Letting Go

Posted on: November 5th, 2012 by Jeff Ritter 2 Comments


The key in life to getting what you want is actually learning to let go of all of the things you spend so much time trying to control. I learned this lesson at a young age while hitting bunker shots to the practice green at my home club.

Just behind the green was the clubhouse, where there was a big window directly in the line of flight beyond the flagstick. One day, I bladed a shot that went screaming past the flag, smashing the window. I was thirteen years old and afraid to tell my Dad about it. He understood though and was actually pretty cool. In just a day or two, the window was fixed and all but forgotten. The following week, however, I was back in the bunker and bladed one again, smashing the very same window. Now, my Dad was as relaxed as they come.  It usually took a lot to get him to raise his voice, but my little window smashing spree certainly did the trick. To put it mildly, I was told, “Never hit at the flag again from the sand!” “Not hit at the flag?” I thought. “Are you kidding me? How the heck was I supposed to practice?” I, of course, ignored my father’s warning and went right back to hitting bunker shots on a direct line to the window, this time being extremely careful. The problem was, the more careful I became, the more I bladed shots into the clubhouse. I can to this day remember the anxiety in my chest that occurred each time my ball zinged towards the window, most of the time missing by inches.

Finally, I thought, “This isn’t working, maybe I’ll just act like I don’t care and start swinging without fear. I figured if what I was doing was wrong, then the opposite would have to be right.” Suddenly, the most amazing thing occurred. The more reckless and carefree I became, the more I improved. My club was smacking the sand with perfection just an inch or so behind the ball and my shots were all high, soft spinners that hunted down the cup. From that day forward, I never hit the window again and my bunker play became one of the great strengths of my game.

The key to this whole thing is embracing the paradox that rules the universe. For a moment, think of the word “disease.” Broken down it is, “dis-ease,” or without ease!!! If you are trying to control too much, then your swing and mind are working way too hard and are in a state of disease. This is what happened to me; especially the more I worried about NOT hitting the window.

To be unconsciously brilliant and disease free, you must learn to generate some flow where you actually feel a bit careless or even reckless! If you find yourself attempting to control too much, try throwing caution to the wind and let go with reckless abandon.  Like a skydiver jumping from an airplane or going in for a first kiss, you’ll be amazed at just how good letting go can feel!


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2 Responses

  1. Kate says:

    awesome message Jeff. You just inspired me to re post one of mine from years ago….

  2. Jeff says:

    Thanks Kate! Glad you enjoyed the story. You rock! JR

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