A few weeks ago, I posted about the meaning of being PurposeFULL, specifically the first two letters of the acronym. Having Faith in your purpose and an Unconditional resolve to seeing it through the good times and bad are critical elements of leading a purpose driven life.
At the time of writing that post, I was able to relish in the enthusiasm and support of those around me and frankly this journey had been filled with a strong majority of good times. So much so, that I became concerned that the book would not have much in the way of adversity… those typically do not result in highly acclaimed books, by the way! Compelling stories that sell highlight adversity, set backs, and antagonists. The backstory of WHY I am on this journey certainly has plenty of that, but that does not mean I should expect the journey I am writing about to be a frictionless road to success.
Here is my purpose: Create a voice around positive mental health through a purpose driven life and doing so both from a charitable perspective and this book. Like anything that is built, it all starts with a blank piece of paper. I look at where I am today, and am proud of how those pages have filled out so far. However, neither the book nor the charity are near completion. There is work to do.
Last week, I witnessed an extraordinary accomplishment that came from an individual who started with a blank sheet of paper and took that to a unique golf experience for 20 NCAA golfers, $105,000 money raised for charity, and proof that they changed lives of the participants. They wrote the final chapter and page last Tuesday as they left East Lake Golf Club to head back home. It validated the hard work and tenacity needed to justify their purpose. It was masterfully successful.
I left the event excited. I was able to speak some about my vision and intent and was able to speak to some of the participants and learn about their struggles. A beautiful story unfolded that I would like to highlight. One of the players and I were walking down 16 fairway of East Lake. I asked her about her golf game and how it was as of late and she told me that the past 6 months have been a battle and she has not been playing at the level she is capable of doing.
She seemed so happy that day so I asked her how her golf game was during this tournament. She humbly said it has gone much better, before her friend, walking 10 feet or so away from us, chimed in, “She is like 6 under today.” Ok, before moving forward, let me explain that East Lake is hosting the PGA TOUR Championship in a few weeks. The stands and hospitality areas are up and the course is set to championship conditions. IT IS NOT AN EASY COURSE! The statement was very true, she had brought that course to its knees.
I had one question that needed be answered, and boy was the answer good. “What is different?”
The answer was, “I don’t know, I am having fun I guess. I have spent the last 6 months just thinking about the golf swing. Today, I am just playing golf.”
No amount of money raised has more value than that brief moment and exchange. It is such the epitome of life. In life, when we start trying to guide and function in such rigid form, we take out the energy and power of what life is supposed to deliver. We live with blinders and miss opportunity, beauty, and experiences. But, when we live a life that is led by a purpose, we see and experience all that is around us, and we become so much more fulfilled. That is why golf is life’s perfect and beautiful metaphor.
Unfortunately, this week I did not take anything from that critical lesson. My Faith in my purpose and my Unconditional resolve were put to the test. And for a few days, I did not deal with it well.
Anyone that knows me or has worked with me in the past 22 years, knows that I dream big and aim big. If we only have one life on this earth, I can’t imagine another way of doing it. That is certainly a blessing and a curse! However, I was reminded that not everyone thinks that way and that my messaging of my purpose and resolve to live it, will not be understood by everyone. I may come across as unorganized. Honestly, that is what “ideation” can create.
Ideation is defined as, "the capacity for or the act of forming or entertaining ideas.” The key words there are “forming” and “entertaining.” Neither word suggests anything concrete. But, no business, product, campaign, advertisement, book, movie, recipe, or anything else began without ideation. It is messy at first, and over time and analyzation, starts to become more succinct until finally, it transfers to strategy and execution.
I have written a few times about one’s ability to be comfortable being uncomfortable. Ideation is incredibly uncomfortable. It is where critique and criticism rest. My messaging to a few strategic partners and friends last week seemed to create some concern on where I am in that process. Personally, I see my charity mission, a big part of my purpose, as being on the tail end of ideation and transitioning to strategy and execution. What I did not do well, was let others know that is where we are in the process. That was a mistake on my part.
I received some uncomfortable feedback this week that reflected what I have been branded with in the past. “Good guy, good intentions, good ideas… but can’t execute.” In the past, holy hell… guilty as charged.
THAT is what has made 2022 so transformative. In the past I had no purpose which meant I had no guard rails. It was just a mentality of “go.” So when that sentiment resurfaced, it was like a body blow to my Faith and Unconditionality to being PurposeFULL: Faithful, Unconditional, Leadership, Legacy.
I spent days assessing where I was and if I was actually not living for purpose at all, but rather journeying toward yet another big idea failure. The thoughts of the old Robert had not disappeared, they had just been hibernating and they woke up with vengeance and rented some space in my head. (I think they took the room next to my brother’s space he occupies every time we play golf! LOL) Those old thoughts consumed me and purposeFULL became purposeless.
Last night, trying to find some answer or motivation, I looked at the word: PurposeFULL. I realized that it’s no one else’s word. It is mine. I created that word by accident when I started this journey. It was imperfectly perfect. I cracked a little smile.
I zeroed in more and stared at the F and the U. (No, not in that context!) Where had my Faith in my purpose gone? If I am getting rocked by some opinions and setbacks, what does that say about me being Unconditional? Then I thought about that golfer’s story told on the 16th fairway. If I have faith and am unconditional to it, then I need to just go play the game. The right result will unfold in due time. Now, that smile sustained.
This was the first true test of my resolve. For a brief time, the old me came in ready to hang it up and move on to something else or quite altogether. But PurposeFULL won. I think I like this second life.
The details of this week will be a great lesson in the book. But, seeing what unfolded last week in Atlanta was priceless and motivating. I am so proud of Taylor and Phoebe, the two creators, for what was accomplished. The week was also validation that my purpose is needed in this world.
To the doubters… thank you for the wake up call! We all need that from time to time. It is just part of the journey.
A few pictures of an incredible two days.
Wonderfully written Robert. I think you and I are cut out of the same mold. I struggle with organization but not with passion. I am so excited for us to work together to actually make a difference! Keep Living Undeterred my friend!! 💪