Let Your GameSpeak for Itself

Life is a Game of Recovery, Strive for Excellence

By Shawn Lester, Partner Lester Landau Chartered Professional Accountants, for more information, contact
867-222-5445 or shawnlester@lesterlandau.ca.

During my son’s 15th year he went from barely knowing how to hit a golf ball to almost a single-digit handicap. By 16 he had a 3 handicap. For those that do not know golf, this means that he is an exceptionally good player. At this point, he also had some tough situations to deal with as does any teenager. During one of our talks on the golf course, it hit me. Let your game speak for itself and I tried to apply what he knew, the game of golf, to his life.

He continued to work on his game. In his 18th year, he earned the junior, men’s and club championships at our local golf course. To this day, even though living in the Arctic limits the amount of golf he plays, he still has a single-digit handicap. As well, he has continued to apply the lessons learned to his life.

Now you are probably saying, “So what?” It is great that your kid can play golf, but what does that have to do with me and/or my business. Well, the principles are the same.

Be a student of your game. Learn what, how and why you do what you do. Once you learn, keep learning. It is a gradual and continual journey. Life evolves and so do the skills necessary to navigate it.

Following basic principles and values is key. Set them and stick to them. This is the foundation. Life can be very complex and sometimes complicated. I like bringing everything to simple, and building from there. No matter how complex or complicated, any issue can be solved when you are able to build a solution from basic principles.

“The past is behind you, the future is in the making and the present is the next shot”

Golf is a game of recovery. So is life. One bad shot does not need to ruin your game. Sometimes the recovery shot ends up being so amazing you totally forget the past. Other times it just gets you safely back in the fairway so that you can get on with the game. Either way, the recovery allows the journey to continue. The past is behind you, the future is in the making and the present is the next shot.

Value others. Being part of the school golf team allowed my son to teach and learn from others. Together they became greater than the sum of the individual parts. In our business, our team is the driving force and each person is important to the whole. They serve our clients and they do their job well. My job is to ensure each person knows their importance through my actions and words.

Value yourself. Once you can value you then you can value others better. Get comfortable in your own skin and confident in your skills. Develop an intentional lifestyle to actively work on your physical, emotional, mental and spiritual you. Personally, I believe I am pretty strong in the emotional, mental and spiritual. But I have let my physical well-being falter. That is where I need to focus more.

Strive for excellence. Notice I did not say perfection. No one is perfect. We all make mistakes. So, don’t set yourself up for failure before you even start. Excellence is attainable in everything that you do. It is about doing the journey well. Our business follows a simple motto: We do good work.

In summary:

  • Be a student of your game
  • Follow basic principles
  • Remember it is a game of recovery
  • Value others
  • Value yourself
  • Strive for excellence
  • In the game of life, let your game speak for itself
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