Monday, May 25, 2015

Go With Your Gut

Often in life, a voice inside begs you to listen. Have you ever had that silent voice nudge you to “bring the umbrella” or “double-check the door” or “call your mother” but you ignored it?  Later in the day, you say, “I knew I should have done that. I had a feeling in my gut.”
This happens with life-changing events and decisions. Years ago, I would listen to motivational speakers in person, on cassettes (no downloads then) or on television, and I loved it. I truly felt motivated!  I also could feel the excitement bubbling up inside and hear my inner voice saying that I would like to be that person. I could see myself in front of a crowd of people, sharing inspirational stories, making them laugh (hoping not at me, just at my jokes) and reaching into their emotions, recognizing their fears and overcoming barriers by encouraging them to excel and succeed in life. “I can do that,” I thought.  Then it hit me. I realized that I must succeed at  something before I could tell others how to be successful.  

As I look at my life, I realize that I now have life experience. Well, OK, I’ll say it. I’m older now, and I have some success under my belt, so it’s time to acknowledge that feeling in my gut and listen to that inner voice that has stayed with me all these years.  
Throughout my career as a golf professional, I’ve had the opportunity to be a master of ceremonies, a keynote speaker, a speaker at Ladies Professional Golf Association national seminars and more.  I’ve always loved the opportunity to enlighten others.

Not every speech has gone perfectly.  When I was preparing for my gig as the Master of Ceremonies at the LPGA Southeast Section Awards, I got a great idea from Billy Crystal after seeing his opening as the host of the Oscars. I decided to use the song “Hello Dolly” but changed the words to include all of the award winners’ names and titles.  I must say: It was a cute song!  I started the evening by mentioning Billy Crystal and the Oscars, and then began my song. The smiling faces in the crowd gave me great feedback.  Then I forgot the words. Oh boy!  I just stopped and said, “I forgot the words. But don’t worry. I have them right here, so I’ll just start over.”  I heard a gal at the front table say, “That’s embarrassing!” I started the song again and completed it perfectly. The crowd clapped. They seemed enthusiastic. But I will never know if they were applauding my take on the Oscars. They could have just been relieved that I didn’t screw it up again. 

On a positive note, as the keynote speaker of an Executive Women’s Golf Association event, the theme was saying “Yes” to opportunities in life.  I was thrilled when I finished my speech. The audience gave me a standing ovation. The best part about the speech came months later: A woman who had been in the audience told me that an opportunity came along at work that she would have normally declined. But she had remembered my speech and said “yes.”  She was thankful for the encouragement. 

Be Positive, Live Positive, Golf Positive
C.O.R.E Triumph!