I’ve written in the past about how most of my life, I’ve lived it in reaction mode. Instead of making plans and executing them I would wait for someone or something to tell me what I needed to do when. The rest of the time I was just in my “doing life” mode. That can happen to anyone, especially if they’re not a type A personality. 

One of the things I use in my strategic intervention coaching is metaphor. You remember what a metaphor is, right?

The comparison of one thing to another without the use of like or as: “A man is but a weak reed”; “The road was a ribbon of moonlight.” Metaphors are common in literature and expansive speech. – Dictionary.com

Metaphors are powerful because our minds can grab hold of information more quickly if it’s wrapped in a metaphor. Our minds love word pictures, which is what a metaphor is.

Sports Metaphors For Life

In thinking about metaphors for a picture of how we show up in life, I overheard these recently which I love.

In life, are your showing up as baseball player or a golfer?


Baseball PitchAre you standing at the plate waiting for the pitcher to throw the ball? Has all your planning been about how to respond to someone else when asked or told? A batter waits for the pitch and then has to respond in a split second. The key thing is here is that the batter has to respond or react to the pitcher. 

This is how most people spend their lives. They make very little plans other than to respond or react to what is thrown at them. Instead of figuring out what they want, they just respond to what everyone else wants.



On the other hand, some people approach life like a golfer. In golf, you put the ball on the tee, then you decide what club you’re going to use. You check out the wind and the obstacles in the way. When you’re ready, you step up to the ball and take a practice swing. You look at your target, then at the ball and concentrate on hitting the ball perfectly. Once the ball is hit Golferyou watch to see where it goes. Then you walk for 200 yards, or so, to where the ball is all the while contemplating what went right with that shot and what went wrong.

When you get to your ball you assess the situation and do the process all over again. Check the obstacles, determine the wind and the trajectory you need to reach the target and then select the right club for the job. Sometimes you ask for advice from a playing partner or caddy.

Using this golfing metaphor for life, a person would be in charge of their life. They have control over when they act and make plans on what tools they’re going to use to get the job done. After taking action, they figure out what the next step is that needs to be taken to reach the goal.

Which Will It Be?

What are you going to do with this next year? Are you going to approach it like baseball or golf? Are you going to spend this next year just taking what comes at you and hope you respond quickly enough?

Or will you finally make some plans of where you want to be this time next year? More importantly, will you take action on those plans? 

I know what I’m doing.  FORE!