Welcome to my Never Quit Climbing blog

A practical, inspirational blog designed to encourage and give hope to people who are climbing mountains of rock and granite or ones life has put in their way.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Sometimes a Next Right Step is Better Than A Big One

I was watching the U.S. Open for golf recently and heard commentator Johnny Miller say this when one of the pros was in a particularly difficult spot:  When you get in trouble just get out of trouble.  His point was that sometimes when a golfer hits a really bad shot he or she tries to then hit a spectacular one to make up for the loss. And often the results are worse.

The same is true in life climbing. We may run into a major snag on our journey, one caused by our own miss-hit, life in general or someone else's actions. It doesn't matter what the cause is. It's usually best to simply do what will get us out of the current trouble and not try to fix everything all at once.

Perhaps our health got worse, our marriage didn't improve, we got laid off instead of just a pay-reduction or our child rebelled even more rather than return home. It's tempting to overreact and do way too much when that happens rather than take a logical next, but perhaps less ambitious, step.

There are several bad outcomes if we don't heed Johnny Miller's advice.  First of all, we will probably hurt other people. Our desperation to fix the problem in a big way or to solve everything now usually initiates a lot of pressure on others as we demand that things get better. As a result we speak harshly or act inappropriately towards those who have been there for us all along.

Second, we can make our situation worse. Like the golfer whose shot into the woods next lands in a sand trap, our lack of patience can cause our world and the world of those around us to become even messier, not better. Our health declines, we spend too much money, we ruin a relationship or whatever because we thought we could fix everything now. It rarely works.

Third, we can hinder future options that could ultimately help us. Sometimes we just need to get out of the current trouble by focusing only on what just happened and how to take one small step toward a solution.

If you're in an out of bounds situation on your journey, focus only on what will help you get back to normal, back to safety and health.  You don't have to have a major jump forward here to keep all the momentum going. Just get from out of bounds onto the fairway. Hit a short, easy shot that will set you up for success and future growth.

A little trouble now can ward off a lot of trouble and struggle later.

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