Thursday, April 14, 2016

                                   How Do You Recover From the Green Jacket Day?

     Some days can be like the gut-wrenching golf match we all watched a few days ago. Our roller coaster emotions took us from Jordan Spieth’s disastrous water shots to Danny Willett’s elation at winning the Masters. Imagine the range of emotions that Jordan Spieth must have felt those last few holes realizing that his title was in jeopardy in front of hundreds of fans breathing down his neck, not to mention all of the millions watching him at home. As a performer, I cannot fathom what this young man must have been feeling. Hopefully, he has his performance anxiety in check at some level, and he woke up the next morning with a fresh “I’ll-do-it-next-time” attitude. My guess is that he endured frustration, anger, surprise, disgust, fear and sadness, all the emotions I address weekly on this site. How do athletes, rock stars, politicians, stage performers recover from moments like that? To stand there and put the green jacket on an opponent had to have been the most devastating experience in this young man’s life. The key here, however, is the “young.” People will say, as I did, “He’s only 22 years old. He has plenty of time.” Regardless of the truth of that statement, what he must have felt inside was nonetheless humbling.

     To translate that moment to those any of us might experience in a given day may seem ludicrous, but the parallel is present, regardless. For example, you might wake up with am excruciating headache that makes you say, “How am I going to get through this day? I can’t miss work.” Three hours later, your boss comes in and says, “Your performance has been exemplary. I’m adding a week’s vacation to your schedule.” Two hours later, you head out to lunch only to find that someone has put a dent in your new car, and then when you get home from work, you open the mail to find a check for $739.28 for the class action suit you forgot about nine months prior. Some days just go like that. It’s a hold-your-breath-oh-thank-goodness kind of a day. So what’s the point?

     The point is this:  the day is made up of many moments. When the bad moments come, just like the pro golfers, we can’t throw our clubs in the air and give up. There are many holes to come—many moments left to experience, and each of those is valuable at some level in our emotional growth. Just when we think, wtf, that’s the moment we must say to ourselves, “More moments, the day’s not over.” Easy to say. Yes. Recovery/resilience is the key. What moments have you endured in the past few days that required strength and endurance? How did you recover from the tough ones? What was your attitude going forward after the joyful ones? Both ends of the spectrum require a moving-forward attitude. What’s yours?