There were once two men who would play golf together on a weekly basis.
Cal was in his late teens and showed a lot of promise in the game and the second man, Bill, was in his early 40’s and was consistently able to beat his younger opponent.
One day when they were playing, Cal announced to Bill that he was going to try out for the pro tour in the following week. He knew that it was a long shot, but it was his dream to be a professional golfer, so he thought that he should give it a try.
“I could have done that.” was Bill’s curt response.
“Then why didn’t you?” asked Cal.
“I don’t know, I never got around to it.” responded the older man.
A couple of weeks later, the two men played together again.
Cal looked slightly dispirited as he announced that he had missed the cut and had to wait another year to try again. However, he knew what he had to work on, so he practiced hard for the following 12 months and continued to improve, although Bill still beat him regularly.
The time drew near to the next try-out for the pro tour.
“I’m having another go next week.” said Cal.
“I could have done that,” snorted Bill.
“Yeah, but you didn’t did you?” muttered Cal under his breath.
A couple of weeks later, the two men met again.
“I missed out again.” said Cal.
“Why don’t you just give up?” asked Bill.
“Because it’s my dream and I think if I work really hard this year, I can make the cut.”
“I could have done that.” said Bill.
After a year of perfecting his flaws through practice and coaching, Cal really improved over the course of the year and had another try.
He met up with Bill again.
“I made it, I made the cut! I’m a professional golfer now!” he proudly announced.
Bill tried to be happy for his young friend, but all he could say was, “I could have done that.”
As he said these words, he tried to hide a tear forming in his eye, realising now what he had missed out on because he didn’t do what he could have done.
And now it was too late.
Cal left to follow his dream and they rarely saw each other again.
Although they did play once more, with Bill shooting the better score.
I wrote this story because the words, “I could have done that,” are amongst the saddest that can be heard from a middle-aged or older person.
Yet unfortunately, they are words that I hear far too often.
Don’t let that be you.
Follow your dream.
Make it happen.
Do what you know you must before it’s too late!
And live with the knowledge that you did it, rather than regret that you could have.
Previous post – Ignore the Haters