Do you want to know why golf can be so hard? Because of the stillness of it. It is one of the few sports where you are reacting to something sitting completely still and if your playing partners aren’t being complete tailholes, it’s pretty quiet.

You stand there looking at this dimpled ball and hope it goes where you are looking and every once and a while for us amateurs, it happens and we love it. Every other sport, including the sport of business, you can react to your surroundings and feed off the energy. Tonight UNC plays Duke at Cameron Indoor Arena. What are the chances that when a Carolina player is at the charity stripe, that the opposing crowd will be silent? “Zero” right? (Although I’ve always thought that complete silence would be MORE distracting). The “Cameron Crazies” will be jumping up and down trying to distract whoever is at the free throw line, and if the kid can keep his nerve…swish.

How do you keep your nerve when things get “Cameron Crazy?” during your day and in your life?

Do you feed off the energy of the crazy things swirling onto your desk, your inbox, your Twitter feed? Or does it distract you?

I tend to have a hard time fending off the distractions, which is probably one of the reasons I loved golf. That being said, I do feed off the energy of a challenging day — I may not be as productive, but as it has been said, activity breeds activity.

I find the thing that helps me is to try and focus on what I can control.

I can’t control other people and, as much as I try, I cannot control the outcome of much of the things in my life. What I can control is how I react to the turmoil, the stress, and the distractions. It helps to be surrounded by people who are smarter than I am, and happen to care about me. It’s really those people who keep me calm during the storm — I only hope I do the same for them.

So next time you’re on the line needing to make a shot, don’t focus on the crowd trying to distract you — focus on what you can control and the people who are rooting for you to make it.

michael aldea go left marketing imageJan Michael Aldea is a jack of all trades finally making good at being well rounded. His background in marketing, consulting, business coaching & training, real estate, fitness, parenthood, marriage, and life makes Michael ill equipped to be in a cubicle, but very equipped to help transform people and companies one (sometimes humorously awkward) step at a time. He is the president and director of business development for Go Left Marketing based out of Charlotte, NC.
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