- In the real world, chances are you will never get back to the top after a decade at the bottom
In the second week of April, a Sunday, I believe it was, Eldrick Tont Woods, aka Tiger Woods, won the 83rd edition of the Masters Tournament. It was his 15th Masters win and quite a feat.
Tiger has had issues on and off the golf course that have thrown him off his game for a decade. Before this latest win, Tiger hadn’t won a Major in 11 years. And the last Masters he won was 14 years ago.
Tiger’s high profile, and his storied fall from the top, made this particular win headline news worldwide. Pundits and commentators gushed about Tiger’s comeback. News captions couldn’t resist the play on words — “Tiger out of the woods”, “Tiger roars again.”
Then came these other articles using Tiger’s win as an example of how an undying spirit, hard work, persistence, perseverance and hope can get you out of the doldrums and back to the top again, just like Tiger.
Now, here’s the thing. Most people’s stories won’t be like Tiger’s. Most people will never get out of the woods to achieve success, no matter how hard they work, how long they persist and how much they persevere.
Naturally, we don’t want to hear this because of our unwavering belief in fairytale happy endings. But life is not a fairytale. In the real world, chances are you will never get back to the top after a decade of being down at the bottom, no matter how hard you work and hope and pray and persevere.
This is not a bad thing necessarily. Jesus never got to see Christianity spread. He was nailed to a cross and killed before he had a chance to see the results of all that hard work he put in his ministry.
Christopher Columbus’ goal was to find a new route to the East Indies. He failed spectacularly in achieving this goal by stumbling onto a continent, America.
You see, people, it’s not about the end goal, the dream achieved, but about the journey; what you become while working towards that goal or dream that you might never get to see, or might fail to get but find something better, or that might come to nothing.
Robert G Scott said: Life is a period of proving and growth. It is interwoven with difficulties, challenges and burdens. We are immersed in a sea of persistent worldly pressures that could destroy. Yet these very forces, if squarely faced, provide opportunity for tremendous personal growth and development, producing strength of character, forging self-confidence, and engendering self-respect.
Les Brown said it better: ‘During those hard times, those times you fail, and things don’t work out. When it’s hard and there’s a struggle, what you become in the process is more important than the dream. The kind of person you become. The character that you build. The courage that you develop. The faith that you’re manifesting.
“It’s something that, you get up in the morning, you look yourself in the mirror, you’re a different kind of person. You walk with a different kind of spirit. And people know you know what life is. That you embraced life… You knew it was hard. But you did it hard."
Comebacks aren’t the only way you win. You’re already winning if you’re going after it hard.