One of my son's recently took up golf and invited me to go to the course and play with him. He was fairly certain he could hold his own (if not beat me) as he had never seen me play in the past 10 years. When we finished the round, he was surprised I was able to score as well as I had having not played in so many years. What he did not know, was the number of hours I had committed myself to practicing the sport when I was a young man. More importantly, he did not realize the method of practicing was even more important. It is not the number of hours we spend perfecting our craft. Instead, it is the methodology we use and how that method can create habits which carry with us through life.
The first step in perfecting your skills is to find the highest percentage variable. Find the one thing, which if perfected, would bring you the greatest results. In golf, this is the 3 to 5 foot put. 41% of the game is putting and over 50% will be from within 5 feet. You want to increase your score by over 25% then simply practice 3-5 foot puts. You want to get stronger, then only do bench, dead lift, squat and clings. Nothing else! You want to run the football then master the first three steps your offense linemen take.
Next, you have to really focus on that variable. When I say focus, I mean focus. If you have only an hour to spend practicing your golf game each week then spend 50 minutes on 3-5 foot puts. If you want to run the ball then rep the blocking three times more than running the play from scrimmage. You must give it ten times the amount of attention or it will not be perfected beyond measure.
How does this apply to our spiritual lives. We need to look no further than Matthew 22:36-40 where Jesus gives us the "Greatest Commandment"
36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?” 37 Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
Jesus tells us the greatest act we can do each day is to love. All other commandments flow from this single task. We are to spend our time loving God and others. As simple as that sounds, it is by far one of the hardest tasks because we spend so much time allocating time and energy for ourselves and our own desires. Do we really spend 10x on loving anyone besides ourselves?
The principle of drive for show and putt for dough works in all aspects of your life. If you want a better marriage, business, friendships or spiritual life then begin by finding the highest variable and then drilling down on it through practice and repetition. Soon, you will realize the power of the short game.