Claiming the Prize


I know a young man … an experienced golfer … who plays in a number of golf tournaments. By and large, he’s done very well in competition but there is a phenomenon that tends to undo him and thereby limit his performance capability. At the beginning of each tournament, he is intent on playing flawless golf and winning it all. He psyches himself up with these thoughts and the feeling of success that he rolls over and over in his mind as he approaches the first tee. However, along with those seemingly positive thoughts, he also experiences a considerable amount of anxiety and distraction that disallows him from maintaining any sense of focus which is essential in the game of golf. The anxiety produces a fair amount of tension and the tension interferes with his hitting and placing the ball where he wishes. Interestingly, it isn’t until he reaches the midpoint of a round of golf … around the ninth hole … that he begins to unwind. When asked why and how he accomplishes that, he replied that he really didn’t know but what he did know is that as a result of this “letting go,” his game takes a turn for the better. He may end up playing exceptional golf but the problems experienced on the front nine, when factored into his total score, tends to be a lot less than he would like and what he anticipated.

Now, taking a lesson from the game of golf, the pattern described is ascribable to any part of our lives. It has to do with our expectations. It also has to do with our tendencies toward perfectionism which, to one extent or another, is usually present in most of our personality makeups. However, which comes first … the unreasonable expectations or the striving to be perfect? I believe that it is the latter since if this is part and parcel of our personality, our expectations would fall into the unreasonable category.

In addition, the source of that belief is that we count on our doing so well as being the secret to whatever success that we’ve experienced. I maintain that most success results from our doing those things for which we have a passion, and are usually having some fun in the process. In other words, being relaxed and doing what we do best is the key. This, in combination with our need to be successful, provides a formula that we can count on time-after-time. Whether in business, playing a sport, conducting a relationship or anything that has to do with making an effort, I believe that this model holds up consistently. It seems that it is only then that we can claim the prize of success.

Both as a consultant and author, Charles Bonasera’s story-telling have motivated people to change patterns and resolve problems in their lives. All of his books contain valuable, practical lessons that people can easily apply to bettering and managing their lifestyles. He has also written a myriad of articles which can be found on his website at

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