The People In Our Lives
Harvey Penick was a legendary golf instructor in Austin Texas. His students are some of the greatest male and female professional and
collegiate players of all time. One of Mr. Penick’s favorite sayings was, “If you want to be a good putter, go to dinner with good putters.”
Really? Go to dinner with good putters? How about, “Ask them to tell you their secret.” or “Spend time on the putting green with them.” or “What about tactics and techniques?” Nope, that’s not the way it works.
The greatest putters all have different styles. Nicklaus’ stroke was very wristy with an open stance. Palmer’s stroke was jabby, hunched over with his knees tucked together. Crenshaw’s stroke was smooth, like a door on greased hinges. Yet, they’re all great putters.
Mr. Penick’s point was about the way these people “think” about putting, their general attitudes toward the game and towards life than it was about the “tactics” or “techniques” of putting. If you were at dinner with a good putter why spoil it with a discussion of tactics? Enjoy their attitude or approach to life and the game!
Consider the people in your life. What are their attitudes? Are they generally optimistic or pessimistic? Do they worry or are they happy-go-lucky? Are they critical or accepting? Do they focus on what they don’t have or what they do have? Do the people in your life reﬂect your attitudes?
We tend to surround ourselves with people like us. If you want to change your attitude about something, seek out people with the attitude you want. Spend time with couples who are happily married and your marriage just might improve. Spend time with spiritual people and you might think about spirituality differently. Spend time with active people and get ready for a more active lifestyle. Spend time with great leaders and watch your management style change!
As your attitudes change you may ﬁnd that some of the people you spend time with are no longer interesting. You may ﬁnd that new friends will enter your life and old friends will drift out. It’s a byproduct of change and leaving your comfort zone. Is it possible that some of those people are part of the reason you stayed in your comfort zone?
Now I’m not suggesting you shun the people in your life. Not at all! Let them know what you’re doing and how you’re changing. Many of them will come along for the ride! Some won’t – and that’s probably OK.
So how do you “ﬁnd” these people to start spending time with? My guess is that they’re all around you but you haven’t noticed them. If you tend to be pessimistic, you don’t usually notice optimistic people. Start looking for optimism and you’ll soon ﬁnd optimistic people to hang out with!
You can formalize this process with a mentor, create a casual coffee group, join a club, or any of a number of ways.
Great putters are all around you – go to dinner with one!