One of the responsibilities for my job is to attend golf trade shows. Sound fun? It’s not…but I digress. We provide information about our product, introduce customers to our product, and sell our product…but most importantly, we build relationships with people we meet. Building the relationship is the difference between the Quick Fix and The Journey.
Today was a day that our booth was across the aisle from a company that specialized in taking a look at a golfer’s swing, analyzing the swing, giving the golfer a few quick tips, and sending them on their way. The “teachers” were young guys getting started in their profession and I’m sure they were doing their best…but as the day progressed, I began to notice that the golfer appeared to be just another customer for these guys who would offer some band aid cues to guys who needed major surgery. What was interesting was that the golfers were very satisfied with the quick fix that was provided and went on their way feeling like they were ready to play…at least until they got some other advice from the next booth.
I was working with two retired golf professionals who had devoted their professional lives, energy, and passion into something they loved – teaching people to become better golfers. When I asked them what they thought about my theory on what was happening across the aisle, they said it made them cringe. Teaching and ultimately learning and performing is not about quick fixes…it’s about an immersion into something a person loves to do and having the courage to stumble, fall, and get back up…and then try it again to the point that you not only have become a master at the performance but are capable of seeing, feeling, and empathizing with a brand new learner because you have “been there and done that” from every possible perspective of your particular form of art.
The problem isn’t just that too many people are providing the quick fix for major problems but that people are satisfied with the short term satisfaction that the quick fix provides. The Journey is more difficult and requires total investment – physically, mentally, and emotionally…but it opens the door to some of life’s great relationships. I’ll take that over a quick fix any day.