I’ve never been the world’s biggest Tiger Woods fan. I respect him, am in awe of his athletic ability, and admire his work ethic. However, I’ve always thought he came across a bit too ‘rehearsed’ and not ‘real’ enough…kind of like Michael Jordan. Nothing wrong with that I suppose, but in sports, business, and in life I tend to look up to people who are a little more transparent and strong in their convictions.
All of that said, his interview this week with Scott Van Pelt for the ESPN Sports Center Sunday Conversation was fantastic. Slowly but surely (likely because of his marriage, child, and death of his father) it feels like he’s showing a little more of his true self, which I find refreshing.
One sequence in particular stood out as particularly interesting to me. It shows the type of desire and focus that you need to be great at anything in life:
SVP: “You have 64 wins on the PGA Tour, a fortune in the bank, how do you fight the human nature that says ‘I’m going to hit the snooze button today, I’m gonna take my foot off the gas, I’m just gonna coast for a while.’ Where does the hunger inside of you come from?”
Tiger: “I don’t know how you can think any other way”.
SVP: “There’s no….what would allow you to be satisfied?”
Tiger: “Hmm – win more.”
SVP: “So the 64th is…it feels as good, as fulfilling, as the 1st, the 2nd, the 33rd?”
Tiger: “God yes. Oh yeah”.
SVP: “So there’s no point when you can sort of put the feet up on a Tuesday afternoon and say ‘Today I’m not going to the gym’.?
Tiger: “No. Because the next…that’s…I look at life as: the greatest thing about tomorrow is that I will be better than I am today. And that’s the way I’ve always lived my life. So I have no understanding why people do hit the snooze button because you have a chance to become a better person, become – for me – a better athlete…all the different things you can do to become better for tomorrow. Why wouldn’t you take advantage of that?”
You can check out the full interview on the video below: