Know Yourself

“The most difficult thing in life is to know yourself.”– Greek philosopher Thales (624 BC – 546 BC)

The number varies, of course, but the average person hears about 30,000 words a day and reads about 4,000 words a day. There is a lot of redundancy.

In the number of words heard and read as well as a lot of necessary-but-uninteresting words such as “a,” “an,” “and,” “in,” “it,” ‘not,” “or,” “that” “the, “with” and “Dude.”

Every once in a while though a word that you either hear or read triggers the imagination. A few days ago while I was looking for old golf photos on the website www.oldmagzinearticles.com, I ran across the word “gritty.” The words “sandpaper,” “rough” and “tough” immediately came to mind and then my mind wondered back to golf, specifically to my golf game and the great question all golfers should ask themselves: “Who am I?”

In order to improve – or at least remain the same for us older gentlemen – as a golfer, you must be honest with yourself and that, unfortunately, requires a hard look at your personality and the state of your game. Are you able to differentiate between what type of golfer you “are” versus what type of golfer you “would like to be”? I know that I would like to be a “gritty” golfer who is both “enthusiastic” and “lighthearted.” I wish I could add one more such as “skilled,” but that has never been the case. Perhaps I can become more “skillful” in a few areas (i.e. putting, bunker play), but I have enough self-awareness to understand my limitations.

Obviously, this is a word game with no correct answers. Nevertheless, I do think it is both interesting and fun to find the words below that best describe you the golfer. Remember, there might be a difference between the golfer you would like to be versus the golfer you are. Note: If you truly have a curious nature, ask a good friend to pick a few words to describe your game, then compare your list to his.

The Word Game

  • Bullheaded, adj. -- Determined in an obstinate and unthinking way.
  • Competitive, adjective -- Eager to do better than others in an activity, especially trying to win in a sports activity; a competitive person.
  • Confident, adj. -- Feeling or showing confidence in oneself; self-assured. Feeling or showing certainty about something. (Just one man’s opinion, but in order to be a “confident” golfer, your handicap must be 10 or less.)
  • Creative, adj. -- Having the ability or power to create. Characterized by originality and expressiveness; imaginative.
  • Enthusiastic, adj. -- Having or showing intense and eager enjoyment or interest.
  • Erratic, adj. -- Changing suddenly and unexpectedly.
  • Focused, adj. -- Giving a lot of attention to one particular thing. Showing a clear and definite purpose.
  • Fragile, adj. -- Easily damaged, broken or harmed.
  • Fun-loving, adj. -- Liking to enjoy yourself and have fun rather than liking serious things.
  • Hasty, adj. -- quick; hurried.; unduly quick; precipitate; rash:
  • Obsessed, adj. -- Unable to stop thinking about something.
  • Patient, adj. -- Able to accept or tolerate delays, problems or suffering without becoming annoyed or anxious.
  • Plucky, adj. – Brave; gutsy.
  • Positive, adj. -- Constructive, optimistic, or confident. With no possibility of doubt; clear and definite.
  • Skilled, adj. -- Having or showing the knowledge, ability or training to perform a certain activity or task well.
  • Steady, adj. -- Calm and under control:
  • Stout, adj. -- Brave and determined.
  • Tough, adj. -- 1. Strong enough to withstand adverse conditions or rough.  2. able to endure hardship or pain.

There are approximately 4,800 adjectives in the English language. How many do you need to describe you golf game? (Of course, your answers may depend on whether or not you won the last time you played.

Play Away!
Allan Stark

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