Passion Never Fails Or FallsMay 24, 2016
“If you want something badly enough, you get it, provided you endure.”
At the age of 15, when most of my friends were chilling out during fancy holidays in dream resorts, I spent that summer enrolled in a golf coaching camp. It was not long before I began practicing at the facility and playing a few holes. I realized I’d found my passion in life. Not much I could do about it at that time since my board exams demanded my attention. But I never really stopped playing the game after my first encounter. It got its ‘claw grip’ into me.
In the 12th grade, I made up my mind. When the future peered at me with a question mark, ‘It’s gonna be golf!’ was the first answer that popped out of my mind.
Is it wise to turn a passion into a career? I mean, can one really?
Research proved reassuring. There are colleges in the world offering golf management programs; 17 in USA and 2 in England. I researched some more, and finally chose the University of Colorado.
What life taught me during this phase:
- When you opt for something that is not a mainstream choice, you tend to find yourself alone. So you need to be twice as sure as the rest.
- Instead of doubting the destiny beckoning you, or turning yourself dizzy with should-I-should-I-not confusion, use time to find further information that will help your consolidate your dream and sort out your thoughts.
- Balancing golf time and mandatory academics is tough, hats off to Indian pros who managed to do it.
College in Colorado took me into a new world and a different culture. Teaching methods were refreshingly different from what I experienced in India. The little city we lived in was picturesque, soul cleansing, and our small University (only 4000 students) enabled me to create heaps of friends and also get to know individuals from different colleges and semesters. My inner vision burst open and grew large even as the horizon grew in leaps and bounds.
We are not talking about playground or light stuff here. The golf program was intense and relentless. We had grueling tournaments scheduled during the summer, leaving us with little time to think of anything else. Come winter and we had to rectify all the problems we had uncovered at summer time!
In retrospect, it was the newfound independence which compelled me to break out of the protective shell that encompasses an only child. I made mistakes some small, some colossal, but they were my mistakes, and none of them were wasted on me.
Growing on now included stepping up in wisdom and I would like to encourage those who are at the threshold of a similar dream:
- You may be following your passion, but it’s not going to a smooth and perfect ride. You are going to make mistakes on a regular basis; once you comprehend you are in the school of life you stop whipping yourself. Maturity steps in, and you discover that learning from every mistake is invaluable.
- Being independent is scary at first but it soon makes you responsible for your actions. You stop blaming people and circumstances for things that may have not gone your way.
- The US college system is a great system that encourages independent learning where the onus of success is on the student
After graduating, I opted to come back to India. I believe the growth of golf is going to be fast and maximum in the emerging nations of the world. I returned bubbling with excitement, determined change India’s golf scenario, and even embarked on an ambitious personal project of visiting every golf course in the nation. I have now covered 80 of the 100 private golf courses that exist here.
The information I stacked from each course I visited, affirmed my original ambition! It gave me the courage and dare to set up my own company even though I was then in my early twenties. Age, either side of the scale, cannot restrict passion. I started El City Golf, a consultancy service for those looking to develop courses and I am now the Director for Arnold Palmer Design Company and Arnold Palmer South Asia, which covers India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal.
Arnold Palmer is a retired American professional golfer who is regarded as one of the greatest players in professional golf history. He has won numerous events on both the PGA Tour and Champions Tour, starting way back in 1955. Associating with the Palmer group sealed one conviction I’d had from the start – if you want something badly enough, you get it, provided your endure. AP has been my hero, and to represent his group is a blessing I am thankful for, and a responsibility I relish every morning when I wake up.
Tying this all up with a bow, I would like to leave you with a few thoughts that have served me well:
- Hard-work: No matter what you choose or if you are in school always be hardworking and give your 100%; it will only benefit you
- Willingness to learn: Always be ready to learn not just from your mistakes but learn from books and other media, keep learning and expanding your mind
- Humility: This is perhaps the toughest because one has to break that sense of entitlement. To be successful, this is crucial. It is something that you will have to work on through the years and it is something I am currently working on improving in my life right now
- Generosity: This involves thinking beyond one’s self. Don’t limit your philanthropy by simply giving time or donations but sculpt yourself into being charitable in all your thoughts and actions every day.
No better way to get life “nutted”* than that.
* A golf term for hitting it squarely and on the sweet-spot…