Friday, October 8, 2010

Of Surprises and Success

Don't walk in front of me, I may not follow.

Don't walk behind me, I may not lead.

Just walk beside me and be my friend.
-- Albert Camus

I was met with a wonderful celebration this Sunday in Central Park. Christine, Mari and Monica had organized a surprise party for my being named one of Golf Digest’s best young teachers and one of Golf Magazine’s Fab 40 under 40. The articles put me alongside such pros and contributors as Tiger Woods and Lorena Ochoa. It was a huge honor but what was even more rewarding? Sharing it with those I love.
There are notions of success as singular. It’s something you work for, and eventually own. What I realized on Sunday is that true success, in it’s best form, is a community undertaking. Not only does it take a village to achieve, but it should also have a village present to celebrate. I talk a lot about the angels in my life, how they build me up, but on Sunday I really saw them in action. There were students and parents, family and friends and what I realized when I looked at all the familiar faces is that I could not have done it without each and every one of them. They were all a part of the last ten years, and the moments that led me to this one.
I believe strongly that great success can never be achieved without service, that it is through making it about something bigger than ourselves that our own dreams are realized. What I saw on Sunday was that true success cannot be celebrated without the acknowledgment of others, either. Because nothing takes place in a vacuum. We are all blessed to support, encourage and affect each other’s lives.

Celebrate Success,


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

It's In The Process

Sometimes I think we’re too focused on the big picture, the end goal, the bottom line. Sometimes I think we don’t have enough appreciation for the process. My program isn’t successful because my students learn how to play golf (although they do). My program is successful because I connect with my students, I get on their level. I understand them and respect where they are at in each and every moment in each and every lesson. It doesn’t matter what will happen a month from now. Right here, in this moment—that’s what we need to get right.

It’s not about the perfect swing it’s about the perfect moment learning the swing. It’s about connecting to the game…cultivating joy, love and commitment to the sport. It’s moments like the ones in class that we often ignore. We consider them “leading up” moments, never realizing they are actually the whole point entirely. It’s these seconds, minutes, hours that make the player. It’s the kind words and the connection and the silly exercises and the laughter that creates the memories of the game and the will and drive to continue to play.

My goal is to construct our lessons in such a way that they not only lay the foundation for all the wonderful things to come but that they themselves ARE the wonderful things. That just by being there and being present together, we’ve made the point. It also allows me to really be focused with the children and to see opportunities for growth. Perhaps they’ll be open to something new—a different way of problem solving, another tool in their magic toolbox. It’s these little moments, this process, that makes the lesson. It’s not just golf, it’s life, and it’s why I teach. It’s what makes me passionate about education and what keeps me committed to the presence, joy and purpose in my own life.

Take a few moments this week to pay attention to your own process. Honor it, recognize it, and celebrate it.

With love,