Last night someone threw this quote at me: "No growth in the comfort zone.".
And, well, it bothered me.
My argument being that sometimes knowing your zone, or being in your lane, is where courage can be developed rather than stepping out of it for the "hope" that you might find success by taking risks.
Then my mind went to the Masters (and why wouldn't it?!)....two golfers, with two very different golf stories, but both owning the coveted Green Jacket.
It's hard for me not to think about Phil Mickelson and the Masters. With 3 Green Jackets in his closet (2004, 2006, & 2010) when you think of Phil and Augusta National I'm guessing it won't take long to think about 2010, #13, and the shot out of the pine straw that led to an eagle and a Saturday run that ultimately led to a 2-shot victory over Lee Westwood. Want to see it again? Sure you do!
Heck, when you think about Phil, it's almost automatic that your brain thinks of shots that no one else would pull off. He's the ledge walker on the golf course and while it's always fun to tell his tales of flop shots and eagles, we find out that's not the only way to win a Green Jacket.
The headline in Golfweek Magazine in 2007 was, "2007 Masters: Unknown Zach Johnson wins the Masters"
It's funny for me to read now, since Zach is a 12 time PGA Tour winner with 2 Majors, 5 Ryder Cup appearances, and 4 President's Cup qualifications. But back then, with 2 wins on the Nationwide Tour and one PGA Tour win in 2004, it wasn't like Zach Johnson was on anyone's radar to take home a Green Jacket...especially when Augusta National is known to favor the long hitters.
In 2007, Zach Johnson's driving average at Augusta was 265 yards...according to the Golfweek article, there were only 3 other players in the field to make the cut with a lower average, and 2 of those were Seniors. So how in the world would an unknown from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, find himself in Butler Cabin, accepting a new addition to his wardrobe on April 14, 2007?
He had the courage to play in his zone.
I think a statistic that most folks who love golf will remember about this Masters and about Zach is that he never went for any par-5 in 2...and over 4 days he birdied the par-5's 11 out of 16 attempts. He assessed his talents, he knew what he was good at (hello short game!), and while just about everyone else was taking chances in the hopes for an eagle, Zach rose to the occasion and let his strengths do the talking instead.
While some may argue that in order to win the Masters you have to take chances, I think Zach Johnson proved that sometimes staying in your zone instead of reaching out for the unknown,can also lead to the sweet taste of success.
It seems to me there's room for all kinds of growth in the comfort zone - honing skills and using the talents and gifts already acquired creates a level of confidence and courage to strategically assess what it takes to find success. It doesn't have to be about risk taking or "being uncomfortable".
Sometimes it can be about practice, patience, and playing to your strengths....in golf and in life. Enjoy the comfort zone!
I love golf and I love to write, so I can't think of anything better than having a happy place like this to write about golf to my heart's content. Thanks for joining me!