A couple weeks ago, I watched a documentary about Warren Buffett. Regarded as the richest man in the world with a net worth of almost $60 billion, he has earmarked 99% of his wealth to be dispersed to charities upon his death (3 are run by his adult children). It's an interesting story about his humility (known for driving the same car to work each day and having lived in the same modest house in Omaha for most of his adult life) and about his commitment to his craft. He orders one of 3 sandwiches each morning from McDonald's drive through and will splurge on the extra 15 cents if the market performed well the day before! He reads hours and hours per day, and he adheres to a very strict formula of staying within his wheelhouse of expertise. In his office, he has a picture of baseball legend Ted Williams and the strike zone to which Ted would only hit pitches within a certain zone knowing that if he stuck to that structure, then his batting average would be consistently over .300. Warren Buffet and Bill Gates became close friends many years ago, and in separate interviews each of them were asked in one word to summarize their success. Each of them both said 'focus.'
Today I had the incredible opportunity to be the caddie for my nephew Zachary Frazer in the final round of a golf tournament in Sea Island, Georgia. It was a 3 day tournament, and I was able to walk with him carrying his bag for the entire round. I've been working with Zachary for about a year and a half as his mental performance coach so it was a very unique experience to be able to walk with him and be able to experience it alongside him. One of the many things I appreciate about Zachary is his ability to maintain the type of mental, physical, and emotional FOCUS it takes to be completely engaged for a 5 hour competition. Physically, golf is demanding not only for the 6 miles we walk in the hot South Georgia heat and humidity, but he also always carries his own bag (except this tournament required a caddie) and still needs the strength to hit all 70 shots to near perfection. Mentally, you have 2-3 other players playing alongside him, parents and spectators all along the course, and there is very little conversation. So it creates additional tension with the quiet nature of the sport. Emotionally, it requires complete focus, calm nerves, and incredible resilience to forgive yourself of a bad shot, a bad decision, or just the stamina required to stay 'on' for that period of time. And playing in a tournament with the additional pressure, slow play, and unpredictable weather it only forces you to prepare for unexpected! But by using positive self talk, various calming exercises, and a laser beam focus, he is able to stay at peak performance for most, if not all, of each round that he plays.
Zachary finished 13th in the tournament out of a field of almost 70 of the top high school golfers in the nation. The time, effort, and energy he devotes to his craft is nothing short of incredibly admirable. He is one of the best students I've ever worked with and was eager for me to bring him this weekend the next 3 books for him to read dedicated to working on his mental game. His composure on the course and the resiliency he has developed through golf is going to serve him way beyond anything he could have dreamed as he progresses in life. Walking by his side today was one of the best experiences of my life, and I look forward to seeing the amazing things he will accomplish in golf and in life.
I encourage all of us this week to use laser beam focus and apply it to our craft. Just apply a bit more focus for a bit longer each and every day and you will unlock the superpower of sustained focus that will help you achieve whatever it is you seek to achieve in life.
Below is a picture of the Zachary's approach shot on the 18th hole at Sea Island golf course (and pictured in the back left is the capsized cargo ship that has been sitting in the river for almost 1 year - filled with over 2,400 brand new cars - true story).