The Yo-Yo

Sometimes the ups and downs of life get to you. Take, for example, Lee Westwood, the current #1 player in the world. Now things are rosy. But it wasn’t always that way. In 2000, he was the #4 player in the world. Two years later, he had fallen all the way to 266.

So what happened? Westwood knows but he won’t say. In this charming and revealing column by Anna Kessel writing in the Guardian, he talks about the soul-searching he went through to find his way back. But he won’t offer any details. It was such a cathartic experience that not only did he resurrect himself on the world golf stage, he also regards it as a competitive edge that he dares not share with his “mates,” much as he enjoys frolicking with them on Twitter.

He promises that after he retires, his tell-all book will, well, tell all. But not until then. But for something so powerful in his life and for as much as it accomplished for him, I suspect that as time goes by, he may mellow a bit. Aside from his pride in his accomplishment, his heart may fill with charity when he sees how many people he can help with his insights. He can change lives.

The thing about secrets like this one is that it’s probably not a new secret. It no doubt revolves around deep introspection about responsibility to himself, to his family…about a stretch of life wasted. And it probably revolves around fears that he’s too embarrassed to reveal. But as he gains comfort in his stature and realizes that his new maturity will not go away, his defanged embarrassment will be something that he will look back on with wisdom and amusement.

And when he gets to that place, he will probably also realize that his competitors knowing his secret is no real threat to him: they still have to do the same work he did to realize its power. It’s no different than telling them the secret of the golf swing. Look at all the master golf teachers who give those secrets away by the hour and still their highly motivated students labor away to understand their meaning.

Hat tip to Kelly Tilghman via Twitter

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