“But I don’t want an empire. What am I going to do with an empire? I’ve got five kids, a beautiful wife and I’m hoping on some grandkids. That’s what I care about.” – Jack Nicklaus the week of the 1986 Masters.
Priorities in life are a funny thing.
In my life, nothing says Spring like the second Sunday in April and an afternoon spent glued to the TV watching The Masters – especially the back nine. There are careers started and lost and resurrected Sunday on the Augusta National back nine.
If you were not alive and watching “The Bear” come alive in 1986, then you need to sit down and watch Jack’s back nine. Turn the volume up on your speakers and enlarge the video to full screen.
Let me set the stage for you,
The thoughts of the day were that Jack is an old golfer, he is finished, and he is done.
Yet in the midst of all this, Jack was hanging around. But as Sunday’s final round began, Nicklaus looked as if he was going to keep on doing what he had been doing, which was knocking the ball tight and putting loose. He missed four-footers at the 4th and the 6th, and when he got to the 9th tee, he was right where he started—two under. He was also five shots behind Greg Norman.
Then after basically trudging through the front eight holes he found a touch of magic in his putter. The ball began finding the hole and Jack began to believe in himself again.
Listen closely as you feel the momentum cascade down the pine treed fairways as Jack Nicklaus found life again.
With his son, Jackie as his caddie, the father-son duo began a march through the August back nine that today just seems like yesterday, not 30 years ago.
Yet in the middle of this incredible run toward victory, Jack stumbled and made bogey on the par three 12th hole. Essentially, taking the proverbial one step forward, two steps back. This is where Jack had to decide for himself what his choice in life would be.
Would he surrender again to the forces of nature that were against him or could he find the voice inside himself and mount a charge in the final six holes?
Somewhere or sometime in your life, you are going to be faced with those final six holes and you get to make a choice about how you are going to play them.
Jack’s answer – “I don’t know why, but it really got me going,” he said. “I knew I couldn’t play defensive with the rest of the course. I knew I needed to be aggressive coming in.”
“I finally found that guy I used to know on the golf course,” Nicklaus told his wife, Barbara. “It was me.”
I challenge you to find the confidence from inside you and go forward and decide for yourself your priorities in life.
Go find me.
Wishing you a wonderful spring weekend, and an even better back nine.
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Michael Tannery CPA CDFA™ AIF® ● CEO