The Unfair Advantage

by Ron Haynes

Masters Tournament 2008-12I had the opportunity of going to the PGA Tour Championship at East Lake in Atlanta a few years ago. We only had tickets for the next to last day, but I vividly remember seeing Vijay Singh finish the course that beautiful Saturday. While other players were giving interviews, signing autographs for my starry-eyed wife, hitting the Gatorade, or trekking to the clubhouse, Vijay Singh headed for the driving range!

“The driving range?” I thought, “Hasn’t he had enough for the day? Isn’t he tired?” His caddy brought him bucket after bucket of golf balls and I watched him crush them over and over again with his driver. I remember hearing him say to the caddy, “How far? How far did it hit from that flag on the left?” People may think Vijay or Tiger Woods have some type of unfair advantage, but in all reality, their unfair advantage is a commitment to being the best.

In 2007, Singh played in 23 events and earned a whopping $4.7 million. His average score for the year was a 69.49. Contrast him to Todd Hamilton, who in 2007 earned $109,776, played in 24 events and had an average score of 72.83 (no offense to Todd Hamilton). The difference between their average scores was only 4.5 percent, but the difference between their earnings was huge … much more than 4.5 percent … more like 4,500 percent.

After looking at these numbers, I realized that I have spent much of my life looking for excuses for poor performance. I thought that other people had some type of unfair advantage, whether it be genetic, getting a lucky break, having wealthy parents, or a natural disposition toward sports, business, or connecting with people. None of that is true.

The unfair advantage that I looked for as my excuse for poor performance just wasn’t there. It didn’t exist and it never did. It was all in my imagination. I actively sought after reasons that I couldn’t succeed or live up to my potential. I cultivated those reasons with twisted logic and convinced myself that I was normal.

But you know what? Normal just didn’t cut it for me anymore. I made some decisions to improve myself by finishing my bachelor’s degree and then going on to get my master’s degree. I was tired of my own excuses and I decided I wasn’t going to go to my grave wondering if I could have finished what I started.

I decided to give myself the gift of an “unfair advantage” by plunging head first into whatever I decided to undertake, whether it was debt reduction, learning web programming, dieting, or whatever, and taking a long term approach.

What “unfair advantage” can you give yourself? What’s the one thing, that if you could do it exceptionally well, could propel forward in your life, career, finances, relationships, or life goals. What is your next step in becoming, not just proficient, but remarkable in your ability to perform that task?

Today, take that next step. Become the person that everyone thinks has an “unfair advantage.” Only YOU will know the truth.


photo credit: johntrainor

About the author

Ron Haynes has written 1000 articles on The Wisdom Journal.

The founder and editor of The Wisdom Journal in 2007, Ron has worked in banking, distribution, retail, and upper management for companies ranging in size from small startups to multi-billion dollar corporations. He graduated Suma Cum Laude from a top MBA program and currently is a Human Resources and Management consultant, helping companies know how employees will behave in varying situations and what motivates them to action, assisting firms in identifying top talent, and coaching managers and employees on how to better communicate and make the workplace MUCH more enjoyable. If you'd like help in these areas, contact Ron using the contact form at the top of this page or at 870-761-7881.

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Great advice, Ron! We all need to take personal responsibility for our lives. Good things don’t generally just happen to us. Luck is created by doing the right things and putting yourself in a position to succeed. You have provided some excellent examples of how to do just that.


you are SOOOOOOOO right! we all have that little jealousy whenevr we see other people successful but we never think of the infinite hours that they put into becoming that successful! I always thought -my brother has everything and he is so successful but hardly ever accepted the fact that when I was partying he was on his study table working hard towards his “out-of-reach” goal!
Thanks for reminding this again…. we all know it in our deep heart but it is hard to accept our own drawbacks, isn’t it !

Andy Wood

Dang! Good stuff! There’s potential incredible in the incremental!

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