Tiger Woods- Ever really a success?

Tiger Woods PGA Championship
Tiger Woods PGA Championship
Tiger and dad, Earl Woods
Tiger and dad, Earl Woods

A Humpty Dumpty Story?

Can all the King’s golf balls and all the wo- men ever put Tiger together again?

I was never an avid fan of golf, neither was I ever an ardent fan of Tiger Woods. However, all of my life, I have been a zealot for success. So, as Tiger’s “success” burgeoned very early in his adult life, my curiosity was piqued, and I did some research on my own to learn more about the forces in his life that were responsible for his success. Most stories that I read spoke about a father living vicariously through his son, a father’s devotion to seeing his son achieve on the golf course and a father literally becoming the wind beneath his son’s wings.

As I mentioned before, I never had an interest in golf, so I never sat in front of the television to endure any of Tiger’s long tourneys. What I did do, was follow his scores enough to know when he made it to the final rounds, and I often observed him as he accepted his winning trophies for his many championships played. Now, when I say that I observed him, by no means did I limit my observation to merely witnessing Tiger’s back and forth motions on the television screen- what I mean is that I observed his disposition, his interaction with others, his gait, his poise, and his demeanor as a whole. I often left my television screen partially satiated- “Winning is sweet”, I told myself, “but is it always exemplary of success?”

I will like to think that my idea of success has grown over the years, and what I have come to realize is that success is much more multi- faceted than mere winning. There is something about success that overflows onto the person witnessing success; there is something about success that screams to its observers “I represent more that ME as I accept these accreditations for my success- I also represent each and every one of you; today I represent the zenith of what can be achieved by the human race.”

The unsated feeling with respect to Tiger’s success perhaps nested inside me for some years, as I always became a little unsettled whenever the name “Tiger Woods” was mentioned.

One day, months after the infamous scandal surrounding Tiger Woods aired, I was browsing through the Borders Bookstore; and staring me in my face was a photo of Tiger and his dad. Under the photo was the title “His Father’s Son”. The words and the picture combined, immediately resurrected some memories of me trying to put together my own Tiger Woods success puzzle, and I thought to myself, “Ok G, lets purchase this book and give it a read, perhaps it will complete the puzzle.”

Book- His Father's Son
Book- His Father's Son

The book was generally a good read, but it was not until I reached Chapter 28, did I get the satisfaction I was hoping to achieve when I purchased it. At the beginning of this chapter, the Augusta National Chairman of golf, Billy Payne made a speech at the 2010 Masters. Referring to Tiger’s return subsequent to his infidelity scandal, Payne said,

Is there a way forward? I hope yes. I think yes. But certainly his future will never again be measured only by his performance against par, but measured by the sincerity of his efforts to change. I hope he now realizes that every kid he passes on the course wants his swing but will settle for his smile. I hope he can come to understand that life’s greatest rewards are reserved for those who bring joy to the lives of other people…..this year, it will not be just for him, but for all of us who deserve second chances!”

Bingo! Puzzle completed!

I could not have said it better myself. There is an element of humanity and compassion that should infiltrate the daily lives of us all. I believe that we attract what we project. Giving a bit of what I like to call “soft love” will not hurt- a phone call, a hand- shake, a smile, a greeting card- all of these are the little things that make huge differences in the lives of others.

Success is not measured by how high you go, but how many times you bounce back when you fall. When the world makes it difficult for you to bounce back,and you live with the mental, emotional and physical burden of a shrunken ego, then maybe it is time for some introspection from a different angle, maybe it’s time for positive change! If not, you live a humpty dumpty life, with a humpty dumpty story, and we all know how that ends.

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