Once upon a time, long, long ago, I wrote a little blog piece on ‘showing up’. It described a small personal example of the power that someone ‘showing up’ for me had and the results it helped me find.
Life is a generous thing in the lessons it dishes out, if we choose to be aware of them, and I was gifted a little beauty a few weeks ago. Here’s what happened…
It’s a source of great joy to be associated with a fantastic bunch of coaches and clients at Aspire Golf Ireland. Aspire works with talented and committed young Irish golfers and seeks to deliver a complete programme of skills, support and ‘knowledge’. Aspire aspires to help young talent become complete golfers – golfers with scoring skills, technical skills, organisational skills, people skills, personal skills and being a happy human skills.
My role at Aspire is to encourage our clients to discover the things that allow them to live their lives and play their golf from the Inside Out – getting the best return and most fun for the work they do for themselves.
The simplest and most effective way to do this is to get them to experience what it’s like for themselves – actually being Inside Out. Not just having it explained to them as an abstract notion.
And the first step in doing this is to make sure that I practice what I preach: I must Show Up, Inside Out.
At a windy, rainy Rosapenna in beautiful Donegal our clients were split into three groups each moving from session to session between coaches. My session was helping the students to experience what it’s like to chip and pitch the ball without conscious thought – just allowing their innate skill to deliver accurate and crisp strikes to the ball. When you learn to do this Inside Out you gain full access to your skill, and pressure and circumstance cease to have any power over you.
As the first group marched up the hill to the practice area I was buzzing – full of excitement and enthusiasm. We did all the things we needed to do and we had a great time together – the session exceeded all my expectations. The students were fantastic and when we were done they left for their next assignment bouncing and full of smiles.
The second group arrived and I was all set for a repeat performance – everything was teed up for another fantastic session. Or so I thought.
We ran through the same drills, exercises, explanations and the results were ok. But that’s it. They were ok. They weren’t magical. They didn’t sparkle. Faces didn’t light up. Nobody danced around like a loon and high-fived.
Now, some may say that every session can’t be a whiz-bang success and we need the average to appreciate the differences between bad and brilliant. There may be some truth in that – but that’s not what it’s about.
As the second group left and made their way to the next session I had a few minutes to ponder on what happened before the arrival of the next group and I was genuinely befuddled. What the heck happened?
I had no idea. But I made myself a promise: I decided I would sparkle for the next group no matter what. I would show up 100%.
And so I did. And what a difference it made! It wasn’t the content. It wasn’t the drills. It wasn’t the exercises and games.
It was me.
It seems I was asking the wrong question. It wasn’t ‘What the heck happened?’
The question should have been ‘What the heck didn’t happen?’
And what didn’t happen was that I didn’t show up fully for the second group. I was still using the sparkle from the first group – and that doesn’t work. It doesn’t work because the sparkle we generate for a client has to be unique to them in that time and in that place. It’s not transferable.
Not resetting yourself and generating a completely new experience for every client in every engagement is like having guests visit your house and asking them to share the same bath water. It’s not appropriate and you wouldn’t do it.
So that thing called Life and my wonderful golfers taught me never again to take ‘showing’ up for granted.
They taught me that, just like every shot in golf is a unique, never to be repeated one-off, so is the chance to Show Up for people when they arrive in your life.
To Life and to the great young kids that bless us with their presence at Aspire I doff my overpriced acrylic and non-waterproof woolly hat to you and say a heartfelt, “Thank you!” 🙂Share