The Ashes Of Disaster Are Good Food For The Roses Of Success

On the final day of the US Open in 2001, Retief Goosen arrived at the 18th green with two shots for the title. His ball was barely ten feet away from the hole. His first putt sent the ball eighteen inches past the hole. Even so, having to put just 18 inches to win the title is not a bad situation to be in. He putted. .

and missed again! It was as if he had snatched defeat from the jaws of victory - in front of an astonished crowd, and in full view of the media. He had no place to hide and the following day he'd have to go out in front of the crowds and the glare of the media to play the 18-hole play-off - unless, of course, he had managed to miss the third putt on the 18th green! At this point his caddy advised him just to focus on putting the ball into the hole, and this he did. The next day, he did face the cameras and the crowds, and, most importantly of all, he faced up to himself, and won the championship with two shots to spare. When I first heard this story I was reminded of the lines from one of the songs in the classic film version of Ian Fleming's children's novel, "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang," which goes: "Every glowing path that goes astray, Shows you how to find a better way. So every time you stumble never grumble.

Next time you'll bumble even less! For up from the ashes, up from the ashes, grow the roses of success! " Well, not quite! The song suggests that the progress from disaster to success is both effortless and natural. It seems to be saying that you needn't worry because the roses WILL inevitably grow. But any golfer would tell you that Goosen's recovery was a breathtaking achievement. There was nothing inevitable about it.

Almost every other golfer would have lacked the nerve to be able to recover from such a comprehensive disaster. But Goosen was no stranger to disaster on the golf course. During a round of golf in 1986 he was struck by a bolt of lightning which charred his clubs and tore off his clothes, and left him lying unconscious and badly burned. "It taught me to stay out from under trees in lightning storms," says Goosen.

But the fact that he was back on the golf course as soon as he was able to put shoes and socks on his burned feet suggests that the experience taught him a lot more. Here was an almost literal recovery from the ashes of disaster. But the roses did not simply grow, they had to be cultivated - that is the key. I am not suggesting that everybody needs to have had a disaster in order to succeed, but, as Gary Eby says, "You can't have a testimony until you've had a test." Having a mentor helps too.

It was Goosen's caddy who stepped in when Goosen was trying to come to terms with the disaster. His caddy told him simply to focus on putting the ball away with the next putt. Draw on your inner strength in testing times, make disaster the foundation for new growth, focus on what you have to DO.

and do it. That way, the line from the song can be read differently. It is no longer a simple statement that roses grow on the ashes of disaster, but an IMPERATIVE CALL TO ACTION: Go and GROW the roses of success on the ashes of disaster! They'll grow, but only if you cultivate them.

David Hurley is an Internet marketer who is based in Japan and is the owner of, which focuses on success mentoring for Internet marketing start-ups. Get your own work-from-home Internet business set up free and find out how you can build an online business and master the net.


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