Last week I had a round of golf. Now this isn’t unusual in itself expect that on this particular morning it was foggy. Not the kind of wispy stuff that you occasionally get but the dense stuff that makes boat owners glad there are lighthouses.
Now, I’ll play in most weather. I’m not a huge fan of the rain (who is) and wind actually makes it more enjoyable but this was a new experience for me.
I got to the club, signed in as normal (it was a medal) and did my usual warm up. Then I met my playing partners and went to the first tee.
I literally couldn’t see a thing.
I mean I could see my ball, I could see my partners but I couldn’t see if the group in front of us were far enough away. I reckon that we had about 50 yards of visibility in front of us. Now when you’re hitting a small white ball 200 odd yards into white fog it’s really hard to see what happens to it.
I got scared.
For my first dozen swings or so I pulled out of the shot and sent the ball left. It was almost as if I wanted to keep the ball where I could see it.
I had no trust in myself. I didn’t back myself to hit it straight.
I couldn’t work out why.
Then I saw the light (literally) as the fog finally lifted.
After 7 holes I was able to hit a shot towards something I could see and I hit it straight and long and finally picked up a par.
I could finally see where I was going. I realised that I’m very much a ‘target golfer’. I need to be able to see where I am going, take aim and swing. I need to pick spots from the green backwards and plan a route to get there.
A route I can visualise.
If I can’t see where I’m going, if I don’t have a target, all sorts of weird and wild stuff goes on.
This is also true for your business and your life. You have to have something to aim at. On the golf course we call them flags, you might call them goals.
It doesn’t matter, what matters is that you lay down something to aim for, create a plan from the end point and take action.
What are you pointing at today?
Or are you just swinging in the dark?