Ken Shaw: You have to be able to find your sweet spot

I enjoy playing golf; it is the fresh air, the beauty of nature and being with friends who share a common goal to have the lowest score possible. I am sure if you watched me play, you would easily make the correct observation that I don’t play often enough. One thing I have learned about the game of golf is that to get better, you have to intentionally work at it.  

As you begin playing golf, you learn that there is an appropriate place on the club face that makes the best contact with the golf ball. I can tell you from experience; it is not on the top of the club face, nor on the bottom of the club face, and not even on the sides of the club face.  

The place where you want to hit the ball is in the middle of the club face. This is the sweet spot. When you hit the ball in the sweet spot, you barely feel the contact. There is no better way to explain it when this happens, “It is sweet!”  

When you hit the ball in the sweet spot, the ball will often travel at the right trajectory and go the appropriate distance.

Just like with golf, to get better at life you have to intentionally work at it. You don’t want to waste time on things that will deter you from this goal, otherwise you would be slicing the ball out of bounds to the right or hooking the ball out of bounds to the left. If this happened, you would have to start again after a penalty. Finding that sweet spot is essential to improve one’s life.    

At Southwestern Adventist University, our faculty and staff are dedicated to helping students find their sweet spots. Students often begin by taking the required general studies courses and then take an introductory course in the major area in which they have an interest. For some, there is a quick realization that the major area is not in their sweet spot. They reset and try again until they find their sweet spot and then intentionally pursue it.  

Sweet spots in one’s life take on many forms: work, hobbies, music, sports, etc. We have biology students who enjoy clearing trails at Cleburne State Park and singing in the choir. We have education majors who have a passion for kids, but also love ministering to the residence at the local nursing home. We have nursing majors who are skilled at doing health assessments at local health fairs and yet fly through the air with our acrobatic team.  

It is refreshing to see that each student is unique, their sweet spots are different. I remember my work experience at Little Debbie Snack Cakes when during my four-hour shift I touched 24,000 Nutty Bars, feeding them into moving trays to be wrapped, boxed and crated. Every Nutty Bar looked the same. I am so glad our students are not like that.  

Max Lucado summarizes this thought well, “God packed you on purpose for a purpose.”  

We each have a sweet spot; once you find it and cultivate it, life becomes filled with purpose and full of satisfaction that you are using your sweet spot to send you down the middle of the fairway.

Ken Shaw is president

of Southwestern

Adventist University