Tiger and the Power Formula
Recently, we saw another Masters tournament, another major golf tournament with Tiger Woods in contention for victory. With his past performances, Tiger has set our expectations for his performance so high that we expect him to win every single tournament. Now, that's greatness! That's power! You may not be able to hit a golf ball 300 yards, but you can still emulate Tiger, applying his "power formula" to realize your greatness.
Why is Tiger so powerful? The first reason is the passion he has for his profession. His commitment to being the best is unquestionable. Tiger's preparation in the traditional way (practice, practice, practice) is legendary, as there are few golfers willing to spend as many hours on the course. However, his passion for the game drove Tiger to find more ways to separate himself from his competition. One of the ways he has created this separation is with his athletic approach to this "country club sport." Tiger added the physical preparation of a world-class athlete to his repertoire and the results are self-evident. Tiger standing next to his competitors looks like a world-class athlete visiting a convention of accountants … not that there is anything wrong with being an accountant! Today, as a result of Tiger's passion, even his chief rivals concede that they are often playing for second place. Woods is able to commit to golf almost monastically because to him it is not a chore to do so. Golf is his passion, his love, and there before that which is viewed as a sacrifice to others is a pleasure to him. This can be true for you as well. Somewhere out there, there is "that thing" to which you will happily meet, that makes time stand still when you do it, that gives you strength rather than sapping it. Find that thing and you will be that much closer to becoming a Tiger.
Why is Tiger so powerful? The obvious answer to some is that he was born that way. He has "it." He has a natural physical build that is conducive to playing golf well. He was bestowed by nature with an abundance of the golf gift, the ability to hit that small ball exactly where he wants it to go. But we can not dismiss Tiger's results by saying that they are simply an inevitability of his natural talent. Tiger had to recognize this aptitude and convert it into consistently great performance. He had to decide that his passion for golf was worth pursuing. He had to have the audacity to believe he could be great. He had to hire coaches and mentors to see what he could not and trust their vision enough to act upon it. Finally, he had to give his best effort to ensure that his gift was not wasted. Had any one of these steps been missing, Tiger would have known, or more likely unknown, as Eldrick Woods busily toiling in a profession that was not his calling.
Are you doing what you were born to do? The power formula, as so skillfully demonstrated by Tiger Woods, is the effective combination of passion and aptitude. Greatness does not and can not happen without a successful marriage of the two. Passion for your work will turn your work into play. What appears to be sacrifice to others will simply be a labor of love for you, an itch that you have no choice but to scratch. Your passion, if you are doing "your thing," will cause you to give much more of yourself to the pursuit of greatness than those simply interfoping in your thing ever could. Further, aptitude allows all your effort in service of your passion to become relevant. Aptitude makes great results the unexpected exit of all your great effort. The most passionate hammer in the world will never be able to turn a screw effectively. It lacks the ability, the aptitude. By the same token, a person governed by passion without skill, one doing the wrong thing, will be doomed to ineffectiveness.
When you combine your aptitude with your passion, you too can capture the power of a Tiger!