Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Real Life Tao - A Fool's Errand

Trey Smith

While I sometimes mention sports on this blog, I rarely reference golf. It's not that I dislike golf, but I wouldn't list it as one of my top five favorite sports. But I am writing about it because of a remarkable quote from the swing coach of Michael Thompson, who won this past week's PGA tournament. Here's what Susie Meyers had to say about her client's golf game.
Trying to get consistency is like going after a fool's errand. It doesn't happen in life. If you try to be consistent you live in a frustrating world. Take everything for what it is and let it be, and at the end of the day, hopefully you can say you did the best you could. We don't try to be consistent at all.
A very Taoist-like perspective, I would say.

The problem is not that consistency is a bad thing; it's more the trying part. Trying involves active thinking. It's about trying to get your body to meet the expectations of the mind. It's the opposite of wu wei -- going with the flow of the present situation.

Meyers isn't saying that Thompson doesn't practice, but it's obvious to me that she wants her protege to get to the point in which his golf swing becomes second nature. He does it without actively thinking about what he's doing. Sometimes he will hit the ball fluidly and beautifully. Sometimes he won't. But instead of grousing about what he might have gone wrong, he merely will address the next shot based on what is and NOT what could have been.

Me thinks that's a great philosophy for life, in general.

This post is part of a series. For an introduction, go here.

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