You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream.
— C.S. Lewis
June 15th, during the final round of the U.S. Open at Pinehurst, Zach Johnson stepped onto the 9th tee box not expecting what was about to happen. The hole was a par 3 with a wicked green that had been throwing tee shots back to the fairway or even into a bunker. But his shot landed far left — not the greatest shot — but rode a ridge, gained the right trajectory and momentum, and rolled some 15 feet into the hole.
A hole in one…
Only the 44th in tournament history.
A few days later, I was thinking about that shot and — for the first time — saw the irony of its name. A hole in one? I doubt there has ever been a true “hole in one.” When you consider the time Zach Johnson has put into developing his shot, his technique, his game. Consider how many years it took Zach to develop his judgement. And consider how many of his shots had the potential to fall into the cup after being hit from the tee.
My point is that millions of swings and countless hours of practice went into making that shot. So… a hole in one? Really, it was only one stroke on the scorecard.
So keep this in mind when you look at someone else — you are probably only seeing their scorecard. Just because they have achieved something great, or are living their dream, that doesn’t mean they got lucky and landed that hole in one. It is much more likely that they had to take millions of swings throughout countless hours to get there.
This is something you must acknowledge and accept if you are ever going to achieve your own dreams. So be prepared to take millions of swings… be prepared for countless hours of hard work.
This last summer, I went for a bit of bike ride… well, a pretty long bike ride.
One of my favorite songs on the trip was Xavier Rudd’s “Follow the Sun.” I thought it ironic at the time, because I was generally traveling south… not east to sunrise or west to sunset… I wasn’t really following the sun at all.
Too literal? You think!
That was my education in the hard sciences coming through. “The sun rises in the east… The sun warms the planet… The sun sustains almost all life on the planet… And then the sun sets in the west…”
It didn’t occur to me until later that I was actually following the sun. I was passionate about this bike ride I was on. I was excited to be out there, exploring. This wasn’t something I always wanted to do though.
One day this passion rose… This passion warmed my heart… This passion sustained my soul… And then, this passion set, falling below my emotional horizon.
I had followed the sun through the entirety of that bike trip… through several weeks, thousands of miles, and hundreds of thousands of vertical feet.
I bring up this metaphor because I want you to consider what really nourishes you and brings light to your world. Sure, life can exist without the sun… but that is in the deepest and darkest places… and that is survival.
So consider what really makes you thrive? What is your sun?