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Mike’s Motivation Monday

Motivation Monday is written weekly by NEPGA Executive Director Michael Higgins.  It is his effort to help provide motivation and encouragement for NEPGA Professionals, Partners and Staff that will hopefully help you begin your week on the right foot.  Motivation Mondays will include a “Quote of the Week” and a story that will hopefully keep you motivated and in a positive state of mind.

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In the spirit of today’s Section Championship, I would like to share a quick motivational story from the 1976 NEPGA Championship.  Each Section Championship has its own special feel, its own logistical challenges, and memories that the participants will hopefully have forever.  2021 will mark my 25th NEPGA Championship and I certainly have my share of great stories.  From back-to-back victories to first time winners; from runaway wins to sudden death playoffs.  The NEPGA Championship is never short on excitement, but one of the most exciting finishes almost never happened. READ MORE

By August we are all up to our eyeballs with the golf season. Nice weather and club events are keeping us busy and engaged at our facilities. During this time of the season I am always asking PGA Professionals “How are things going at your facility?” and I follow that question up with “How is your family?”  READ MORE

The advice given in the following story always makes me think, and my hope is that you can relate, and it will do the same for you.

The story goes: The father, who was a chef, took his daughter to the kitchen. He filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Once the three pots began to boil, he placed potatoes in one pot, eggs in the second pot, and ground coffee beans in the third pot. READ MORE

There are many benefits to being a PGA professional. The ability to make your living around the game that you love, the ability to share your passion and help others enjoy the game of golf, the power to impact lives as a mentor, a leader, a role model, and to be a part of a fraternal community that extends well outside a PGA Professional’s home section. READ MORE

Towards the end of 2020, I started to hear about the “great resignation,” and the unprecedented turnover of employees at businesses.  In April of 2021, almost four million employees left their positions in the U.S., and our industry was not immune.  At this pace nearly 25% of the American workforce could be changing their jobs this year.   In the New England Section I have had many pandemic related conversations of: “I am not sure how much longer I can do this,” or from some of the younger PGA Professionals, “I am not sure if this career is right for me, or I am not sure if I am right for this career.” READ MORE

At the age of 14 my high school golf coach came to me and asked, “the golf pro at our home course is looking for some help in the bag room.  Do you have any interest?”  I couldn’t say yes fast enough!  That next Saturday I showed up at Mt. Pleasant CC (now The Haven), met my new boss Art Harris, PGA, and that is where I would spend the next six summers.  In the summer of 1996, while working at Mt. Pleasant, I also started an internship with the New England PGA, and by the Spring of 1997 I was hired on full time by the NEPGA.  My summers were right where I wanted them to be….around the game of golf! READ MORE

Starting a season strong or even starting a round of golf strong is all well and good, but it’s how well you finish that matters.  My best round of 2020 included a shank and a double bogey on the first hole.  For me, sometimes an early or mid-round reset is needed to start a comeback for what ends up being a great round. READ MORE

During the 1950s, Curtis Richter, a professor from John Hopkins University, conducted brutal and inhumane experiments to demonstrate the power of hope and resilience over a difficult situation.

Richter’s experiments involved placing rats into buckets filled with water to see how long they survived.  He used both domesticated rats and those that were caught in the wild.  Most of the domesticated rats would initially swim around the surface, then dive to the bottom of the bucket to explore their situation, but after only about two minutes they would give up and drown. READ MORE

This Motivation Monday comes to you on July 5th, which is the observed federal holiday of our nation’s independence. We celebrate the 4th of July, or Independence Day each year, but it was actually July 2, 1776 when the Continental Congress voted in favor of declaring themselves independent of British rule.  July 4, 1776 was the day the Declaration of Independence was finalized and written. READ MORE

A few months ago, I wrote about starting your day by eating a live frog.  Once you finish eating the live frog the rest of your day will be a breeze compared to that!  There is another method that expands on “eating a frog,” that’s called the Ivy Lee method.  The key distinction however is that it sets the stage for success the day before. READ MORE

Ever since I was a little kid I was taught about freedom of speech and how it was a constitutional right of all Americans.  It is a principle that guarantees we have the right to share our opinions and ideas freely, without the fear of legal ramifications or censorship.  READ MORE

Stress is a real thing.  We all have a certain amount of it in our lives which can impact our mood and even potentially impact our health.  Many of you reading this carry around an unhealthy amount of stress on a daily basis.  Jobs, a spouse, children, traffic, and even the weather can all contribute to our already stressful days.

