Tiger Woods performance yesterday at The Masters demonstrated what it means to get back up when you have been knocked down by adversity, failed in the face of pressure, and tripped and fallen all on your own.
And in doing so, he made history with his first major championship since 2008 and his fifth Green Jacket for winning at the Masters.
THE BACK STORY
Tiger Woods’ story is one for the books. Many have been written, along with a plethora of documentaries, exposes, and in-depth articles. This will not be one of them.
If that’s what you’re looking for, go find a copy of “Tiger Woods” by Jeff Benedict and Armen Keteyian which the New York Times describes as “a confident and substantial book that’s nearly as sleek as a Christopher Nolan movie. … [making] a sweet sound, like a well-struck golf ball.”
Sidenote: I’m a little biased towards Jeff Benedict. I have followed him for several years and I continually learn from his style of writing.
ONE MORE TIME
Today’s story is one of tripping, getting back up, falling down again, then getting back up one more time.
And repeating the process, again and again, even one more time.
Tiger had it all.
Skill. Talent. Passion. Drive.
Then he fell. And the whole world, literally, watched him fall.
A vehicle crash and a late night fight was a scandal worthy of finger-pointing. The gossip mill ran amuck. Tabloid headlines roared into a frenzy.
Tiger was finished. Everyone believed it. Even Tiger himself believed it, saying he was ready to quit golf.
His world fell apart in 2009. Sponsors fled as fast as his golf game disappeared. His last win at the Majors was in 2008.
Yep, he was done.
THE COMEBACK, THAT ALMOST WASN’T
Almost with nobody watching, Tiger started his journey back into the game.
He practice. He played. He practiced some more. He played some more.
Over the next several years Tiger was plagued by injuries and surgeries which nearly derailed his game.
But he kept practicing and he kept playing. Over the next several years he even picked up a few top 10 wins in the Major. But there were also many of those same tournaments where he didn’t make the cut after the first 36 holes.
ROCK BOTTOM, AGAIN
Tiger was on his way back when, once again, his world came crashing down.
In May 2017 he was busted for DUI with five different drugs in his system which Woods said were all prescription painkillers for his back injuries. He ended up pleading guilty to reckless driving and put into a diversion program.
Once again, his career is over.
The headlines echoed the reality “everyone” was believing.
But this time, Tiger thought something different.
“Determined to get his life and career back on track,” writes Aliya Semper Ewing on The Root, “Woods flew to England to see a renowned specialist before deciding on career-saving spine fusion operation in 2017 here in the States. The surgery was a success and Woods began an impressive comeback season last year with his first win in five years [taking 2nd place at the PGA].”
“I STILL HAD WORK TO DO”
In order to win the Master’s yesterday, Tiger had to do more than just improve his body. He had to improve his mind.
While I don’t know what he has done in this area, he uttered six words on Sunday after his win which give a clear indication.
When asked how he kept his focus during all the pressure, Tiger simply said, “I still had work to do.”
In those six simple words, Tiger once again demonstrated, despite all his personal and professional challenges, he still has a champion’s mindset.
Check out this old Nike commercial featuring Tiger’s father, the late Earl Woods, to get a feel of how he developed some of that mental discipline.
HOW DO YOU DO IT?
The ability to focus and tune out distractions is a finetuned skill of great athletes.
It’s also a finetuned skill of great leaders.
Check out these #PowerofThree quotes for suggestions that can help you develop stronger mental discipline.
Focus On The Positive
“Successful people maintain a positive focus in life no matter what is going on around them. They stay focused on their past successes rather than their past failures, and on the next action steps they need to take to get them closer to the fulfillment of their goals rather than all the other distractions that life presents to them.”
― Jack Canfield
“Success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is the natural consequence of consistently applying basic fundamentals.”
― E. James Rohn
Change Your Language
“What I want you to understand is that the words that our schools, our government, our media, our colleagues, and our family use have a profound effect on how you think and feel about life. The words that you learn, and then use to speak and think with, are molding your reality. Your vernacular creates your visual representation of the world, and the language you think with essentially creates your experienced reality.”
― Ricardo Cruz Leal, Raw, Naked & Fearless: 11 Principles for Living Your Greatest Life
Perhaps the greatest lesson we can learn from the Return of Tiger is the power of controlling emotions.
Tiger said it this way:
“I think the guys who are really controlling their emotions … are going to win.”
Have a great Monday! Thanks for letting me share.
p.s. Take 13 minutes today to focus on how you develop and finetune your mental discipline.
Discover how you can “Gain The Red Edge” by focusing your efforts, clarifying your message, sharing your story, and creating impact with a complimentary Gain the Red Edge coaching call.