My son and I were recently playing golf at Hamurana Golf Club where we are both members. Only about $200 green fees for a full year's membership folks - that's my unashamed plug for one of the friendliest courses in town.
Anyway, we were both about 10m short of the final green and it was my turn first as I was slightly further away than he was.
"Man I got to get this close," I said loud enough for my son to hear before chipping to about three feet from the hole. Seeing the result I looked at my son and then at my golf ball as if to say "Beat that bro".
He looked at me unflinchingly and said "Yeah well, this is going in." I watched in shock as his ball tracked straight at the hole and would have gone in but stopped just short from it. He only had a tap in to finish and yes, he was whooping and hollering and enjoying his moment of triumph over his Papa.
I'd hate to think what would have happened if he had actually got it in!
That small exchange made me think about expectations, in particular my expectations or lack thereof. You see, I was happy about chipping to three feet from the hole and having a relatively easy putt to finish, however my son was very happy that he had nearly holed his shot and only had a tap in to finish.
I remember looking at the two golf balls on the green and thinking I'd rather have his next shot than mine and I'd rather have his attitude than mine too. I recall whispering to myself "Ngahi, the purpose of golf is to get the ball in the hole - not close to it."
My son had expected to hole his shot and nearly did. Expectations are an interesting aspect of our lives.
Sticking with the golf theme, Michael Campbell won the US golf Open in 2005 because he expected to. I read somewhere that Michael had stayed at a friends place prior to 2005. That friend had won the US Open. Michael held the trophy and visualised himself winning that tournament. From memory he may even have taken a photo of himself with the trophy to add to his vision board. He expected to win that tournament and he did a few years later.
So what are you expecting? What are your expectations for the next day, week, month or decade? He aha ou wawata? What are your dreams and expectations?
Imagine if Tama Te Kapua had decided that getting the Te Arawa waka close to Aotearoa and not on it was good enough and had decided to turn around and go back. His perseverance, expectations and support brought the Te Arawa tribe here and the same will get you to your destination too. Kia kaha kia maia.
We all have our expectations which may not be as huge as winning the US Golf Open like Michael Campbell, but the least we can do is try to get the ball in the hole - rather than just close to it.
Ngahihi o te ra is from Te Arawa and is an international speaker, author and consultant. His book is available at Mcleod's Booksellers and the Lakeside cafe in Rotorua. His website can be viewed at www.ngahibidois.com.