Follow Through


Lots of people have a great swing, but poor follow-through.

It doesn't matter what context we're referring to, or what sort of person we're talking about. Your follow-through is more important than your swing. I don't play much golf, (which is entirely evident when I do,) but I do know the basic principles of a golf swing, and I know that without a careful, deliberate follow-through, the full swing is not completed and the shot is not successful.

There are lots of life lessons to be learned from playing golf. Most hackers begin a round of golf with a sense of hope that 'today will be a good day and a good round.' Golf courses offer much to cleanse the soul in the form of beautiful scenery, fresh air, clear skies, and nature surrounding us. They are fun places to be... until many of us start playing. We swing away with reckless abandon, but we don't always know how to properly follow through and the results we were hoping for don't materialize. Our hopeful day on the golf course turns into a day of anxiety, disappointment, and self-doubt.

Playing around with golf is like playing around with relationships. We're often hopeful when entering a new relationship that things will evolve in directions that make us happy. We feel possibility. It's exciting. It's easy to enjoy the environment of new friendships as we get to know others better... and then it happens. The issue of trust begins to circle and a hard question emerges; is this relationship worth the follow-through necessary in order for a more intense, deeper relationship to evolve? We have to ask ourselves whether we're willing to follow through, and then figure out how to do that appropriately. It seems like the simplest effort to learn how to properly follow through for others, but it's not. Following through is complex, and I find it increasingly hard to find others willing to commit to doing it. People who follow through for us are necessary and important and not having them in our lives is just a really sad reality to confront. 

The rules of engagement for following through with people are simple to list but hard to manifest. We have to be present and available, especially when others aren't projecting their best selves. We have to listen to what others want us to know about them. We have to relate to them without judging them, and we have to give them our time.

It's easier to follow through for others than it is to find those who will follow through for us. We're in control of how present we are, how intently we listen, how unconditionally we relate to others, and how we share our time with them, but we don't control anyone else's tendencies to do so. All we can do is make our own effort knowing that the ones who appreciate that will be more inclined to reciprocate.

Who will you follow through with this week?


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