OPPORTUNITY: Marshmallows and a Golf Cart​

OPPORTUNITY: Marshmallows and a Golf Cart​


How often do we hear people calling it quits on their ambitions with a feeble: “If only I had opportunities like (insert name of perceived ‘lucky’ person), I could be successful too!”
It often flares up in a shade of green that is more jealousy than the luck of the Irish…more bitterness than magically delicious. 

Many of us have been guilty of this.

People who’ve surpassed expectations and succeeded have, I believe, simply noticed opportunities that the rest of us missed or ignored.

Opportunities have always there. 

I’ve been blind to them on occasion, or simply refused to see them…or been afraid to risk failure.
In every aspect of our personal and business lives, there are opportunities to improve our results in some way. And no, I am not talking about the litany of infomercials which claim to add exponential value with no money down, no diet or exercise required and ‘instant’ everything!

Bottom line: there are opportunities all around us to:

  • select better role models and follow their examples
  • learn a new skill (hey, YouTube is still free!)
  • identify and meet successful people in our communities
  • improve our physical condition (did your last meal contribute to better health or a bigger butt?)
  • have more money (did you really need everything you bought on your recent shopping trip?)

Even when we feel like life is running along smoothly, there are opportunities to improve.
There is no shortage of them, and no shortage of people who discuss them.


Amid the thousands of quotes on the subject, this one has always resonated with me.

From Albert Einstein: “In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity”.


While I’ve experienced many, one of my favorites happened one afternoon in June of 2011 when I received a call from my (then) marketing person Dianne. With a bit of panic in her voice, she implored:


“I sponsored the 8th hole at the Amherst Country Club tomorrow for a fundraising golf tournament. I need someone to measure how far people can hit a marshmallow with a golf club…and I thought of you. Are you available?”


Laughing from my end of the phone, I agreed.


The next morning, bright and early, there I sat, slouched in a golf cart, waiting to be driven to my assigned location.


I was not riding solo for long as a smiling woman hopped in and, noticing the overstuffed gym bag in my lap, asked: “What are you doing with all those marshmallows?”


“I’m measuring how far people can hit them with a golf club”, I replied, laughing.


Her pause and wide smile brought an even bigger laugh when she responded: “What do you do for work? I can’t imagine this is it.”


What followed was the definition of my mission as a speaker, not so much as a sales pitch but an enthusiastic explanation of my style, blending back-to-basics positivity, engagement and humor.


“Do you have a card?” was her receptive response.




I did…and handed it over as she was dropped off at her company’s sponsored tee-box.


After waving good-bye, I spent the rest of the day sweating in the sun, measuring the mushy drives* of golfers young and old.


Fifteen months later, in the Fall of 2012, she called me.


It turns out that, during that engaging conversation, I’d been sitting next to the CEO of one of the most successful real estate offices in Southern NH…and she wanted to hire me for a 4-event series with her team.


She has since become a dear friend, and also one of my biggest speaking referral sources.


Why? Because I made her laugh just by being myself, creating a valuable experience.

I have enjoyed time on many stages, thanks to that interaction.


Marshmallows…and a golf cart.

Opportunities are out there, waiting for us, every day.


They are at that networking event, in a conversation with someone you’ve never met.


They are on the other side of the door you hold open today.


They may have just gotten off their tired feet to take the seat you generously offered.


Another example I share often: picture yourself walking down the hot sands of a beach, arms weighed down with your blankets, chairs, cooler and umbrella.


In your peripheral view, you spy a shiny object in the sand.


While others dismiss it as a bottle cap or piece of glass, you spare a moment to explore.


It might be something valuable (watch, ring or a coin) or it may just be a piece of broken glass.

If it is valuable…score! 


And if it is a worthless shard of glass, you transport it to the trash so that it will not cut anyone’s foot.



By the way, there was a gentleman walking a beach in Australia several years ago with his metal detector. When it began to beep, he began to dig.  Where many people would have stopped (beyond 12 inches), he kept going…and scored a gold nugget worth several hundred thousand dollars.

How long had that treasure been there? 


How many people had already walked that beach with metal detectors?


Who scored a jackpot by putting in the effort, shoveling through the sand?


The person who heard the ‘beep’ as an opportunity…and took action.


Where will YOU dig today?


Which opportunities will flicker in your path?


What will you discover when you embody the ‘Marshmallows and a Golf Cart’ mindset?

For the record, the winning drive was 144 feet and 6 inches…and it nearly took my head off on the way by. 

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Steve Gamlin

Motivational speaker, Author and VisionBoarder Steve Gamlin, has helped clients the world over achieve their goals, using his powerful Vision Board Mastery learning program, guiding you through the process from SEEING your goals, understanding your WHY behind each one, and building an ACTION PLAN to achieve them. Click the button below to continue your journey with Steve!

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