Hopefully you had the chance to watch the Master's golf tournament this past weekend and witness the incredible finish and victory by Tiger Woods. Did you ever believe he could return to greatness after his scandals and multiple physical problems? Most of us probably thought he would never achieve his prior level of accomplishment. However, his tenacity and fierce competitiveness clearly enabled him to overcome a plethora of obstacles. Tiger's intense focus was obvious in the final round of golf as he sensed that his victory was imminent. His personal failures and physical ailments seemed insurmountable, but Tiger prevailed. Of course, none of us know whether he's a changed person and if he learned some valuable lessons from his adversity, but we want to believe that he did. We want to celebrate with him because everyone loves to witness an underdog overcome hardship and fight back to a triumphant win. Many of us identify with being downtrodden since we have been there in our lives at some point and fought to regain stability. We experience hope when we see others beat the odds and turn their lives around. How did Tiger overcome his hardships?
We can assume that he had the best medical and psychological services available to him along with every possible resource to assure success, but he still had to put the time and effort into making changes. He must have committed himself at some point over the past several years to follow through on the sound and healthy advice of professionals. Tiger had to trust and rely on others to guide him and direct him onto a positive path. In the process, he probably had to humble himself, relinquish control, and delay gratification knowing that his journey would be long and tedious. The best part of his victory for me was watching him embrace his family. He was able to maintain these family ties through his difficult times which implies that he recognized the importance of these relationships. Often people who go through troubles in their lives don't realize the impact that their actions have on so many family members and friends. So what do we learn from Tiger's experience?
Never give up on yourself; keep fighting. Everyone experiences hardship, but it's important to build resilience so you can bounce back. When we are struggling, we should look to our faith, family, and friends to support us through the difficult times. Don't choose to deal with hardship alone by keeping those closest to you in the dark. Ask others for advice on finding appropriate resources. Choose carefully your circle of close friends and confidants and then ask for and listen to their advice. Identify your own strengths and focus on building back those capabilities. It is especially important to be patient and forgive yourself for prior shortcomings. Challenge yourself to stretch your limits and grow as a person. Remember that we often grow the most during times of adversity. Lastly, don't look back, instead look forward, and trust in your ability to overcome adversity.