Every week, I write about life lessons I’ve learned through sports, most often golf. Subscribe here to get inspirational content straight to your inbox.

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I thought that when I stopped playing on the tour earlier this year, my travels would decrease significantly. Surprisingly, it has been quite the opposite. However, these trips have been more for fun and enjoyment, most often shared with my husband. A year filled with adventures—weddings, family gatherings, vacations, doctors appointments and work-related trips.

Despite the frequent flights, one constant remains: the phenomenon of my ‘plane brain.’ It is a flow state for me—no distractions, just reading, listening to music or a podcast, and thinking. It unfailingly generates positive energy, and my creative juices flow effortlessly.

During my recent travels, my plane brain was fully engaged. In that moment, I had an epiphany. The same state of flow experienced on airplanes mirrored the one I used to feel during an evening round of golf.

I wrote about it a few years ago in my blog, ‘A Golfer’s High.’

There’s something about witnessing the sunset with my bag on my back, not a soul in sight, that creates incredible moments of reflection, peace, and perspective. It remains, and I believe it will always be, my favorite aspect of golf.

As I gazed into the clouds from seat 7E, I realized there was a significant void in my life that I had failed to recognize. Yes, I knew I missed the game, the pure shots, and fairways with family—I’ve written about that before. However, the absence of the game was actually removing time for dreaming and creativity. Unbeknownst to me, not making room for that kind of time in my life was a significant impediment.

Just as I make time to be a barista in the morning, hit the gym for my health, and cook nutritious meals in the evening, I had to carve out time and find an activity that simulates the same flow state that golf always provided for me. No, hopping on a plane to eliminate distractions isn’t the solution, nor would I prefer to spend voluntary time one plane.

I’ve discovered that long walks without any form of technology create that same flow state. Yet, I never consistently incorporated that into my life as I did with golf. So, that’s what I’ll begin to do.

I believe that we all have those specific activities that allow us to lose track of time, forget about checking our phones, immerse ourselves in dreaming, creative thinking, and fill our hearts with hope and joy. It’s a way to find meaning and purpose, something we should never be too busy to pencil into our schedule.

The Good Stuff

I recently came across this quote, and it deeply resonated with me. If you’re down or struggling with self talk, remember that progress is just one small step away. Begin with a single commitment, stay dedicated to it, and then gradually add more, just like constructing a house, one brick at a time.

“Self confidence is the process of keeping the promises that you make to yourself.” – Ed Mylett