REFLECTION: I’ve had a great vacation, and it’s good to be back in the harness again. I hope you, too, are making some time and space for renewal this summer.
Two weeks of summer vacation have left me with a raft of ‘memorable moments’. One of the most delightful experiences involved spending a couple of early evening hours golfing with my son-in-law at the Elk Ridge course in northern Saskatchewan.
Now, I am NOT a devoted golf enthusiast. Although I own a set of clubs, this year my golf bag has yet to find its way down from the hook on the wall of our garage. I rented clubs for our round at the lake.
Marc, on the other hand, is a novice golfer who IS very enthusiastic about the sport. He’s been taking lessons and golfing once or twice a week this year – and he’s definitely getting better and enjoying his time on the course.
Here’s how we approached our game. Top priority: enjoy each other’s company and have a good time. Second priority: get some fresh air and enjoy the outdoors. Third priority: hit a few good drives and make a few decent putts.
We played ‘best ball’ – which meant after teeing off, we both hit our balls from the location of the best shot (didn’t matter who made that shot). We laughed when our balls nose-dived into the water hazards or careened into the trees along the fairway.
We spent very little time rescuing balls – and no time at all stressing about their loss. We admired the wildflowers, the wild mushrooms, and the wildlife. (A brand new ‘Bambi’ grazed peacefully near the tee box on the ninth hole.) We appreciated the warm glow of the sinking sun, the long evening shadows across the fairways, and the awesome power of Deep Woods Off!
We did not keep score. Competition was not even on our agenda that evening, and I have no idea how many shots we took in two hours of play. It was a wonderfully, companionable experience for both of us.
ACTION: My take-away lesson from that evening (aside from the fact that I really enjoy my son-in-law’s company) is that each one of us has an opportunity to approach any situation or event with this question in mind: “What do we want from this experience?”
In the case of a round of golf, for example, the answers could vary: hang with friends, get some exercise, enjoy the great outdoors, improve your skills, shoot a fabulously low score, compete and win. Any answer could be right for you.
What matters is that the answer is your answer – not someone else’s answer. Because, as sure as shooting, your intentions will color how satisfied you are with your experience every single time.
As you move through life’s daily activities, look for opportunities to ask yourself and each other, “What do we want from this experience?” Whether you head into a day-long staff meeting, tackle a post vacation backlog of email and paperwork, volunteer in your community, settle in for an evening at home, or spend time with a friend or family member, set your intentions from the beginning. It will help you find and create more of what really matters to you in more of the moments of your life.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “We learn and grow and are transformed not so much by what we do but by why and how we do it.” – Sharon Salzberg
RESOURCE OF THE WEEK: Interested in reading more about setting intention? Check out the article on Triggering Intentions by Maya Frost at: http://www.nupathz.com/wow/MT_Frost/triggering_intention.htm
Interested in a sampling of my vacation paintings? Check out the Summer Sketches on my blog at: http://www.pauseworks.com/wp/?p=297
READERS WRITE: In response to the last Pause message, Sooner Rather Than Later, reader SR writes: “Regarding tackling chores sooner rather than later, a good friend reminded me to think shorter and sharper. We sometimes imagine things will take longer than they COULD. If you set firm temporal brackets (use a kitchen timer), many chores and tasks take much less time than we ANTICIPATE.”