It’s pretty rare nowadays for me to have time to just sit and think. In the past, I used to go out of my way to find alone time to let my mind wander. In many ways, it was good to get those thoughts out of my head, but, at the same time, thinking usually led to over-thinking. Over-thinking never ends well. You can start to make yourself believe a lot of things that don’t exist in reality. On the other hand, you can start to wake up and realize some things you may not have otherwise noticed that are actually happening in your life, whether those things are good or bad.
When life starts to get crazy it’s easy to overlook the things that are right in front of your face, because you’re focusing your attention elsewhere. It’s also easy to make assumptions about things that cause unnecessary stress and worry when, in reality, there is nothing at all to worry about.
For a long time, I’ve been searching for certain things in my life. I didn’t know where to look or how I would find any of those things, but I’m starting to realize they’re already right in front of me. The biggest mystery to me was how I was going to find a way to start to find some success in my professional life. Trying to get established as a golf instructor while being in a wheelchair isn’t exactly easy. A lot of people didn’t want to give me a chance to show them what I am able to do. A lot of people just didn’t understand it. All I’ve ever asked for is a chance to show people what I can do. If they give me a chance and I fail, then at least I had my chance. So far, what I’ve been finding is that anyone who is willing to give me a chance tends to end up being impressed.
When I made the decision to start a new career in the golf industry, I had no clue what I wanted to do or how I was going to do it. I just jumped right in and decided I’d find a way to make it work. After struggling and feeling frustrated and defeated for a couple of years, I finally got the chance I had been hoping to be given. There have been a lot of challenges and obstacles to overcome, but I’m finding a way to make it work. I am motivated by encouraging words and positive feedback. On almost a daily basis now, people come up to me and tell me how impressed they are with the things I do. They tell me that I inspire them to never give up, because of the example that I set. The message I try to get across to people is, “If I can do it, then you can, too.” If a guy in a wheelchair can drive the ball 220+ yards, then so can people who are playing golf standing up.
At least a few people every week tell me that they have injuries or other limitations physically that they thought would no longer allow them to play golf, but, after watching me hit shots and listening to me speak about how I’ve overcome challenges, they’re excited to start playing again and find a way to overcome their own challenges. It means a lot to me that I am able to have that kind of impact on people. It’s not something that I take lightly. It’s a wonderful, special feeling to know that you’ve had a positive impact in someone else’s life. My mission every day of my life is to have some kind of positive impact on everyone I interact with, whether it’s someone I know or not. It wasn’t until the past couple of days when I had a chance to slow down and take a look at my life as it is currently that I realized I have suddenly gone from searching for a way to make things work to being someone who can make a difference and leave a lasting impression. That’s pretty cool!!
When life gets busy and chaotic, it’s easy to just react to things in the moment and not really think about the impact that reaction might have. I have become more aware of the impact I am able to have on the people around me, so that forces me to put more thought into the things I’m doing. My decisions, my actions, and my words affect more people than just myself, so I am learning to be more careful and not just thoughtlessly react. I say what I mean, and my actions back up my words. In many ways, I am noticing the impact that extra thought is having in both my professional life and my personal life.
I’ve come a long ways from when I used to sit on my parents’ driveway late at night by myself looking at the stars and letting my mind wander. Slowly but surely, piece by piece, the things I used to think about back then are starting to fall into place in my life. I am in a good place in my life. I wake up happy every day and go to bed happy every night. I no longer obsess over negative things. I no longer try to force anything in my life. I no longer worry about the things in life that I can’t control. I’ve learned to let go of negativity and anything that doesn’t help me to live the life I want to live. I’m learning to simplify and just enjoy life the way I should have enjoyed it all along. Sometimes things happen in life, you can’t control everything. What you can control though is how you react to any situation. Learn to react more positively and you will see more positive results. Don’t be quick to react to things in life all the time. If you want to handle any situation in life more productively and effectively, slow down and think about what you’re doing. Think about what you really want and what is best for you. Nobody but you can tell you how to live your life. Just take a moment to breathe.