Professional Bowling May Be the Key to Your Success
When we talk about “success” and what it means, it’s easy to relate it back to the rich and famous people everyone knows about—on the surface we all know what made Brad Pitt successful (definitely his starring role in the 1989 teen-horror classic Cutting Class, and it had nothing to do with the fact that he is ridiculously good looking.) It’s more interesting to deep dive into other hobbies and interests and see how the associated principles can translate to your accomplishments. What better way to do that than to jump into the fast-paced, thrilling world of professional bowling, and see what it can teach you about success?
Read on and find out more.
Equipment Matters, but Technique Is More Important
All you really need to bowl is a ball, some shoes, and the ability to knock pins down. Seems pretty easy, right? Yet, it’s extremely hard to bowl a perfect game. Sure, professional bowlers have equipment they use that they’re partial to, but it’s their technique that is most important to how they play the game. Without it, there’s no way they’d be able to knock the pins down effectively.
We love this because, at its heart, it's very egalitarian—anyone can succeed if they're willing to put in the time to learn how to execute their goal successfully. That’s it. Simplistic in its beauty, and very straightforward.
What does that mean for you? It's a cliché, but true, hard work and dedication win out over the competition every time. It doesn’t matter how many opportunities you’re given in life if you can’t put in the work, you’re simply not going to get ahead.
Do Your Own Thing
We love professional bowlers. They took a hobby that most of us don’t really think too much about, and they made it their passion in life. It goes to show that you can do what you love in basically any arena of your life if you’re excited about it and are willing to put in the time to get really really good at it. Bowlers march to the beat of their own drummer (believe us, we tried to insert a bowling pun in there, but we kept gutter-balling it) and we’re here for it.
So, why does this matter? Easy—you have to be able to stand alone and do your own thing in life if that's where the path you want takes you. That may mean taking a gap year before you start college, turning down a high-paying private sector job to work at a non-profit, or admitting to yourself you're not happy with your current career trajectory and are going to go back to school for your true passion. If you’re willing to do your own thing, and not worry about what other people think then you’ll be able to focus on what you want in life and not what you think others want for you.
Courage in the Face of Pressure
Unlike many sports where you have a team to fall back on, in bowling, once your turn is up, it’s just you up there. The results are solely your own. Here’s the thing that makes this unique to Bowlers—we’re willing to bet that the audience in a professional bowling match is full of enthusiasts who know the sport pretty well because it’s a niche sport. Unlike figure skating, where fans come because of the Olympics (and let’s be honest the pretty costumes and the jumping), or golf, where there are some notable worldwide celebrities (Tiger Woods) to draw out people who don’t know the sport as well—with a bowling crowd, you’re performing in front of an audience that knows enough about the sport to know whether the choices you make are going to help or hurt your chances at winning.
In your career, both your wins and your not-so-wins are going to happen in front of a knowledgeable audience. This audience is going to be a range of people including those who are aware of key organizational objectives you’re working toward, to experts in your field with an eye on your current project. That means wins, and missteps (and there will be missteps, we all have them, can’t be avoided) will be observed by an audience that will understand the technique you used to get your result. It takes courage to put yourself out there and perform in front of a group of people who potentially know how you should be performing for the optimal result.
Now, we’re not sure professional bowlers go back to the crowd to solicit feedback when they don’t win, but we recommend you do. It’s a gift to be able to ask for help from someone who observed your performance and could help you navigate where you could do better next time. Who knows, you may find the feedback so valuable that you get an Advisor out of the process. Strike!
So, what do you think? Want to go hit up the lanes? (We’re right there with you!) Let us know your highest bowling score, and any other thoughts you have in the comments below.