A short story: Walter Hagen won the U.S. Open twice and was a four-time winner of the British Open. He’s widely considered one of America’s greatest golfers and won more than a million dollars over his career – a legendary amount at the time he was playing. When asked to reveal the secret of his success after capturing one of his major titles, Hagen replied, “You’re only here for a short visit. Don’t hurry. Don’t worry. And be sure to smell the roses along the way.”
What simple, yet powerful advice! In a nutshell, Hagen was saying just relax, enter into the flow of life, be present to the moment. How wonderful to be able to bring this calm, focused approach to a game like golf, which demands tremendous patience and focus. Now, I’m not a big golf fan, but I do admire the mix of relaxed intensity that golfers seem to bring to their game.
Relaxed intensity – this seems like a winning recipe for us as well, on our playing field – the page. “Don’t hurry. Don’t worry.” Let’s see how this strategy might help us:
We’d bring intention: We bring a sense of purpose to the page, but we’d hold it lightly; we wouldn’t cling to it and feel desperate about reaching it.
We’d bring attention: We’d be alive to the page; we’d bring all our senses and a soft, relaxed awareness to what we wanted to accomplish.
We’d put our hurry aside: There’s a wonderful saying, “Go slowly, there’s not much time.” Makes sense, if you think about it. When we go slowly, we’re less likely to make mistakes and have to undo them. When we go slowly, we also see more along the way.
We’d put our worry aside: “A relaxed mind is a creative mind” – this is one of my favorite Yogi tea bag sayings. So true! When we worry, we’re tense – we contract and shrink into ourselves. When we relax, we’re expansive, poised yet peaceful: open to fresh ideas and inspiration.
We’d enjoy the journey: We’d stop and “smell the roses” – we’d be alive and alert to the world around us and all it offers. We’d nourish our creativity from its endless source of inspiration. We’d bring back what we’ve enjoyed and gathered to the page.
So let’s enjoy ourselves today. Let’s have fun! Let’s play instead of work — let’s think of the page as our field of play. Let’s not hurry. Let’s not worry. And let’s smell the roses as we all write on!
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