Knocked on Your Tush (Part 1 of 4)
If you’ve read this blog for a while, you know I like to point your attention and creative imagination toward what’s positive and what’s possible in the world—to look for and see the abundance, potential and opportunities of life.
And that is a good thing… and a very necessary thing if we want to move our lives in a positive direction and toward that greater abundance.
BUT, what do you do when you get knocked down? And you will. This is LIFE we are talking about. It is not always blue skies, singing birds and pretty rainbows outside. Sometimes it rains, sometimes it even storms and sometimes it even comes with the added drama (and potential pain) of lightening and thunder. What do you do then, Mr. Sunshine?
That is what we are going to address in this four-part series: When you get knocked on your tush in life, how do you get back up so you are not knocked OUT?
The interesting thing is, during the times of strife, struggle and challenge that the true achievers are born. Never mind the analogy of the true birth experience, having to overcome the incredible obstacles involved in literally being born. But after that first trying experience—and the slap of the doctor and your first cry—it is during the other challenges and obstacles of life when achievers are born.
Martin Luther King Jr. put it this way: “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge.” It is only when we are presented with those challenges that we get to separate ourselves from other men and women.
Imagine this: You are at the very top of your game. Let’s say that game is in one of the most competitive and rivaled fields in the entire world. After decades of painful discipline, sacrifice and relentless commitment, you finally rise to the top, the very top in fact, and then tragedy strikes….
In 1948, finally and for the first time, Ben Hogan won the U.S. Open as well as the PGA Championship, and was the No. 1 money winner of the year and named the PGA Player of the Year. Finally, he had arrived.
And in an instant, it was all taken away.
On February 2, 1949, Ben Hogan and his wife Valerie were in a head-on collision with a Greyhound bus. That night Ben Hogan’s career died. Or so the doctors said.
Ben was told he would never walk again, let alone play competitive golf. He had a severely fractured collarbone and ankle, a double-fractured pelvis, life threatening blood clots and a cracked rib. What the doctors couldn’t diagnose was Ben’s spirit, will and determination. Against all medical probability and prediction, in less than a year after doctors told him he’d never walk again, Hogan placed second in the 1950 Los Angeles Open tournament, losing to Sam Snead in a tightly fought playoff round. Six months after that, he clinched the U.S. Open title for the second time in his career. In 1951, he won the U.S. Open—for the third time—and then the coveted Masters for the first time. In 1953, he won both again, adding the British Open and Pan American Open titles to his record, as well.
Widely regarded as one of the greatest golfers of all time, Hogan won a total of 71 professional tournaments over his 21-year career. By refusing to allow the tragedy of his accident to define him, Hogan instead invested himself in chasing his dream. His rigorous and dedicated practice habits were no longer just about honing a skill. They became focused on reclaiming a part of himself. Despite the odds against him, Hogan never turned down an opportunity to study his game. “Every day you miss practicing,” he said, “will take you one day longer to get good.”
So, what’s knocked you down? What obstacles have you faced? Was your body crushed into many pieces? Were you an inch from death? Were you told the life you know would never be again? Even if that is true, what have you done since? Have you come back to championship status? If you haven’t been dealt those great blows, now your obstacles don’t seem so insurmountable, do they? Imagine what YOU can do with all that you’ve got.
When have you been knocked flat on your rump? What did you do to get back up? Inspire us. Share your tragedy and your comeback in the comments below.
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