As I was in town for more than two or three days this past week, I scheduled another golf lesson. For those of you who have inquired, my golf game has pretty much gone like this:
1. I wouldn't quite call it a golf "game" so much as golf work.
2. Sometimes I hit shots that prompt Dave to say "Wow!" Other shots, he is silent but I suspect he is still saying "Wow" in a whole other context.
3. I seriously waffle between thinking this is going to be a fun retirement venture and thinking I might consider never retiring so I don't have to face the game of golf.
If you recall, my first venture with a lesson made me realize I should maybe focus on my lesson versus trying to make my golf instructor smile. It also involved me clarifying how golf clubs are labeled (what I thought was an "E" club turned out to be a "W" for "wedge" when turned the correct way). Exhausting, right? Yes, Dave said "Wow" when he heard.
This lesson, my instructor told me I was doing some things really well, but when I told her I just can't seem to get the whole "don't bend your left arm, but bend your right arm" thing, she stopped, stared at me, and said, "I think you need to stop thinking so much." She went on to say, "You need to get out of your head and just start to feel it. Don't analyze every little thing." I resisted every impulse to ask her to not just be my golf instructor but to become my life coach. All I could think was, "How much money could that cost---to get her to be my advisor and counselor in all daily life affairs?"
Frankly, that advice is spot-on for every aspect of my life. I teach a workshop to 60 people. 59 fill out the post-evaluation saying they learned so much, this was the best workshop ever, they were highly engaged the whole time..... but that ONE that says, "I didn't learn anything new." or "We could have picked up the pace" is the one I will analyze to the nth degree. Could've, should've, would've is the game I like to play. But honestly, what good does it do me? None! If there is specific feedback from which I can learn, fair enough. If there are patterns of comments people give, there certainly is a lesson I can learn. But sometimes people simply don't care for our taste in music, humor, delivery or personality. That doesn't make us wrong or bad....and it doesn't make them wrong or bad. Really.
But over-analyzing every little detail will derail us from our primary mission---to improve and hone our craft. Instead, we need to swing, knowing that the lessons we have been taught are now becoming ingrained in our skill, to the point we don't have to psycho-analyze every little piece every single time.
Just for today, perhaps we can keep our eye on the big picture: what are we doing well? what feels right? and then maybe take one piece of feedback on which to work on our progress in the coming days, weeks, months of our particular craft. Keep it simple!