Dragging 2019’s learning kicking and screaming into 2020

Here’s a collection of big and little aha’s, goofy insights and discoveries that I’ve taken into 2020 from what I learned in 2019:

  • I will never again pull up to a gas pump in a rental and wonder if the gas tank door is on the left or right. I just need to look for the little arrow beside the gasoline pump icon on the dashboard. Cool!
  • People who eat gluten free are not trying to be annoying on purpose
  • Best quote I read in 2019: ‘Love tells me I’m everything. Wisdom tells me I’m nothing. And between the two my life flows’—Nisargadatta Maharaj
  • Second-best quote: ‘As far as anyone knows, we are a nice, normal family’—plaque in our kitchen
  • Eating lots of fat—for goodness sake, ‘fat bombs’!—is good for you
  • When I first check in with what I’m feeling and then think about what I’m going to say, I connect with my truth and with other people
  • A lot of bread has sugar in it
  • Turning off all notifications on your phone reduces the temptation to check your phone while driving and cracks open the door to Nirvana 
  • Despite a YouTube tutorial, I am still incapable of folding a fitted sheet
  • Running toward that which scares me keeps me from dying prematurely
  • Two beers on a weeknight and I’m OK the next day; three makes me a dope
  • Younger men are more authentic and conscious than I was at their age
  • Frank and Gracie and Stranger Things jumped the shark
  • Having a nest of bunnies in your backyard turns you into an over-protective parent all over again; as with your own kids, all you can do is love them the best you can—and shoo the neighbourhood cats away—and then watch them go into the world
  • Clash songs still stand up, Jack White is a scintillating showman, and Lucinda Williams makes me cry
  • The pathway to greater trust is by having the conversation that you most dread
  • “Most people would rather be in the casket than have to deliver the eulogy.” That great line underscores that many folks are more afraid of public speaking than dying
  • The greatest impediment to overcoming climate change, political polarization, and intolerance is fear 
  • If Tiger Woods can win the Masters after being outted as a serial adulterer and universally reviled, anyone can be redeemed … and become a good dad
  • Brooke Henderson is the most under-appreciated athlete in Canada
  • If, like Rory McIlroy, you stop identifying yourself with your performance, you can experience freedom and win (four tournaments in 2019)
  • I can sing in public without drinking three Heinekens first
  • This one hit me between the eyes this year: Sad to say, it’s not until many people hit rock bottom that they ever change
  • The single greatest sign for hope was watching a 16-year-old girl stand up to Trump
  • I discovered a new way to write: go for a walk, talk to myself, and record it with the voice-to-text Otter app (there’s no delete button!)
  • People who cannot afford university can educate themselves with incredible free content on podcasts and YouTube
  • When I cross the line of my fear, I don’t die. In fact, I’m now more alive
  • Power corrupts uniformly—even former drama teachers
  • At The Beer Store in Ontario, two cases of 12 beers costs the same price as 24

The themes of integrity and accountabiity are pillars in my coaching, as well as my change management workshops called Walk Your Talk. Click here for more on my workshops and here for a previous blog on accountability.

For info on the workshops or coaching, drop me a line at tim@oconnorgolf.ca or visit www.oconnorgolf.ca.

About Tim O'Connor

Tim O'Connor is a golf coach, an award-winning writer, and speaker. Tim takes a holistic approach, coaching golfers in the physical and mental aspects of golf. He co-hosts the Swing Thoughts podcast with Howard Glassman, and is the author of The Feeling of Greatness: The Moe Norman Story. He plays bass in CID—a Guelph punk band!


  1. Jack Nadeau says

    great list – i enjoyed reading your 2020 learning
    has a very warm tone overall – that’s precious

    Happy Growth in 2020