Tiger Woods is arguably the greatest golfer of all time. Yet it’s not just because of how well he hits a golf ball. It’s also because of how he thinks.
Last Sunday, in the final round of The Master’s Golf Tournament, Tiger stood on the tee of the par 3 12th hole. Over the next few minutes, he put 3 balls in the water and walked off the green with a 10—his highest score ever as a professional golfer.
He had every reason to be upset with himself and let this hole ruin his play for the final six holes. But that’s not how the greatest players roll.
Tiger shook off the disaster of shooting a 10, stepped up to the next tee, and then calmly birdied it. He shot par on the next hole, then birdied the next four holes for a total of five birdies on his last six holes. That amazing play occurred right after shooting seven over par on hole #12!
Eckhart Tolle wrote, “What could be more futile, more insane, than to create inner resistance to something that already is?” One thing that makes people like Tiger the GOAT is they don’t resist what is.
Tiger failed massively on hole 12 but he had the inner understanding to know that hole 12 is the past, he can’t do anything about it. The only thing he has is what’s in front of him right now. And that was hole 13, then 14, all the way to 18.
By putting hole 12 behind him and starting the next hole with a fresh understanding that this is the only moment he can impact, Tiger finished the round being the Tiger that he is with five more birdies.
It’s a great example for all of us. Bad stuff happens. But it’s how we respond to the bad stuff that determines whether the bad stuff will destroy us or simply be an experience that becomes part of our past and not something that defines our future.