Sunday, August 03, 2008

Keeping your priorities straight

Great article about Annika Sorenstam, the world's record-breaking female golfer who, at 37, is in the midst of retiring from the game. I think it's clear she has a philosophy of life . . . and it has served her well.

Some key insights I found:
  • "[W]hat people don't see is the huge amount of effort it requires to stay at the top [of one's game]. So, when you stand there practising and you realise that your mind is on other things, then you know that it is time to move on."

  • "When you get a little older, you start having other priorities. You begin thinking about families and so forth. It's unrealistic to assume you can commit 100 per cent forever and if you can't do that, it's tough to stay at the top. It's hard to leave something you enjoy, but the youngsters ... the only thing in their lives is golf. I've moved on."

  • "A few years ago, I was leading in one of the biggest tournaments and I was really trying to calm myself down and make myself feel comfortable,' she recalls. 'So, under my visor, I wrote the words, "Face the fear", and what that meant was just to go out there, embrace the challenge and enjoy it."

  • Sorenstam has become a model for other women. And so "Sorenstam's heiress apparent, Lorena Ochoa, 26, has spoken of her wish to pack away her clubs in her early 30s, maintaining: 'Life's too short to do just one thing. This is my sixth year as a professional. When I get to 11 or 12, I will move on, do something else.'"

  • "Her brand statement is 'Share my passion', which she brings to designing golf courses from South Carolina to South Africa, helping children reach their potential, her foundation scholarships, branching out into show-business with regular appearances on Jay Leno and David Letterman's chat shows, and throwing the first pitch of the Washington Nationals-New York Mets baseball game at the Shea Stadium."
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