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Steve Siebold

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Tiger Woods' Three Words Explain His Greatness

Posted: 05/13/2013 4:18 pm

Tiger Woods wins again, this time at the TPC Sawgrass walking away with his second Player's Championship victory. It's Tiger's fourth win of the 2013 PGA Tour season, and probably won't be his last this year.

While watching the final round Sunday afternoon, it was pretty obvious that even when there was a tie for the lead, that at the end of the day it would be another Tiger victory. Although Sergio Garcia lost the tournament more than Tiger won it, everything lined up perfectly for Woods from the great shots he was hitting, especially his bunker shot on the 16th hole and his second shot to the 18th hole where he landed the ball just over the flagstick on the left side of the green flirting with the water. The Tiger look of victory was written all over his face and the confident Tiger walk we've all come to know was in full force.

What really tells us the best is yet to come for Tiger Woods is this: In his post-round interview with NBC's Steve Sands, he didn't really show any satisfaction and despite an incredible year so far, wouldn't even admit playing at the peak of his game. All he said was, "I'm getting better."

Champions like Tiger Woods are happily dissatisfied. Average people have been labeled "somewhat dissatisfied." This level of dissatisfaction probably says more about their lack of belief in themselves than it does about their feelings of contentment.

If a person earns $50,000 per year and believes he has the ability to earn $60,000 per year, a low level of dissatisfaction with $50,000 likely results. On the other hand, a person earning $50,000 a year who believes he can earn $500,000 is very dissatisfied with his results.

World-class performers like Tiger Woods understand the power of healthy dissatisfaction, and are in a never-ending quest to raise their levels of expectation and upgrade their beliefs. While average people believe, "If you don't expect much, you won't be disappointed," champions believe, "The only way I'll be disappointed is if I don't take risks and give it my all."

This is a classic example of how directly opposite philosophies drive these two groups. The results are obvious. The amateur performer ends up playing it safe in order to gain comfort and security; the world class becomes the movers and shakers. A good description of the world class like Tiger Woods is "happily dissatisfied." The great ones are in the habit of playing the game of life without a net, and it all begins with the pain of being dissatisfied with their current results.

Granted one could argue that Tiger Woods should be excited to have captured four PGA tour victories already this year, on top of his three tour wins in 2012. And definitely some of his tour colleagues would give their left arm to capture even just one victory, but that's why Tiger Woods is Tiger Woods and everyone else is just everyone else.

The other moral to the story: setbacks are setups for great comebacks. There's an old saying among the world class: "A bet against a champion is a bad bet." When Tiger Woods slipped to number 58 in the world, it's why I went on national television on The Golf Channel and predicted he would regain the number one world ranking again.

Champions are comeback artists. Most people often make the mistake of counting professionals out when things get tough. The average person grossly underestimates the level of mental toughness that champions like Tiger Woods possess. The great ones will come back out of nowhere just when everyone has counted them out. Emotionally speaking, they don't really understand the concept of giving up. I don't mean this as an insult. They understand how to quit intellectually. But emotionally, they have been hard-wired through years of world-class programming to focus on a vision and persevere at any cost. It's why Tiger Woods was never really out of the game when most people said he would never be back.

While Tiger Woods will remain happily dissatisfied no matter how many victories he captures and despite how many records he breaks, the reality is his play is so dominant right now that it's scary. 2013 will definitely go down as one Woods' finest years on tour, and there is still three major championships to come this summer. It's a safe bet that Tiger Woods will hang on to that number one world ranking for a very long time to come.

 
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