... and still watched.  I swung the club back, and still watched.  I swung, and still watched.  And missed.  Because I was still watching.

I wasn't watching what I was doing.  I was watching what they were doing.  And you can't be successful if all you're doing is watching everyone else.

I was thinking about that today... it applies to more than just golf.  There is this, perhaps human nature, tendency to focus on what others are doing.  Who they're talking to, what they're saying, what they're doing.  It feeds our need for gossip.  It feeds our need to make ourselves feel superior to those around us.

But it's not good.  And it's not healthy.  And it's not kind.  Not to us, and to them.  We can't be successful or good if all we're interested in is what others are doing.  Learning to let go, learning to not care, learning to not watch... When I am successful at THESE things, I am the most successful.  I am the most happy.  I am the most healthy.

I freely confess that not watching is a struggle for me.  The gossip is tempting.  But, when I can make myself be strong and when I can make myself not worry so much about what others are doing or thinking, my life is so much better, calmer, and happier.

It just doesn't matter.


  1. Wow...another good one, but this is almost impossible for me. I very much care what ppl do, think, say. etc and I've tried to not care, but not much success. If you ever figure out where you get the strength from, let me know!!!

  2. Oh see, I was thinking similar to this, this morning. We all have different weaknesses and strengths, but we want to pretend we are all the same. I'm going to take that, and what you have said here, and contemplate.


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