It’s scary to think how quickly time flies. We get so caught up in the day to day grind and thinking to tasks we need to accomplish for the day or week ahead, goals we need to achieve and places around the world we’d like to visit. All of which is great, it shows a willingness to keep moving forward, to succeeding and accepting change. But, how often do you take time to briefly look back and reflect, reminding yourself of how far you’ve come? What you’ve accomplished and what’s changed, whether that be for better or worse? I didn’t want to be that person that gets all hyped up with us entering a new decade because ultimately, it’s just another year, BUT, if you’re like me, and it secretly scratches your OCD itch, we get a full year of an even symmetrical number, ohh yeahh, you already know it’s going to be good…
Anyways, back to my point! Take a moment to cast your mind back and think about what has happened in the past 10 years, picture yourself, if you can, to roughly this time a decade ago. Where were you? At what stage in your life were you at? Were you happy? Frustrated? About to embark on a new career or adventure? Within those 10 years, what changed? Did you get your degree(s), a new job(s) or promotion(s)? Did you start a family? Get married or unfortunately divorced? (Maybe, fortunately for some…) Did things actually work out better than you expected? There are endless questions you could ask with so many outcomes over that time period. You see, we tend to set ourselves goals for maybe 3,6 or 12 months ahead, not realising when all 120 of those months accumulated what we have actually achieved in that time. Maybe you’re reading this and thinking, well, I didn’t achieve that much, I’ve remained in the same job for the past 10 years, my partner is driving me nuts and as much as I love my kids, Christ, I cannot wait for them to leave the house… Well, as much as I can’t speak for those feelings just yet, I can say things will have changed for you, and no matter how small, you’ll have had successes in that time, so, highlight them!
I sit here writing this just before Christmas, a time where over the next 2 weeks, I’ll, fortunately, get to see a lot of my family. However, there are some very important family members that will be missing and I won’t get to see, but it emphasizes a time to be grateful for what we do have and recognise again how much things change, both good and bad. Thinking back on what I’ve done over the past decade, it’s quite reassuring. No doubt, I’ve been incredibly lucky, I’ve met some fantastic people, created and been given a lot of opportunities. I’ve also seen and done an awful lot, things I forgot I’d even done and it was only until really diving deep into the old memory archives that I remembered, photo albums also help, but it’s been a wild ride, with as many ups as there have been downs. I’ve moved, lived and visited many cities and countries, both in the U.K and abroad, new jobs, successes and despair, wins and travesties within my golf. I jumped out of a plane, I got my university degree which was nothing short of a miracle. I’ve had multiple car accidents which should have really been the final chapter in my book (none were my fault by the way!) but here I am today (knock on wood). Relationships and friendships that come and go and the scaring and growth that accompanies them. Friends that you used to be so close with but no longer keep in touch with, but on the same hand, new friends and colleagues that enter into your life that just make you smile, you guys just clicked and you write memory after memory together. Those are some of the special moments to cherish.
But as we spend that brief moment of time reflecting on what has changed, what we achieved and learnt over the last 10 years, we must also, look forward to the next 10. What changes are you going to implement into the next decade to keep growing and succeeding? Because as Einstein so eloquently put it, “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” I’ve most certainly fallen foul to this a few times. Sometimes it’s easy to keep doing that if we’re in a routine that may be comfortable, the mind thrives on comfort and we’re unaware that comfortable is what’s holding us back from our true potential, maybe a change and a leap of faith into the unknown will prove to be fruitful for not just yourself but give the courage for those around you to do the same and succeed? It’s true when they say, we learn most about ourselves when we sit on the edge of uncomfortable.
As mentioned earlier, I’ve been fortunate in various opportunities, but I’ve also been in a challenging place for the past couple of years, adjusting and trying to figure different bits and pieces out. As my sister so acutely put it, I was having an identity crisis. To be honest, it felt like a sibling attack at the time, but she was right, I was. I have always been associated with Golf, more specifically, “Seb, the golfer” which I love, don’t get me wrong, it’s a fantastic game, I’ve worked incredibly hard at it for almost 20 years but, I sure hate it at times, as we all do, but I keep coming back to it. However, as time passed I felt like I was only known for my golf and I wanted to also be known aside from that, experience successes in other parts of my life. My horizons were narrow and I wanted to broaden them, make contributions and have successes in other parts of the world and thankfully I’m currently working on that. When my golf performances started to tank, it took some real time for me to realise that those that had a genuine interest in me doing well, both on and off the course, were there no matter the performances, it wasn’t a dent on me as a person, the world keeps on turning, I just had a bad day or bad tournament(s), it happens and for that, I’m truly grateful to them. The peanut gallery is always going to be there casting their salty opinions but at the end of the day, who really cares? They don’t have a seat at the table. Thankfully, things have started to improve, as mentioned in previous blogs and speeches I’ve made recently, I started working with a new coach on some new fundamentals with my game, juggling new jobs and moving, I’ve been able to reset and start to figure those issues out. I’ve explored different options away from golf and through successes and rejections, I’ve started to realise where I want to focus my efforts. I’ve always been told, you can’t have your cake and eat it, well, sometimes you actually can, you’ve just got to find the right opportunities that allow you to do so. So, as we enter this new decade, I’m full of optimism that this year will be the year that things truly take off for me and I can’t wait to show and share them with you (all being well). As I look early into the new year, I’m excited to take my golf down to South Africa again for Sunshine Tour School in February, hopefully, this time I can better my last trip down there and not just get through first stage but finish high enough in final stage to obtain my card. Only time will tell.
As a little sidebar, I heard my University motto again the other day, and at the time when I first attended University, I remember thinking, what the eff is that? I didn’t speak Latin, I mean, I really should have done some more research around the school but I had to look it up and our athletic motto was: “Carpe Diem”. I realise now it’s a common phrase and the translation is simple and so is the message – Seize the day. But what I’ve come to realise is that success is just a byproduct of doing just that, making the most of your craft every single day, over and over again. We can look for answers all day long, trying to find a quick answer and a fix when the reality is, there is never a quick fix, only consistency. Just showing up and putting the work in. Results and success are shown through building your foundation, making sure it’s solid and then when it’s set, start building, nurturing and watching it grow each day. Just as a fully-grown tree that you buy and stick in your garden, will never be as strong as the one you’ve planted and nurtured from seed. We now live in an era where we need everything instantly and if something takes time, we lose interest because it doesn’t give us that quick hit of dopamine and the instant success and outside appreciation we so desire. Not that there is anything wrong with being praised for the hard work you do, but the real joy should come from the process of getting the job done, but this comes from patience and repeated action.
I want to thank you all for the support of my blog/website which I’ve been running for about 10 years now, I know I’m not as frequent as I used to be at posting but I’m excited to continue to share further thoughts, experiences and ramblings with you, it may start to vary with different areas I’m exploring alongside my golf, but as always, I hope to provide you with an enjoyable insight. I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year, wherever in the world you are reading this, 2020 is going to be fun and with a fresh decade comes some exciting opportunities. Go chase it and remember how far you’ve come, how you tackled adversity and enjoy the lessons along the way, no matter how fun or difficult they will be, you’ve got this!
“Per ardua ad astra.”
Until next time,