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Wednesday, September 26, 2012


The odds of hitting a hole-in-one in golf, according to an authoritative source, are one in  150 000. This feat is so rare, in fact, that insurance companies offer hole-in-one cover to professional golfers in the confidence that the majority of takers are unlikely to ever draw against the insurance policy. Golfers who hope for this miracle need insurance cover because tradition demands that the player who achieves the feat throws a party for all the members of his club. Guess what-yesterday I beat the odds and achieved a hole-in-one on a longish par 3 at Delhi Golf Club, a championship course in the Indian capital. Yes, I do have a headache now because I am not insured against this sort of calamity, and all my golfing friends are clamouring for a party. I did, however, walk away with something good, other than the trophy and the citation (yes, that's me in the picture with the trophy and the grin)- a valuable lesson about how inexpensive optimism is.
Picture this: as we walked towards the green, none of us in the four-ball was aware of what had just happened there. When we got to the green and my ball was not in sight, I searched everywhere, including in the bramble thicket that flanked the green. In the best traditions of amateur golf, my playing partners joined me in the search, which went on for several minutes. All hope lost, I was preparing to chip a penalty ball from the edge of the thicket when a caddie exclaimed "hole-in-one!" as he peered excitedly into the cup at the centre of the green. We all converged on the green and confirmed that I had just joined one of the most exclusive clubs in the world, and yet we had spent so many anxious minutes looking for bad news!

I have to learn-as perhaps you too do-to expect good things to happen as I pursue my dreams in life. At the very least we must drop the habit of assuming worst-case scenarios, as such negativity makes us miss the good news that seeming bad news so often carries with it. Perhaps, as it were, the ball we hit is sitting in the cup, waiting to make us famous, while we are courting scratches and insect stings in the bramble bush all the while.
Do you, too, have a story that illustrates how assuming the worst can delay our recognition of good news? Please tell us your story. If you have no story, at least congratulate me on my hole-in-one!