My friend Mike Hooper never has missed a short putt in his life. Every time I hear the “clink” of his ball in the cup, I utter a diatribe under my breath.
Mike doesn’t pay attention to the slope of the green or the cut of the grass. He simply pictures his tiny golf ball going into a huge cup. Mike, along with many other successful people I know, understands that his beliefs and assumptions affect how his personal and professional life unfolds.
William R. Miller, a creator of Motivational Interviewing, authored an Interactive Journal called Living as if…your road, your life. In this Journal, Miller explains that who and what we think we are guide the choices and behaviors we make each day. What we believe to be true directly influences the outcomes we experience.
Early on in the Journal, Miller asks participants to respond to a number of questions:
Are you basically a worthwhile and lovable person?
How able are you to change?
Who’s in charge of your life?
Do you see your shortcomings as temporary setbacks from which to learn and change?
How do you describe yourself?
When I think of Mike Hooper, I want to add a question of my own to Miller’s list: How big is your golf ball cup? The assumptions we live with on a daily basis may feel indisputable, but they can be changed. When you “live as if” you posses certain qualities (such as humility, compassion or confidence), your thoughts, feelings and actions begin to follow suit.
Yesterday, my golf ball was only 26 inches from the cup. I had a chance to save a bogey on the first hole. I thought of Mike Hooper. I thought about the person I wanted to be.