From my youngest years one of my fondest memories was caddying for my dad and learning how to play the game of golf by watching him. As I became old enough to play the course, I got better and better as I grew and became an above average golfer. Now I know some of you are thinking, “How do you play such a silly game chasing a little white ball around the golf course?” And, “Aren’t you the guy ticked off half the time you’re playing?”
True golfers do often get a little angry with themselves when they drive a ball into the pond or miss a two-foot putt. But there is something about those perfect shots you make, when you hit the ball on the sweet spot of the club and it takes off like a rocket and you can hear it cutting through the air like fighter jet. Or, when you sink a putt from 25 feet from the cup. Those are the things that keep you coming back.
Maybe even more importantly, you’re out there in nature, breathing fresh air and having a great time with friends. I have a lot of memories golfing with my dad, my cousins, and friends and business associates. But then life happened!
In 1991 we moved to Tulsa Oklahoma to go to seminary, came back to Minnesota in 1994, and entered the ministry. Then, in 1996 my sister, who ran VK Arrigoni, passed away. So, I took over the company while I was pastoring a church and raising two young daughters. During that season in life, golfing, fishing, and hunting had to go! It’s now been nearly 30 years and I still haven’t been able to get back into the game of golf. When I play, I suck! It used to be something that I excelled at, something that meant something to me, an important part of my socialization.
Is there something in your life you quit doing that used to bring you joy, confidence, friendship, solace, and peace, or make you healthier, or improve your relationships? I hope to encourage you to resurrect one of those life changing habits and make it a non-negotiable form this point forward.
I understand how life happens – you used to exercise and be in great shape, but then you graduated, started a career, maybe had a kid or two, maybe you’re married, own a house, repairs and yard work, and now you’re pulled in 19 different directions. Something has to give! And, often it’s the things that help you be your best-self that suffer!
For me, one of the things I almost never stopped my whole life was strength training. It’s a passion, and I lose myself in every lift. While I’m lifting and even after I’m finished, I’m invigorated, and the feeling lasts for hours and sometimes days. I swell with pride about how I “never stop improving.” It affects my overall confidence in life, and business. It also increases my endurance physically and mentally. I can endure stress that most people would crack under, and I owe much of that endurance to strength training. I’m so thankful I’ve never stopped doing this for myself.
Please keep in mind that there are many things that can help you sharpen you saw, and have positive effects on our physical, mental, and spiritual well-being. The important thing is that we do an inventory of both what we are currently doing and what we’ve stopped doing that “sharpens the saw.”
How can I resurrect or make a lifelong commitment to some things that are important to me? Follow this action plan and you’ll be well on your way.
- List the things that have brought you joy, confidence, relaxation, built confidence, facilitated friendships which you either currently do or have done in the past.
- Put those in either columns: Things I’ve Stopped and Things I’ve Never Stopped
- Select at least one thing you would like to move over to the Things I’ve Never Stopped list
- Write out your plan of action to start again, and be specific (know exactly when and where you’ll make it happen).
- Write out the pain it will cause if you don’t do this.
- Write out the massive pleasure you will derive from doing this.
Know what makes you the best version of yourself, because that is what you, and all the rest of us, deserve.