Possibility Thinking

Learning to master a musical instrument requires significant investments. A lot of people I know would LOVE to be able to play the guitar like Brad Paisley.  But the reality is – the personal costs required to accomplish something like that are just too high for them. They simply won’t invest the time and effort necessary.

A year ago, a young guitarist whom I know very well was invited to perform on Country Music’s most coveted stage – The Grand Ole Opry. He told me that his experience at The Opry was unbelievable, breathtaking and awe-inspiring…and that the effort and practice he put in the past ten years was totally worth it.

But it wasn’t an easy journey. And his vision for success was never guaranteed. There were times when he wasn’t sure that he had what it took to “make it.” And there were times when he wasn’t sure he wanted to do the work necessary to get there.

But he put his head down and powered through that uncertainty. In part because he had a passion for what he was doing (which allowed him to hold on to his vision.) And in part because he continued to show up and do the work.

My country-music version of the old Carnegie Hall joke:  Student: Can you tell me how to get to The Grand Ole Opry? Teacher: Practice. Practice. Practice.

Possibility: It lies on the other side of effort.

Where do YOU want to go with your golf game?

You may not have a goal to win your state amateur title. Or even your club championship. But you may be interested in achieving a vision that is bigger than where you are right now. And that’s terrific. It says to me that you believe in your own capacity for growth. (We call this a Growth Mindset!)

So – how do you get there? First, you MUST be intentional about where you want to go and the actions you are willing to take to get there. (The easy part) Second, you must commit to DOING THE WORK. (The hard part)

Here’s the thing: we all have a default future. A year from now will show up in exactly 12 months. It always does. If you hang out on the couch until then, it will still show up. I promise. The question is: will you be a better version of yourself by then? Will you be closer to your goals?

If in one year you want to BE different, PLAY better, SHOW UP more capably, PERFORM at a higher level or get DIFFERENT RESULTS on the course, you must gain new skills and knowledge. And you have to do the work. But sometimes you may question whether the investment required is worth it. And that can get you a little stuck.

For those moments, let me suggest this hack: Stop thinking about the costs…and instead, focus on POSSIBLITY. Think in terms of what you will GAIN –  the fulfillment from the accomplishment, or the growth and maturity you experience from the journey – instead of fixating on what you have to give up. (How hard it is, how much work it is…etc.)

In my experience, successful people who are growth-minded are also very possibility-oriented. They frame their challenges in terms of what lies on the other side of their efforts. This allows them to tune up their “Want to” (passion and desire)…and they inspire themselves to just go for it.

Their internal dialogue sounds like:

  • “What would be possible for me if I finally learned to play the piano this year…?”
  • “What if I finally wrote that book that I have been thinking about the past ten years?”
  • “How much more fun would golf be if I developed a world-class short game this year?”
  • “Imagine if I could hit a dozen fairways every time I played.”

As you consider your own Single Plane Swing journey, I encourage you to tune-in to any negative thinking you may have around personal costs…and then see if you can redirect that thinking toward possibility – and ways in which your life can be so much better once your visions are realized.

I think you will find that this kind of thinking will inspire a bias for action necessary for big accomplishments.

To possibility!!!


Paul Monahan

Paul Monahan

Paul Monahan is an International Coach Federation (ICF) - credentialed coach working in the arena of human potential. Paul’s clients are leaders, executives, athletes and musicians who are serious about transforming how they perform in critical moments. His experiences in leadership and development over a highly-successful 25-year corporate career have created powerful context and understanding for the leaders and executives he coaches. Additionally, his passions and experiences in sports and music have uniquely positioned Paul to profoundly impact his clients in those areas as well.

2 thoughts to “Possibility Thinking”

  1. Timely message, after this weeks golf. Better described loosely as exercise on a golf course. My thought process was mostly positive even when the results weren’t. At 76 it’s a battle physically and mentally. I’m probably better suited to learn piano, my current winter sport.
    Thank you, M

  2. Six weeks have passed since my last comment here. The winter training series has taken hold. I’m now paying attention. I’m excited to practice. This time with a deeper understanding of the MODLE and me. You inspired me to read the Talent Code by Coyle. Tim Graves at the two day short game school gave us a little red book to take notes. I realize now how effective that is for me. I’ve restarted from the beginning. Todd’s portion of the recent two day video seminar was formative in my connection to the model. Example: address-grip, rather than grip/address. And WHY. I’ve worked on it every day since.
    Thank you, M

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