After four back surgeries and one setback after another, Tiger Woods won the PGA Tour Championship this week. It was his first victory in 5 years.
From his 1997 Masters victory until winning the PGA tournament on a broken leg in 2008, Tiger reigned as golf royalty, the number one player in the world. Unfortunately, due to some missteps in his personal life, swing changes and health issues, Tiger’s game began to decline. With this week’s win in a field of the best players, Tiger is once again a force to be reckoned with.
Most writers, analysts and pros had written him off as a washed up “has been” who would never regain the luster he once held. Tiger proved them all wrong. In fact, the very critics who pronounced him “dead” had to eat their crow pie publicly!
What really moved me was the fact that Tiger could have easily folded, thrown in the towel and given up, but he persisted. Can you image five long years of struggles, setbacks and hearings naysayers prognosticating your fate? Let’s face it, most people would have given up.
I was deeply inspired by Tiger’s resolve and fortitude to stay the course in the face of all of that adversity? In a post-tournament interview he reflected on this long-awaited win saying, “I didn’t know if I’d be able to do this again.” Yet, he never gave up.
The difference between mediocrity and greatness can be summed up with the word 'persistence.' Many people give up on their dreams when faced with obstacles. When you are pursuing your passion and dreams, you too must resolve to never give up, even though the course is difficult.
There was a time when I thought that if I were called me to a particular task it would be a cinch. However, I’ve matured enough to realize that nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, it costs to pursue your dream. If you're not willing to sacrifice to achieve your heart's desire, then don't expect to realize its fulfillment.
Our faithfulness in the present will reap great rewards in the future. When I teach on the subject of financial stewardship I always emphasize the importance of sticking to a budget. As I talk about the sacrifices that must be made in order to get out of debt, I usually get some discontented stares. But I always leave the attendees with this one question: “How bad do you want it?”
That's my question to you today. Do you want your dream bad enough that you're willing to burn the midnight oil? Do you want your dream bad enough to feel the fear and do it anyway? Do you want your dream bad enough to withstand criticism and opposition? Will you continue to persist in the face of rejection and loss? Will you throw in the towel when things are not going as expected?
Make no mistake about it, your faith and determination will be tested as you pursue your passion and dreams. Realize that your challenges are not uncommon. As you study the lives of great men and women throughout history and modern-day society, let their lives be an inspiration to sustain you through the difficult times. If they made it, in spite of what they had to endure, then so can you.
I want to encourage you to not to give up just because it's hard. Keep pressing forward. Understand that some of the greatest achievements have their origin in the most complicated and challenging problems. Where there is great difficulty, there are also great opportunities.
If you've given up on your dream and or placed it on the back burner due to difficulties or distractions, I want to challenge you to pick it up again. Re-ignite your passion and make a decision that you're going to see it through to the end. Commit to a specific task to perform within the next 24 hours that will begin the process of moving you in the direction of your heart's desire. Don't make any excuses; do it!
Quote: "Success seems to be connected with action. Successful men (and women) keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don't quit." --Conrad Hilton