This time last year we were right in the middle of a global pandemic and my stress level was at an all-time high.  The uncertainty of not knowing what was going to happen in our industry, not knowing when we were going to be able to conduct any of our events, and worrying about all of our Section PGA Professionals was wearing on me. READ MORE

Golf is viewed as an individual sport, but to have a successful golf operation you need more of a team atmosphere.  To have a successful team atmosphere, you need to be a good teammate.

One of my favorite NBA Players of all time is Steve Nash.  Nash was an exciting player to watch and I always enjoyed seeing how he made the others around him better.  When Nash won the league’s MVP award after the 2004-2005 season, he amazingly led the league in only two categories – assists and touches.  It wasn’t scoring or rebounding.  It wasn’t playing time or field goals.  He led the league in high fives, fist bumps and butt slaps.  Nash was the ultimate teammate.  He was the player you wanted on the court with you, and he was the player who brought out the best in you.  Not only do you want a few Steve Nashes on your team, you want to be a Steve Nash. READ MORE

Memorial Day is a day of ceremonies, speeches and parades.  Today is a day that we honor the deceased men and women who lost their lives serving our country.  We recall and reflect on their sacrifices, their valor; and we remember that they gave their lives for us.  They gave their lives so that we could live.

In 1863, President Lincoln spoke at a ceremony in Gettysburg and reminded the American people that through their deeds, the dead have spoken more eloquently for themselves than any of the living ever could.  He said that the living could only honor the dead by rededicating themselves to the cause that they willingly gave their last full measure of devotion. READ MORE

How many of you have heard the saying “you can learn a lot about a person by the way they handle themselves on the golf course?”  Or “if you cheat in golf you are going to cheat in life.”  Now these certainly are bold statements, but their purpose shows how ethical our great game is, and you absolutely can learn a lot about someone during a round of golf.  As a member of Worcester CC, I am reminded of these ethics every time I play the 11th hole and see the plaque commemorating the time Bob Jones called a penalty on himself during the 1925 U.S. Open.  It may have cost him the championship, but when questioned/praised by reporters following the round he responded: “you might as well praise me for not robbing a bank.”  There was no question in Jones’ mind that he must to what is right and play by the rules. READ MORE

In high school I wasn’t a big vacation reader, and I always dreaded the choices when the summer reading lists were distributed. Then one year a book by Robert Fulghum titled All I Really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten was one of the options.  It was an easy read, and quickly became one of my favorites.  At the time the shared life lessons made sense to me, but they are even more relevant to me today, and this certainly is a book I will suggest my own children read. READ MORE

Over the past fourteen months we have all had to shift the way we look at life and certainly our own personal perspectives.

Just like many of you I looked at my surroundings and was reminded that being the Executive Director of the New England PGA is what I do, but it is not who I am.  You may be a PGA Professional, a sales representative, or a Section staff member, but that does not define who you are.  At my core, I am someone that feels inspired to help and serve others and help them improve their situations or even how they perform at their respective positions. READ MORE

Do you think you deserve a raise at your job?  Do you feel the hours you put in, the dedication to your position and what you bring to your facility warrants an increase?  Unfortunately, that’s not going to cut it. READ MORE

Like many of you I have social media accounts.  I peruse them often and occasionally I might even create a post.  Every individual has their own engagement level on social media, but recently I have noticed a trend, especially by the younger generation, that all major and not so major accomplishments/life activities “need” to be recorded and shared.  Some in almost an over the top cinematic fashion.

When I was a kid the rhetorical, yet philosophical saying was: if a tree falls in the woods and there wasn’t anyone around to hear it, did it actually make a sound?  Do you think today’s expression is the same, or might it sound a little more like: if a tree falls in the woods, but it wasn’t posted on Instagram, did it even happen? READ MORE

Last week I wrote about productivity and how the creation and utilization of To-Do lists can help with your success.  Sometimes our lists can become rather long and if there are one or two large items on the list that you are avoiding, it can lead to procrastination.

Procrastination can kill the momentum of a project or an operation, and from the research I have conducted, there seem to be four types of procrastinators.  Let’s see if you fall into one of these categories. READ MORE

How many of you put together To-Do Lists and try to be more productive?  I am a To-Do list guy and I will admit that when I am able to cross things off my list I feel a sense of accomplishment.  Unfortunately, when I cannot cross items off my list I feel like they are hanging over my head until I finally am able complete them.

I try to start each day with the best intentions.  I am going to get up, eat a healthy breakfast, workout and start my day.  Life typically gets in the way as soon as my feet hit the floor in the morning and it takes a lot of effort to remain motivated and productive.

Maximizing my productivity is very important to my daily success and learning how to maximize my productivity has become a life skill that I continue to try and work on every day.  It is no big secret that the more productive you are the more successful you will be at performing your job. READ MORE.

