“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is always to try just one more time. —Thomas A. Edison
With every fall, there is a rise. This principle may seem too generic, or even over-simplified, but its veracity is universal. No matter who you are, or where you come from, giving up is something we all have pondered. No matter how successful we may be, the idea of never succeeding or improving ourselves ever again is a toxic idea haunting even the most recognized.
Tiger’s Rise to the Top
Tiger Woods is one of the most well-recognized names in sports. His rise to the top as one of the most well-recognized athletes in the world is broken down as follows:
- 1997: Tiger won The Masters Tournament with a 9-shot lead
- 1999: Tiger tied the PGA Championship
- 2000: Tiger won the U.S. Open with a 10-shot lead
- 2000: Tiger won The Open Championship with a 6-shot lead
- 2001: Tiger won the Masters Tournament for the second time with a 1-shot lead
- 2002: Tiger tied for the Masters Tournament
- 2002: Tiger won the U.S. Open with a 4-shot lead
- 2005: Tiger won the Masters Tournament with a 3-shot lead
- 2005: Tiger won The Open Championship with a 2-shot lead
- 2006: Tiger won The Open Championship by a 1-shot lead
- 2006: Tiger tied The PGA Championship
- 2007: Tiger won The PGA Championship with a 3-shot lead
- 2008: Tiger won The U.S. Open with a 1-shot lead
- 2019: Tiger won The Masters Tournament with a two-show deficit
Tiger’s Personal Loss
In 2006, Tiger experienced an unexpected loss with the death of his father. His father suffered from a long battle with prostate cancer. Tiger always loved his father, referring to his as his “best friend.” Since his father’s death, some have said Tiger has never been the same. That is, Tiger’s decline in rapid winning streaking is said to have been directly attributed to his emotional loss.
In 2009, Tiger became the center of an alleged affair. Shortly after that, Tiger was ticketed for careless driving after driving off the road in the early morning and crashing his car. To make matters worse, several voicemails left by Tiger were released further supporting the claim that he was having an extramarital affair. In the months following the alleged affair and car accident, Tiger lost several sponsor ships and advertising deals with several organizations. Tiger then announced he was taking an indefinite break from golf. Tiger and his wife eventually divorced in 2010.
In 2017, Tiger was arrested in Florida for driving under the influence of drugs and alcohol. As part of his plea, Tiger agreed to participate in an alcohol and drug awareness program. Tiger later pled guilty to reckless driving where he received a year of probation and had to pay a $250 fine.
Between Tiger’s 11 year win dry-spell, the media constantly discussed Tiger’s unlikeliness to ever win another golf tournament again. The cited his affair, alcohol and drug abuse, and arrest as reasons why his best days were behind him. Although Tiger admittedly made some mistakes, Tiger did not let the past define him. Despite the constant bombardment from the media, the embarrassment he caused himself, Tiger pursued victory. And in 2019, Tiger won his fifth Masters Tournament.
No matter how successful or how wealthy you may be, everyone has their shortcomings. No one is immune to imperfection. That question then becomes, how does one overcome the challenges in life and come out on top at the other end? Simply put – never give in and remember even the most successful fall short. Push through the negatives, acknowledge and overcome your weaknesses, and power through. You are not alone.