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Published:May 21st, 2008 06:52 EST
An Irrefutable Law of Success and Happiness

An Irrefutable Law of Success and Happiness

By Terry Sumerlin (Mentor/Columnist)

Though San Antonio temperatures have turned summer-like, the spring mornings have been absolutely incredible. In fact, I recently commented to a customer that perhaps I should hit the golf course. I was reminded of a friend who got hit on the golf course. His experience reinforces something we all know but tend to forget: Attitude makes all the difference in how we appreciate the positive and respond to the negative events of life. That, in turn, often determines our success or failure.

The incident to which I referred and that illustrates our principle happened several years ago while we were playing the beautiful Del Lago Golf Course in the Houston area. It was a nice fall, south Texas morning. Well, as nice as 95 degrees gets in mid September. I’d already spoken four times in two days, and was to speak two more times before heading home. A round of golf, with good friends, sounded like a great way to relax. The way I play golf, I probably should have chosen to relax over a good book.

We had played several holes and were having a great time, when we came to a 150-yard par three. All three of us hit our tee shots and were getting ready for our second shots. Since we were playing slower than the two fellows behind us, we decided to let them play through.

We were watching for the ball. Don was standing off to the left of the green, Robert was standing on the green and I was to the right, sitting in the golf cart. We saw the fellow hit. But, we never saw the ball.

Whack! Suddenly, I heard something that sounded like a hammer hitting a two-by-four. Then I saw Robert grab his head. I was terrified, and fully expected my friend to go down. He never did. As I covered the short distance from the cart to Robert, not knowing in what part of the head he’d been hit, the unthinkable flashed through my mind.

The ball had hit him, on the fly, just above the temple. Fortunately, he only received a small gash and a large bump on his head. He insisted we finish the round and, to our great relief, seemed okay.

Later, toward the end of the round something happened that I found amusing and significant. Robert hit his drive, the ball struck a tree and then ricocheted into the fairway.

“Must be my lucky day,” he said.

I couldn’t help thinking, “I sure hope a lucky day for me never includes getting whacked in the head with a golf ball.” He’d already put the event out of his mind, however, and had gotten on with his day.

His perspective is worth adopting and well illustrates how attitude can make all the difference. Events and circumstances, by how we react to them, become a big deal or no big deal at all. The mind determines which, and in turn sets the course for success and happiness or failure and misery.

BARBER-OSOPHY: If you don’t believe every day is your lucky day, just try missing one.