What does “dedicated” mean to you? Does it mean you’re willing to spend time doing something you enjoy? Or spend time doing something you dread? Does dedicated mean your committed to something? Or committed to someone?
Continuing with the theme “dedicated to the discipline of the details,” let’s exam the word “dedicated” and how it begins the process of you becoming a better golfer, if not a better person overall.
To me, dedicated means you have more than passion. You are more than commitment. You’re more than willing to devote anything to a cause you believe provides you the best opportunity to be happy, have fun, and be successful.
Dedicated is more than the love of any game or activity. You love the game so much, that no matter the distraction, you’re willing to make a sacrifice to play or practice the game, at any cost. What does that mean to you as a golfer, and the events and experiences that we call our life?
Dedicated Means Sticking to Priorities
Everyone’s dedication is relevant to their individual priorities.
A touring professional’s dedication to golf is superior to all other golfers. Without dedication, the touring professional can’t sustain a professional golf career. No matter the situation or environment they’re in, a touring golf professional does everything necessary to maintain their playing status. Everything necessary to stay within a routine, no matter the situation. They’re so dedicated to their craft, they’ll continue to hone their skills to perfection knowing there’s nothing in golf that is perfect. And they’ll create an undisturbed environment that allows their dedication continued growth.
For the average golfer, your priorities are different. But in many ways, as golfers, we are similar to the touring professional. When it comes to your family and profession, your dedication to those 2 priorities normally come first. The same for touring professionals.
It is blatantly obvious to me when a non-competitive amateur golfer places golf ahead of these other 2 priorities, family and profession. Their frustration level is overwhelming. Along with the frustration, they’re unable to figure out how to get out of their own way. The same thing happens to touring professionals who place golf as a game, not a profession, above all other priorities.
Before you can be dedicated to anything, you’ll find it necessary to conduct a simple inventory and order placement of your priorities.
Dedication Wards Off Distractions through Passion
Once your priorities are set, your true passion can grow.
When you’re dedicated to your priorities, there are no distractions. With less distractions, passion has no limits. And if you’re passion is ever distracted or challenged, your dedication directs any distraction into its rightful place in your life.
To play better golf, dedication is a “must” to improving your skills, improving your fitness, improving your mental toughness. But most of all, dedication is what continues to improve your commitment to the game.
When the game becomes boring is when your dedication is most challenged. Without a level of passion that is beyond ordinary, your ability to stay dedicated is hard to sustain. A loss of passion normally means a compromise to your dedication is around the corner. The compromise could be for a good reason. Maybe your priorities changed. Maybe you realize that given your current ability and commitment level, you’ve reached your current potential.
To go beyond what you perceive as your current potential requires your dedication and commitment to an overall goal. Your goal assists with the deflection of distractions. And your goal is a constant reminder of the commitment level needed to realize improvement beyond your potential.
Balancing Dedication with Everyday Life
Not all distractions are made equal. Along the skill improvement highway, you’ll face a type of distraction that tests your will and tests your dedication.
You can sum up these distractions as “everyday life.” The everyday items and events that shape our lives. Sometimes these everyday occurrences will take a back seat to your improvement. Although commonplace, some of the life experiences you enjoy could become detrimental to your improvement. These distractions can include your every Friday night social event. Or the weekend day trip to the cabin every other weekend. Or friends wanting you to cut short a practice session so they can share the news of the day.
How does golf fit into everyday life and how will you deal with the distractions of everyday life? Those 2 questions are the most difficult to deal with as you dedicate more time and effort to improving anything in your life, including golf.
Dedication Means Sacrificing Something
Part of dedication is sacrifice. To make the improvements you desire as a golfer, it’s inevitably you’ll need to make sacrifices along the way. Without making necessary sacrifices, you’ll undoubtedly delay your improvement timeline.
An example of a distraction and making a sacrifice I can relate to every week is whether I spend Sunday afternoons with my family. Sunday afternoons with family is a priority to me because of the other time I spend all week with my business and clients, improving their golf skills. Because I value my family first and foremost, business and golf 2nd, everything else always takes a back seat to my family every Sunday afternoon.
Another example of sacrifice I experience during the busiest times of my business is receiving a mid-week invitation from a friend I haven’t seen in a while. It’s important to me that I do catch up with this person regularly. However, I have a couple of clients needing my attention via email or phone call. Now what do you do? Which do I sacrifice?
Because I value family first, my business second, I’ll delay or postpone the invitation to fulfill the business needs of my clients. It’s a sacrifice to delay or postpone the invitation. And I’m sure it is to my friend as well. But it’s a necessary sacrifice to continue my dedication to my business, and my clients. And if my friend is truly a friend, the small sacrifice made now will undoubtedly yield a more enjoyable experience later when we do catch up.
Like myself, if your priorities are in order and your passion is through the roof, you’ll sacrifice a few small events or occurrences within your life to obtain your goals as a person, or as a golfer. It’s not easy making sacrifices. But if you start with the small ones, it’s easier to make the harder decisions to sacrifice something in the future.
Are You Truly Dedicated?
True dedication to anything takes more time than you realize.
Don’t look for your dedication to come over night. Rely upon the current passion you own for the game to help you find out just how dedicated you’ll become. Utilize the resources surrounding you to fuel your energy level of dedication. And attempt to increase your dedication daily, one small step at a time. Before you know it, you won’t realize you’ve made any sacrifices. And the distractions you’ll experience will be easy to deflect.
Dedication is trait that when obtained, leads to success, no matter what your dedicated to improve.