Monday, February 13, 2012

The Age of Hindsight (Part I)

There’s something about coming of age that finally makes you recognizethe value of opportunities you took for granted as a child. It is only when wereach adulthood, with time stretched thin and consumed with responsibility thatwe can look back at the offerings from our youth and truly appreciate them. Finally, when we are forced to front the bill, our experiences glean their merited zeal.

I find the most common example of this to be the lamentation of youngadults for having resisted playing golf as a child. For some reason, walking for hoursalong a primly cared lawn and struggling to propel a stationary ball forward witha lanky club just doesn't appeal to kids the same way as football or soccer...

My parents would always try to convince my to take a lesson or join my dad for a round, but I'd reject the offering. While they did enforce some obligatory lessons and rounds, once I'd checked off the minimum requirement, I put off the chore of playing for another year. I always relied on the reasoning that I'd have to time to play golf later. I was just a kid, and the idea that I'd need it for business one day seemed so far away.

Just a few months after graduating college and starting my first job, a golfouting was set up for the executives and the new hires. It was a unique opportunity to pass several hours chatting and networking with senior leaders, but it came attached to the perilous task of doing so over golf. I was thankful to at least be able to whack the ball onto the fairway and for managing to hide my frustrations when I needed four strokes to sink a putt, but afterwards, I couldn't believe I'd spent years passing up lessons for another round of Sharks and Minnows at the pool. My convenient excuse that I still had time had long since expired.

It’s a shame our maturity doesn't work in reverse – beginning first witha keen sense of understanding andrespect that slowly trickles down as we age to where we only need to preoccupy ourselves with carefree indulgence. Should we be equipped with the skill ofanalyzing unique opportunities or knowing to heed our parent's advice, I’m confidentI’d not only be a great golfer, but I’d likely have avoided some frivolous miscalculationsof my formative years.

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