Those who know me know that I am goal driven and that I take the initiative and accept challenges, yet think matters through. Above all else, they know I can usually ask the tough questions – perhaps those others are only thinking.
Further, my friends see how I can sacrifice a balanced life and can be overly dynamic. Trust me, I’m like a dog with a bone when something troubles me; I can’t let it go.
This season of lock down and isolation has really caused me – like so many others – to question the purpose in my life. We need to understand and believe that life is meaningful and goal directed, and this forced respite is an optimal time to reflect on such.
For the first few weeks of isolation, I focused on “catching up.” Doing the many jobs I’d let slide. Getting back to finishing writing my book. But when catch up was complete – what next?
Back to crucial basics
Like so many others, I wanted to know that my life made sense. Then it came to me through my son. A greater sense of purpose and meaning in life is also associated with better physical and mental health activity. So, I decided to get both of us onto the golf course.
This healthy recreational activity renewed my daily purpose (yes, I still had companies to run), but teaching him to play became a buffer against stress. It mellowed me when having to face business challenges and showed the way to the importance and linkage between life purpose and healthy recreation.
After all, none other than Ralph Waldo Emerson reminded us that, “the first wealth is health.”
As a driven and competitive individual, other things became secondary to helping my young son learn the art of golf. I could feel balance restored in my life. I began to understand the importance of approaching health and recreation not from that of a competitor, but from the incredible sense of well-being I achieved simply by putting a golf ball.
Finding a ‘regeneration moment’
This renewed approach to creating a healthier life increased my personal sense of life purpose. It drove me to encourage my work colleagues to focus on health and recreation knowing that it would change all our lives for the better.
It’s been so interesting to sit back and listen to my team as they discuss business and strategies and I realize how much richer the conversations are, how motivated they are (even after nearly a year of not being in the same room) and the increase of energy and passion.
Sports may have been how I expressed myself and restored life purpose. But maybe your life purpose “regeneration moment” could be writing, painting, playing music, meditation, cooking, walking or…? It’s important to know a) that health and recreation requires investment, b) a sense of purpose often develops from having meaningful connections to others, and c) your mental health needs an outlet.
Influencing and shaping
One of my team members who is a prolific reader has joined a book club. They meet (social distancing observed) and discuss a common book they are reading as well as a book on a subject matter they are passionate about.
She was telling me how stimulating it was to discuss the latest novel the group was reading – and how she really came to life talking about her passion, which is understanding behaviors. From my perspective, her confidence has increased (on our weekly Zoom calls), her contribution has been amplified (she’s naturally reserved), and she has a renewed focus on the importance of paying attention to health and recreation and how this could influence behavior and shape life goals.
So, here’s my question: How is your life purpose? Could investing more time into your health and recreation guide and inform better life decisions and provide an increased sense of direction and increase your wealth? It’s a conversation worth having. With yourself and with others.
In the meantime, see you on the golf course!