When I was watching the Masters last weekend, on both Twitter and TV, people were talking about what an amazing comeback we were witnessing, and that history was being made. A great story of perseverance and triumph; Tiger Woods winning the Masters after an 11-year lapse.
Tiger Woods was on top for so long, suffered severe setbacks, and worked hard to come back. His track record was impressive. He played golf at Stanford, arguably the best golf school in the country, and won his first Masters at an early age. He was the best golfer in the world.
I would argue that his story is not a great comeback story for people to emulate and aspire to. He is not a relatable figure. Who has ever been the greatest in the world at something, and been the greatest for decades? Almost none of us.
The great comeback story, the great story of perseverance, is golfer No. 137, who worked on the Nike tour in Asia, making $30,000 a year plus travel expenses, who finally made the cut and qualified for the Masters. He was never the best. He was never on top, and yet, he persevered to achieve a goal. He is relatable.
The story of perseverance is Tom Brady in 2000, being the No. 199 draft pick for the New England Patriots. It’s not Tom Brady winning the Super Bowl at 41. By that time, he was on top; he was the best.
Know yourself and know what you’re capable of. There is setting a stretch goal and setting something that is unattainable and demotivating. If you’re setting a goal that’s not possible, the small wins will be far and few in between (if there even are any!), and to achieve any long-term goal, you need to celebrate small wins to stay engaged and motived. Otherwise, you’ll quit.
People give up when comparing themselves to the best. Instead, compare yourself and try to beat the person who is at the level of you are at, or slightly better.
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