Category Archives: Topical Events

11Apr/11

What’s Golf got to do with it?

Some people would argue that golf is the route to happiness…but that’s not the reason why I’m talking about it today. I want to talk about how people cope with failure. Yesterday, after leading the pack for 3 days, 21 year old Rory McIlroy succumbed to the pressure of potentially winning his first major championship and self-destructed on his final round of the Masters Golf Championship.  He started the day 4 shots ahead of the rest, but finished way down the leaderboard.

I’ve always found it painful to watch when individuals and teams lose so badly, especially when they are expected to win. And I’ve always wondered how they cope with the loss. How do they explain the failure to themselves when they messed up so badly. How do they live with themselves?

At the 1996 Masters Greg Norman gave away a 5 shot lead on the final round and eventually finished 5 behind winner Nick Faldo in what is often cited as the No. 1 all time collapses in sport.    But in the post-tournament press conference Norman said: “I screwed up. I know I screwed up today, but it’s not the end of the world for me. It honestly isn’t. My life is going to continue…’  He has also said since: ‘I’m a better person for it.’

How did a younger McIlroy deal with the pain?   

He said: “I’ll get over it. I’ll have plenty more chances – I know that.”   And later on he tweeted: “Well that wasn’t the plan! Found it tough going today, but you have to lose before you can win. This day will make me stronger in the end.”

31Mar/11

Zumba Zumba Zumba!

I’m on a zumba high!  I’ve just been to my second class and it was even more fantastic than the first. I am definitely a convert, and may soon become addicted.  Zumba is the latest exercise craze that is sweeping the nation, and if you haven’t experienced it, it’s basically a bunch of enthusiastic women (in my class) dancing to Brazilian, hip hop, and dance music in varying degrees of rythem and competence. It’s high energy, sensual and challenging enough to keep you concentrating and in the flow.

I’ll admit now that I’m not a dancer.  I’m too self-conscious to completely let go and really feel the music.  But since watching Strictly Come Dancing for the first time last year, I’m itching to give dancing a proper try.  OK, Zumba isn’t ‘proper’ dancing but it is definitely closer to it than a step aerobics class. Maybe if I go to enough classes I might learn to let my body go a bit more, and for it to feel more natural to me.  I wasn’t really aware of the standard of the rest of the women (I was concentrating too hard on the instructor’s feet) but I was welcomed and didn’t feel out of place so I assume it’s a mix of abilities.  The women next to me definitely had the latin groove going on, and I know I will never be as good as her, but it was so much fun I don’t care!

And the added bonus is that it has killed many happiness birds with one stone. Not only have I exercised, got really in the flow, been social, and tried a new experience, but I have enjoyed very positive emotions while doing it.  Five scientifically proven ways to improve your happiness in one 45 minute session.  What’s not to like?

15Jan/11

Creating Conscious Connections

One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to be more open and endeavour to create conscious connections each day.

So what exactly does that mean?

I love people, and when I am in a situation where I meet new people I usually manage OK and enjoy it. Sometimes I’m more confident than others, but generally I would consider myself a friendly, open person who gets on with people relatively well. I’m not everyone’s best friend immediately, and I’m not naturally chatty all the time and in all situations but I’ve never considered it a problem before.  But recently I’ve begun to think about a side of me that I’ve known about but ignored for a long time because it doesn’t fit in with my ‘I’m a people person’ belief.

I’ve had to admit that in some situations I actively resist talking to people I don’t know. I pretend I haven’t seen something or someone, I’m scared to draw attention to something that I know needs attention or solving.  I don’t get involved with things that are happening right in my life.  And I’ve realised that the reason why is because I don’t know what will happen?  I can’t control the event, I don’t know how someone will react, or I don’t know the possible outcomes of the situation.

I also have an almost pathological urge to avoid embarrassment and social discomfort – my own of course, but mainly other people’s.  I worry about how other people are feeling in a situation, and often act as peacemaker and facilitator  to protect people and to smooth the creases of social interactions. And this is all the more acute if it involves people I don’t know that well.

As a result of all this I shy away from some social situations, especially improptu ones in situations I am not used to, or could cause conflict. (Funnily enough, I can do conflict in some situations. I am happy to ask for music to be turned down in bars, or to complain about things if I feel I am in the right.)  In 2011 I want to be open to every situation. I want to go into them without judgement and worry about who, what, why, when, and just experience the connection, conversation, encounter as it is, without trying to direct it.

My aim is to be consciously open to new experiences and new connections, and to build and strengthen already existing connections to my friends, community, and family.