In golf as in life, it is the follow through that makes the difference.-Ben Wicks
When I hear this quote, it reminds me of a life principle that I’ve recently learned that literally blew my mind. It was so simple and one of those clique things that you constantly roll your eyes at. This one, is so f***ing obvious and basic, but I experienced one of those aha moments, like that lightbulb moment in cartoons. The principle that I learned is that if something isn’t in the real world, it doesn’t exist.
Now before you roll your eyes at me and move on, let me explain.
Nothing in your head exists if there is no output in the world. This is a completely agnostic statement, for better or worse, good or evil.
For example, that well-intentioned love and affection you feel for your significant other, or your brilliant business idea that you’ve been planning for years but never put into action, those don’t exist. It doesn’t matter how much you want it to happen or how passionate you are, they are simply a figment of your imagination.
This goes for the contrary as well. Our brains are so brilliant that many times we invent scenarios and problems in our head, such as there being something wrong with your outfit because that one girl gave you the up-down look or that the person you’re pursuing has ghosted you after not getting an immediate text back.
I can relate to this all to well because this is how my brain works. The quote “An empty mind is a devil’s playground” is an accurate depiction of my mind. If I’m sat idle, locked up indoors, without a project I can direct my energy towards, I’ll start to make up problems when in reality, there isn’t any. I’ll start contemplating life, worrying about non-existent problems in my relationship and fretting about embarrassing moments that occurred 10 years ago. I can only imagine how screwed up Rapunzul was.
Have you ever had that moment where you felt like you said something slightly off in a group and your mind ends up directing its energy towards that 10 second time frame for the 300 hours? Subconsciously, your mind breaks down that specific moment into milli-seconds and creates an analysis report on the micro-expressions of each witness. The reality was that, yes, maybe what you said was a bit odd but it was forgotten by everyone except for you after 30 seconds.
How does this relate to the follow through on the tee? The concept is the same, the ball does not lie. We can fake it ’til we make it all we want, we can have the best intentions to play well, disregard attachment to outcome, play our own game but the moment is truth is that 3 second swing where all your intentions has two options: take advantage of its time to shine or falls flat on its face.
You can go through our entire golf routine feeling absolutely confident and ready to conquer that drive. Behind the ball, you have mentally prepared this 5-yard baby fade, have blocked out the lake running along the left side of the fairway and completely zoned in on our target, which is that tallest pine tree straight over the left side of the first sand trap. You take a practice swing. Hm, feels good. You walk up to the ball, all concentration and emotions are still set in stone. One waggle. Stone.
One final look at target. Time to pull the trigger.
“Oh crap, don’t hook it into that water, you can’t afford to make another bogey”
You send the ball straight into the lake. What an absolute waste of time and energy you’ve just spent prepping for this moment. And it doesn’t even exist. Not even slightly. You may as well as have Happy Gilmore-d it and saved all that brain power.
Do your intentions exist? If they currently don’t, make a choice. Either stop trying or make them count.