The Delusion of Low Expectations
Savannah was 9 months pregnant… yep, about to POP any second… so naturally, that’s the perfect time to squeeze in one last round of Golf before our lives change forever… right? No?
I had a fantastic round! I hadn’t played in months, so it was really nice to get out there and play one of my favorite courses in Arizona, Ocotillo Golf Club -- shout out to one of the greatest golfers of all-time, “Lefty,” Phil Mickelson! Thank you for upgrading this wonderful golf course. Here’s the thing though…
I had to be a rude golfer… breaking etiquette all over the place. I had a cart to myself, despite playing as a twosome with a friend, and I had my cell phone + ringer on full blast in case my wife called to say, “Thundercats are GOOOOO!” like the movie Juno.
For my game (or lack thereof), shooting only 2 over par on the Front 9 is pretty awesome… and it continued on the back 9! I was on Hole 17, confident in my game, when it happened.
The Big Moment… a True Game-Changer
It’s a beautiful Par 3. Water on the left, homes on the right. I had my distance and the exact shot I wanted to hit. If I Par out the next 2 holes, I will match my lowest score ever of 77… with a chance to shoot a new lowest score.
I stepped up to the tee box. I eye-balled my target like Tiger Woods... to elaborate: I REALLY eye-balled it. I went through my routine, stepped up the ball, waggled the club a bit, and took my swing…
It was in the air, perfect trajectory, perfect distance, and --- IT HAPPENED!
No, my wife didn’t go into labor… and I knew she wasn’t going to go into labor that day. Why? My ball sailed left and landed pin-high into the water. SPLASH. Oh, it got worse… my drop shot rolled off the green, my chip back rolled off the green, and then I 2-putted. I exceeded my entire Front 9 score on ONE Hole: +3. That’s when I said:
“Yeah… my wife’s not going into labor today because it would only happen at the end of a perfect round.”
That struck a chord with me later…
The Delusion of Low Expectations
Why did I believe something so terrible? Why did I think the greatest gift in the world, my son being born, would “ruin” my “greatest round of golf”? That mindset is a killer…
Especially in business. We always want to under-promise and over-deliver, but this sets a precedent where we fear pedestals and think, “you can’t fall off of the floor,” or, “there’s only one way to go: UP!” But you WON’T go up, will you? Because you don’t want to…
I created a scenario in my head where it was either going to be my greatest round of golf or the greatest moment of my life, my son being born --- why not BOTH?
I realized I’d rather keep focused on the BEST possible outcomes. I’d rather believe I can accomplish 1-Million in Sales knowing that $999,999.99 is still a significant improvement. Attempting to climb Everest and not making it to the top is NOT a failure because if you didn’t climb, what would you have done? Attempting to complete a Marathon for the first time and not making it all the way through isn’t a failure because you attempted it. These are opportunities and a real clear picture of where you ARE and where you COULD BE.
NOT doing something is the real failure. NOT trying is the real failure. And, of course, believing the universe only has a negative outcome for you is the ultimate failure.
UPDATE: My Baby Boy Is Here!
An entire week after this round of golf, the following Monday, my wife went into labor. On Tuesday morning, at 7:47 (so maybe he’ll become a pilot?) my son was born. I’ll never forget…
During labor, baby boy’s poor little heart rate kept dropping. We didn’t know why. His heart rate was perfect throughout my wife’s pregnancy. They kept rolling my wife from one side to the next to see if that helped him… it helped… until it didn’t anymore.
Then, Tuesday morning, some midwife we’d never met before walked in like Arnold Schwarzenegger in The Terminator and said, “We’re going to start pushing.” This was odd, but we’re not doctors, so we went along with it. It was a horrible idea…
Every time my wife pushed, baby boy’s heart rate dropped to dangerous levels. After a few attempts, my wife naturally just stopped pushing as hard because she knew it was harming the baby. FINALLY, the Doctor walked in bewildered by what was happening and said, “No. We’re not doing this. Get prepped for an emergency C-Section now.”
Off we went...
I was sitting by my wife’s side while she was getting the C-Section. I kept telling her how much I loved her and how amazing she was for going through all of this. She was so uncomfortable and I felt horrible. But then… we heard him. We heard his little cry and we both uncontrollably cried. We’d never felt so happy, relieved, and excited all at once. It was incredible!
And of course, not that I’m biased, he’s perfect!