The essential question is how did Tiger get into this situation in the first place? When I think about it, it’s not a hard question at all—it happens all the time. When people gain a certain position or status, they begin to take liberties that they wouldn’t have taken prior. Others are more tolerant of them and they begin to act as if the rules don’t apply.
It goes like this. You work hard and gain a measure of success. At some point, the recognition you receive is nice, but doesn’t fully satisfy. You deserve more: money, recognition, status, an office with windows…. Before you know it, you’ve convinced yourself that because of all your hard work and the contributions you’ve made, you deserve a little slack now and then.
So you convince yourself to take a liberty, hoping it won’t be noticed. If a question is raised, you’re prepared with a defense that sounds reasonable. Just do it! Hey, that wasn’t so bad. No one said anything and it didn’t hurt anyone. And the day goes on.
Soon another opportunity comes up to cut yourself some slack, so you decide to take another liberty. Only this time, it’s easier. Before long, the liberties become your rights, to be exercised whenever you want to. Soon your liberties become larger that evolve into habits, and you think it’s not that big a deal. Eventually, it catches up with you.
You’re not any more immune to this than Tiger is. Beware of the liberties you take and take for granted. If something applies to others, it applies to you. If it’s important for others to do, it’s important for you as well. If a deadline is set for everyone, it’s set for you, too.
Take your life back. Be disciplined. And have a great week.
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