One thing about being one of the greatest in a sport is that others great in their respective sports watch you too. As Tiger Woods won the Masters a couple weeks ago, congratulations came in from LeBron James, Serena Williams, and Tom Brady. Michael Phelps was there in person. Even Happy Gilmore, that golf legend of old, tweeted his congrats. People were elated to see Tiger win. But why? And why does his comeback matter?
We were reminded in a very well-timed Nike ad that aired after Tiger won that he has been chasing Jack Nicklaus’ record for a long time. We’ve talked before about setting goals and how hard it is to progress professionally and personally without holding yourself accountable. Tiger has achieved a lot in his career and he could have retired at any time in the last decade and not many would have been surprised or disappointed. It was, among other things, his personal goal to beat Jack Nicklaus, that continued to fuel him.
The PGA had created a tribute video for Tiger some time back about the feat of winning 79 tournaments (he’s now won 81). Some enterprising person on the internet used some of that footage to create a fake version of the video, with Tiger seeming to look upon a number of different critics commenting on him over the years.
While the second video was fake, it was instructive because surely Tiger wasn’t insulated from the criticism. In fact, it probably fueled him. Competitors like him aren’t set back by one naysayers, or even an entire army of them. Many successful business owners will tell you that what kept them going on in their early days was the reminder of people telling them that they “couldn’t do it.” Critics matter not for their criticism, but for the resilience that they can indirectly cause in the competitor who is aware of what is being said, takes what’s valid to improve him/herself, and dumps the rest where it belongs.
In the press conference after the win, a reporter asked Tiger what he would say to people having struggles in their lives, be they personal, physical, etc. Tiger paused for a moment and said, “Well, you never give up. That’s a given. You always fight. Giving up’s never in the equation.”
Comebacks matter because they remind each of us, who are going through our own struggles which will never be documented in worldwide tabloids but are nevertheless real and serious, that you can come back, and that when you do, all will be put in perspective.
Tiger’s comeback was impressive. Is there another comeback (not just in sports) that has inspired you in your personal life? Share with us in the comments below to receive a 20% discount off your next purchase of any of our signature Rascal products at one of our clubs.