“You must take personal responsibility. You cannot change the circumstances, the seasons, or the wind, but you can change yourself. That is something you have charge of.” – Jim Rohn

Last month, the topic was “Finding Your Passion & Purpose” In that article, I wrote: “Fact: This is a hard business…and there will be hard, long and sometimes difficult days with a career in golf. It’s your passion, your purpose that will “power you through” on the tougher days.

Experience is what we gain from these tougher days, not from the “restful days on the beach.” Our ego (the self-important part of ourselves) prefers the comfortable, non-challenging, conflict-free days over the challenging ones. And, it’s that same ego that wants us to run from challenges and wants to cheat us out of getting valuable experience(s) that will help us elevate our career faster and more significantly. If you want to learn more about how our ego can negatively hinder, check out this book by Ryan Holmes, Ego Is the Enemy. Or check out this summary pdf of the book here.

On those tougher days, we have the chance to:

  • Learn through our experiences, especially the ones that challenge us (or hurt for us)
  • Gain confidence from our experiences, especially when we excel on the tougher days
  • Develop our values, principles and standards
  • Discover our “winning” responses to difficult situations, conflicts and gain
  • “Check our temperature” and our attitude when under duress, stress
  • Show our passion and our purpose, our professional why for being a PGA professional

In a simple statement, experiences are the opportunities often presented as “windows to a win” or “threats to suffer.”

Fact: Experiences either drag us down or lift us up – but the amount of drag OR lift is highly dependent upon the “set of our sail.” Jim Rohn and author, Christian Voelker often referred to the way we respond, especially with our attitude, as the “set of our sail.” Check out this article “It’s the Set of the Sail…” by Jonathan Voelker to learn more.

There are so many examples of two different people who encountered basically the same situations and experiences, yet one is more successful than the other. It’s not luck. It’s a difference of attitude. A great attitude can exhibit itself in optimism, perseverance, professionalism and grit.  The late great Zig Ziglar said “It’s your attitude, not your aptitude that will determine your altitude.” (Here’s a video of ZZ from 2013: Your Attitude Controls Your Outcomes)

Based on your passion and your purpose, and your True North, “how’s that working for you right now?” If you feel like you’re not flourishing and your professional attitude is suffering, I will refer you back to the this question from the last article: Are you in “the right dirt” already? Or are you tracking today toward the right dirt where you can flourish as you hoped for when you started your career path?

If yes, is there someone you can help with the “set of their sail?” If not, now is the right season for us to connect and work on how you can discover or rediscover your passion, and/or learn from the many unique experiences from this crazy year we call 2020. Either way, my role and purpose is to help you get more value out of your career. You only get one career, so make it count.


Monte Koch, PGA Certified Professional/Player Development | Career Consultant
PGA Career Services | PGA of America
Serving PGA professionals, employers in the Pacific NW & Rocky Mountain PGA Sections

Email: Mkoch@pgahq.com Cell: 206/335-5260

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