The Importance of Gratitude

Your first thought may have been, “WTF does this have to do with golf?” so let’s get right to it – everything! Anyone who knows me knows that I am BIG on appreciation and gratitude (and that I swear like a truck driver – no disrespect to truck drivers).

As you make your way through your days and golf games your subconscious mind is continually recording your responses. It begins to build “files” in your mind that train your brain for automatic responses. When you take a new route someplace where you have to use the GPS, pay attention to all the turns and lanes you need to be sure you’re in to get to your destination, the conscious mind is running the show. Do this enough times and suddenly you can practically drive without paying any attention at all thanks to the “program” you’ve installed in your mind. Think of it like a well-worn garden path…walk it enough times and it becomes embedded in the ground so that it becomes easier to follow each time you’re on the trail.


Based on ‘negativity bias’ covered in an earlier post you tend to notice more of what you don’t like, don’t want, and what doesn’t make you happy.  Given the two examples above, what does your memory hold the most of? Things you don’t like, don’t want and what doesn’t make you happy! When it comes to your golf game how many “good” thoughts and feelings do you have about it? My guess is that you have a big, fat file full of things I can’t print here in case your children find it on the internet.

One of the quickest ways to begin to shift your experience when you play is to make the choice to notice things that you like – it can be the weather, your golf partner, your new golf clubs. What this does is give new input to your subconscious ‘golf files’ where it starts to get the message that golf has some enjoyable things involved in it as well. You would like to enjoy your game too, right?

As you develop the habit of noticing the good, take it up a notch by giving thanks for things like: I’m on the green, I’m 100 yards up the fairway, I’m out of the sand! Give thanks for the freedom to play golf, the people who keep the greens in great playing condition; appreciate how good your water tastes, yourself for noticing how many things you are thankful for. By the way, this works MAGIC in your personal relationships as well – from co-workers to mates, begin to notice and appreciate the “good” (even if you have to really dig deep for your co-worker!) and watch how much better you get along.

When you appreciate, YOU feel better. You’re at choice about what you focus on so in looking for things to appreciate and give thanks for you direct your thought process away from unwanted to wanted . Sort of like the car keys on the kitchen counter you couldn’t see because you were so focused on them being missing.  There is so much available to you in your moments of now to feel good about – exercise that option and watch a new world open up to you.

And hey, thank you for letting me gush about the importance of gratitude. ☺️