On My Way
If anyone had asked me a few years ago if I thought I would be ranked in the top ten in the world during my career, I would have not thought it possible. I have always known that I had more to give than my results had shown. I carried this immense frustration that I did not live up to my own expectations. I think that many can identify with that feeling. Now that I have experienced more of my potential, I know that there is still much more to improve within myself.
I have found a motivation that feels good to me and that drives me to access even more of my capabilities. It is no longer important to win for winning's sake. Now my focus is to go out and take responsibility, to do my job, and take leadership on the golf course. I do this knowing that I am working towards not letting myself be affected – regardless of what happens on or off the golf course. I have the choice to be just as steady in myself whether I have -4 or +4. When I take full responsibility for how I choose to think, act and react, I end up feeling good both on and off the golf course. The result will not affect me. To truly be a leader in my own life, that is success for me. And if and when I win a tournament, it's amazing, it’s the icing on the cake. Previously, I wanted to win tournaments and to prove myself through results, now it is no longer important in the same way. I have tried that so many times and I know it does not make you happy. Instead, the key is to grow as a person. I have begun to understand that I can choose to take personal leadership and be myself all the time. Everybody has that choice and when we do that, we will access more of the flow - resulting in that nice feeling, when everything falls into place and feels good.
Today I choose to look at problems as opportunities to grow. Earlier in life I really let different challenges limit myself. I never thought that life could be good all the time. I did not understand how much my choices affected how I felt. That was the reality I lived in, that I actually thought I had no way to ensure that life would be good. Instead, I chased after temporary pleasures: golf results, buying things, and so on.
Today, I am a much happier person, both in my private life and on the golf course. When my coach Annchristine Lundstrom and I started working together, I was definitely not a successful, harmonious man who played great golf - absolutely not! I've really had to work through my stuff. I've had my challenges, both on the golf course and in life in general. I think everybody goes through tough and challenging times in different ways. I felt like a failure, and thought I was not living up to my own and others expectations. It became clear to me that the real cause of my problems was how I viewed myself, others, and what happened around me. When I managed to change that, life became so much better. Through my experience, I know that everybody has the same opportunity to improve their lives enormously.
For a long time I was convinced that I couldn’t play well in the Majors - the biggest tournaments- and because I placed so much belief in that idea, it turned out that way of course. What you focus on, tends to grow. In the end I was the kind of player who played well, except in the Majors. It was so bad that between 1993 - 2006 I never finished top 50, and I missed the cut in the British Open every time. When I understood that all of that was just an illusion that I had created myself, it was possible to let it go and see the Majors as any other tournament. In 2008, I finished top ten in three of the four Majors, which I earlier thought would be impossible.
When my coach Annchristine Lundstrom and I began to work together, we started to look at my priorities in life. At that time I had a one and a half year old daughter and I began to see what it really means to be a Father. Fatherhood put many things into perspective. It is actually more important how life is, than how the golf results are. So instead of chasing results, I began focusing on having my life in order. What I really have seen is how much difference my choices reflect on how I feel. If I make choices that include my loved ones, the bigger picture and people around me, my life become so much better - both in my family life and on the golf course. I feel simply much, much better.
Now I see that I hold the steering wheel of my life. I am creating my life with my choices.