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Wednesday, 08 March 2017 12:00


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I love learning new things. I feel life is a quest, and we are all on it.  And when you stop being willing to learn new things, the quest is over.  If you know it all, or all you need to know, that's sad to me.

As I see news story's, especially local news items, I like you, wonder what were these people thinking?  Understanding that life is not a "one size fits all proposition" still some decisions I see do confound me.  Today, that reminded me of a lesson I learned years ago that was from as unlikely a source as I could have ever, ever imagined.  But it stays with me today 20 some years later.

When I lived in Florida, I played a lot of golf with my great friend Ray at a place called the Bartow Golf Course, in the town of Bartow.  Ray was the superintendent there.  One day, we played golf with a local legend of that place, a long lanky guy named, Fowler.  I can't even remember his first name, just Fowler.  I'm not even sure he had one, I  never heard anyone call him anything except, Fowler.  Ray and I were good players, Fowler was a really good player.  He would hit the ball so long and so straight, where his drives ended up in the fairway became known as "Fowlerville" as no one else could hit it nearly that far.  It sounded like a missle screaming through the Florida sun. As our round went on, he noticed something about my game and shared this. 

"Scott, you would score a lot better if you made some different decisions on the course.  You hit, and putt the ball fine, but you manage the course wrong sometimes."  Fowler then went on to advise me this.  "The next time you are thinking about a really hard shot, say it out loud and see how it sounds.  Saying out loud makes it real and you may make a different choice." (not a direct quote, but close)  So I tried it.  "OK, I have to hit it 250 yards, straight, over the water, uphill, left of the Oak, over the sand trap, onto the raised green."  

For heavens sake, my chances of doing that are almost none.  But what I can do, is make two shorter, easier shots, and maybe putt for birdie.  Sage advice.  All the while, not losing sight of the fact that some risks are worth taking, but they would be the exception, and not the general way of doing things.

My game got better, and still is, as I still do this on the course.  But over time I began to realize this was easily transferable to every day life.  So when I have a big decision to make or even a moderate one, I say it out loud to see how it sounds.  It makes it real.  And if it sounds ridiculous, then it more than likely is and I move on to a more reasonable option.  To be honest, it has made my life better, less stressful, and with better decisions made overall. 

Just thought I'd share, and maybe, just maybe this will help someone you know manage the course of life better when needed.  And who doesn't need that sometimes? Who knew such wisdom would come to me, on a simple cart ride to a place called, of all things, Fowlerville.

scott small

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