What Two Words To Avoid?

What Two Words to Avoid … when you play golf, business…?

A golfing legend, the great Sam Snead could not resist using the longest word in golf  – ‘IF’.

When presenting, Tony Westwood our Mind Fit Golf director is known to often ask

“How many times do we hear the word ‘IF’ being used by golfers about a shot or a putt?”

And he asks it because using or even thinking about the word ‘IF’ in any negative way will become a habit and an excuse for golfers to fail. And who wants to fail?

Use of the word ‘IF’ is not restricted or monopolised by golfers – we hear the ‘IF’ word a lot in all sports and business and mostly as in golf in a very negative way. “If only I’d listened…”, “If you did your job we wouldn’t be in this mess…”, “If only the bank would listen…”, “if we had more time or more people we could…”  and many more with the same flavour.

Tony also says

“another word we hear a lot on the golf course is ‘always’. If you always say you do something then you are giving yourself an instruction to gather evidence to prove you always do something.

Be careful what you say as you are always there and always listening.”

Again golf doesn’t have the monopoly on ‘always’ – the well trodden business adage used to be “if you always do what you’ve always done, you always get what you’ve always got”  –  but as those who survived the recent recession will know that has all changed! But how many have noticed? Now things are improving maybe some have fallen into old habits?

Even though you may not know it, complexity theory is always at work in your world, as the theory states that it’s the smallest of things that can have a big impact. But it doesn’t tell you what the smallest things are. However, what you say, small words like ‘If’ and ‘always’ will determine your attitude and behaviour and that will affect your performance whether positive or negative, it is your choice!

Of course there is a different interpretation of ‘IF’ that’s character building and inspirational, but how many people think that way? It’s not perfect but it’s a step in the right direction, so why not take the choice to do so… and read the following or further down you can listen to it.



If you can keep your head when all about you

Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,

If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,

But make allowance for their doubting too;

If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,

Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,

Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,

And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:


If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;

If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;

If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster

And treat those two impostors just the same;

If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken

Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,

Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,

And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:


If you can make one heap of all your winnings

And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,

And lose, and start again at your beginnings

And never breathe a word about your loss;

If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew

To serve your turn long after they are gone,

And so hold on when there is nothing in you

Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’


If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,

Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,

If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,

If all men count with you, but none too much;

If you can fill the unforgiving minute

With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,

Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,

And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

Source: A Choice of Kipling’s Verse (1943)

If you prefer to listen here’s a Youtube version with some interesting images.


As ever – it is your choice.


(If you were Mind Fit then you wouldn’t be concerned about using any words …. but most people are Mind UnFit most of the time)

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