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Good Things Happen So Relax – A President’s Message

A couple of years ago I took up golf for the first time. The reason that I waited until my relative advanced age to take it up is the simple fact that it takes a lot of time to learn golf and to play a round. My job is more than a bit demanding and I have always traveled a lot, so I was not going to travel all week and then devote my weekends to golf when I had kids at home. Making my kids the priority during those years was just about the best decision I have ever made.

My kids are grown now, so that allowed me to take up the devilish game of golf. Once you learn how to hit a golf shot even halfway decently, you realize something; the harder you try the worse you do. The one and only way to hit a decent golf shot is to relax. If you have a choke grip on your club, then bad things are going to happen. No amount of willpower or effort will change that fact.

The willpower and effort come into play at the driving range. Like all other things in life that are worth while, you must learn and practice to get good at it. You do not walk out and somehow discover that you have such magical natural ability that you immediately become a top flight golfer. And the same laws apply to all other sports and all other complex endeavors, whether in business, fine arts, science, or anything else you can imagine.

So we are all faced with something of a paradox; on the one hand anything worthwhile takes tons of effort and years of practice and dedication. In the book “Outliers,” Malcolm Gladwell identifies the 10,000 hour rule. That is, in order to obtain mastery of a complex skill you must devote 10,000 hours of practice time and skill building. And it doesn’t really matter what type of skill you are building, the ten thousand hour rule applies.

Yet the other side of the equation equally applies. No matter how hard you try, no matter how many hours you devote to straining effort, at some point you must let go and let things happen by their own accord.

This syndrome is very apparent in sales. Of course you need to work hard and make the effort. But once you are out there going into homes and giving people the opportunity to buy, then you must relax, not push too hard and let things happen a little bit. Don’t ask me why, but people simply don’t like to buy from a salesman who appears to be trying too hard. There is a reason why the term “pushy salesman” came into being.

The truth is that there are tons of people out there who want and need our product. Our job is to find them, then make a coherent presentation as to why it makes sense to do this, and finally to make a compelling case as to why the best time to do it is today and not some unspecified date in the future. Beyond that, we simply need to relax and let good things happen. They will if you let them.

President Tom Londen The Londen Companies Lincoln Heritage Life Insurance

[Reposted from March 2011]

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