Good things come to those that wait…or at least that is the saying.  I believe good things come to those who work hard, but also to those that spend time to focus on what they can control in their life.  Wasting time on things that are out of your control is only going to slow down your progress and hinder your success.  I find myself sharing this message with my teenage daughter quite often.  Stop worrying about things that are out of your control, it is not worth it! READ MORE

Great things are rarely achieved by just one single person.  One person may be awarded the credit, but usually great things are accomplished by a group of people who are committed to an overall goal.  As the golf season rolls out in New England having solid teamwork at our facilities is essential to conducting successful events and having a successful season.  READ MORE

If you have been an avid reader of my Motivation Monday’s I first want to thank you for taking the time to join in my thoughts for a few minutes each week.  I’m sure you can tell that I enjoy reading and learning from some of the great minds of business, life, motivation and success.  This week I am going to allow Steve Jobs to provide us a little Motivation Monday, including me.  These were some of Jobs’ last words on earth, and in my humble opinion they are spot on.  READ MORE

Have you ever noticed when you meet someone their first question is always where are you from?  And their second is what do you do for work?  The perception of a person based on their job can create an image that a person is cool, or extremely smart, or even wealthy.  It can create this image that can become synonymous with a person’s identity.  Where we work, or what we do for a living can give us a feeling of belonging, self-esteem, recognition or even define our status.  I know it’s only a job, but a strong work identity for some people can even have an impact on their personal wellbeing.  READ MORE

A friend of mine mentioned that if I wanted to put life into perspective, I should read the book “Chasing Daylight” by Eugene O’Kelly.  It took me a little time to get to it, but I listened to the audio version, and I’m sure glad that I did. READ MORE

How many of you can recall a manager who used to push you? How many of you would agree that their push led to getting the most production out of you?  There are so many different leadership styles and qualities.  Some of which can inspire and motivate, while others, well….not so much.  Steve Jobs’ leadership was…READ MORE

Whenever I am with someone and we meet a person they do not know, I always try and do my best to make introductions.  I never want to leave someone standing alone and not part of the conversation.  It’s inconsiderate for starters, but it can make the situation uncomfortable for everyone involved. READ MORE

Recently I listened to an interview with former Ultimate Fighting Champion Frank Shamrock (born Frank Alisio Juarez, III).  At one time Shamrock was pound-for-pound one of the deadliest men in the world.  He was the first to hold the UFC Middleweight Championship and retired as a four-time defending undefeated champion. READ MORE

PGA Professionals come in contact with so many people day in and day out, and the number of individuals impacted by a PGA Professional throughout their career is difficult to tally.  There are many different systems used by people to live a successful life and have a successful career, and I’m always fascinated to learn of how individuals apply these methods personally. READ MORE

This time of year there is quite a bit of preparation in our industry, and I certainly work with many PGA Professionals to help them prepare for job interviews.  The preparation that goes into this process can be extensive and the hours and hours that are needed just for a thirty-minute interview can be significant.  Preparation, or lack of preparation, is something we can relate to almost every aspect of our lives. READ MORE

Two weeks ago we talked about the importance of never getting too far from the basics.  The most basic concept that we all have is our time.  Respecting your time, appreciating your time and utilizing your time wisely are key components to your happiness and success. READ MORE

On this day of remembrance for the great Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., I thought it only fitting to talk about him during my Motivation Monday article.  I thought I might try and read some of his speeches and look at some of his quotes for inspiration, but I put my head down and the next thing I knew two hours had passed. READ MORE

In 2019, during my speech at the NEPGA Spring Meeting I shared a story about one of my friends from college.  His name is Alan Stein and after graduation from college Alan became a performance and strength coach that worked with some of the most elite high school basketball players in the country. Many of the athletes he worked with are now household names from their time playing in the NBA. READ MORE

During our family dinner on New Year’s Eve we were reflecting on 2020 and the changes we would like to see in the upcoming year.  My son Connor was trying to make a point about how much he despises remote learning and became jumbled up on what year it was and said 2020…. paused for a few seconds, and then blurted out ONE!  It sounded like he was saying 2020 Won READ MORE

As the year from Hades comes to an end and you consider what New Year’s Resolutions you will attempt to keep in 2021, it might be a great time to review 2020 through your minds reflective lens and think long and hard about what lessons you’ve learned this year that could possibly help you in the future. READ MORE

I heard a story that I would like to share about a man named Ryan Estis.  Ryan was traveling through the Minneapolis airport a few years back on Christmas Eve, and he had an interaction with a barista that day that would impacted his life forever. READ MORE

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