Winning Words

It happens to the best of us


Recently I was watching a professional golf event on television and was reminded that even though these people are the very best in the world, they too can have a bad day or round, a terrible hole, or just a horrific shot or two.

It does and can happen to the best of us.

So many people I talk with have expectations of perfection. The perfect house, the perfect family, the perfect job, the perfect performance or the perfect relationship. And yes, some of the folks even talk about that perfect golf shot. What we have to remember is that even the professionals in any sport, career, or hobby have off days, tough times and bad shots.

Here’s the difference, the professionals know that there will be a miscue from time to time. And although they strive for perfection, it’s really about achieving excellence. The difference between being a professional or playing at the highest level possible and the rest of the population is that in most cases they expect and understand that sometimes things will go wrong. It can happen to them, it can happen to you, it happens to the best of us and the rest of us.

The thing is we can’t let those temporary setbacks or minor mistakes take us completely out of our game. Sure we will make a mistake, everyone does. Yes, we will have a bad or sad day, we all do.

Sometimes we will watch an event on television or a live event and we will witness a professional athlete, singer, or dancer make an error, miss a note or lyric, and maybe miss a step or two. It happens. And although sometimes we see a minor league response or immature behavior from a major league player, in most cases they handle it with grace and dignity. They may be burning inside from the mistake, but that is only because they know they can do better and want more out of themselves.

Things happen, life happens, errors happen, and lapses in judgment happen. And they happen to the best of us from time to time.

The question is, do we handle it like a rookie or like a seasoned professional? Do we overreact and make things worse? Or do we respond and make things better? I love watching a professional athlete after they have made an error, fumbled a football, or missed an easy lay-up.

If you watch the true professionals, or the cameraman captures the moment on television, you will see them all replaying the situation on the field or on the sideline.

You can watch as a golfer who hit his ball into the water, stand in the same spot, swinging again, visualizing a different outcome and knowing what he or she did wrong.
They don’t throw the club, blame others or point fingers. They just know that errors and mistakes happen and they happen to the best of us, even the very best of us.

We don’t want to go out looking to make a mistake; that is not the message. The message is that when challenges come our way, when things do not go according to our plan or meet our expectations, we simply need to recognize that it happens from time to time and we need to adapt and course correct, learn from it and move on towards the pursuit and achievement of our endeavors.

Does it happen to you? How do you handle it? I would love to hear all about it at and when we learn how to adapt to the `things’ that happen in our lives, it will be a better than good week.

Michael Norton is a resident of Highlands Ranch, the former president of the Zig Ziglar Corporation and the CEO/founder of


No comments on this story | Please log in to comment by clicking here
Please log in or register to add your comment