Friday, January 27, 2017
Appropriate ways to celebrate..........
My Dad never stopped giving me guidance about how I should look at my life and career. By 1961 I had already established myself as a perennial winner and a major champion with two Masters titles and the 1960 U.S. Open.
But my father was determined that no matter how much I won, how successful I became or how much I earned, he wanted me to remain humble. He wanted me to stay grounded and to focus on my work and not get too caught up with all the accomplishments.
One of the best lessons he ever gave me came after I had won the 1961 British Open at Royal Birkdale. I had been dining with dukes and princes over the course of an entire week and came back to the United States the conquering hero. Naturally, I was feeling pretty good about myself.
When I got back to Latrobe, I was very excited about my victory and the chance to share it with my family. My dad greeted me with open arms. I could see how happy he was for me. But in his second breath he said, "Now, why don't you put down that Claret Jug. I need your help mowing the back nine."
Looking back, this was a very important marker to me. It reminded me that if I'm going to be successful, I must continue to grow with a balance of confidence and humble appreciation for all the people involved in making it possible. If I didn't understand where I had come from and how I had gotten there, then the chance were I was not going to be as successful going forward. And I would certainly not have the proper attitude about how to live my life and do the right things.
Did I mow the back nine for him? You bet I did. And you know what? There was a certain peace and serenity in doing such a familiar, simple task. It was satisfying in its own way. Looking back, it was a rather appropriate way for me to celebrate winning the Open Championship.
-Arnold Palmer, A Life Well Played: My Stories