My husband is a very good golfer.  I played on my high school team.  But that was ages ago.  Yesterday, at the driving range, in hopes of improving my swing and shots I kept asking my husband for pointers.  Should I move my feet?  Are my knees bent?  Am I moving too much?

Usually a very exacting guy, gave me three bits of wisdom that drove me nuts.  (Why can’t he just answer my questions?)  And they prompted me to consider how they might change the work we do in philanthropy and social enterprise.

Keep Your Head Down

A golfer knows the moment you lift your head, your swing is dead.  Most of my early swings went like this.  I just *had* to look up and see where I’d hit, and because of that eagerness, my hit sucked.

The Bhagavad Gita says it like this “be focused on action and not on the fruits of action.”  Where that ball is headed, where results of actions are headed, are out of our control after we swing.  Simon Sinek at TEDx Puget Sound talks about driving all of your actions from the ‘why’, not the what or the how.

It takes a good amount of skill + faith to keep your head down until you hear that *ping*.

Do What Feels Good

I nearly hit him with my golf club for this gem.  After a number of dud balls with my driver, I asked “what should I be doing here.”

“Do what feels good.”  Okay, Yoda.

If you’ve really honed in on the why you are doing something, then doing what feels good comes naturally.  When I write because I love to write, it flows.  When I write to impress or to pretend I have answers, it doesn’t.

I’ll go out on a limb and say in my industry, the ‘why’ and ‘the do what feels good’ gets lost sometimes.  I wrote about it here.  At the end of the day, all we have is action.

Just Swing

I never like to admit this, but he’s right.  If I sit there calculating all of the possibilities of what could happen – if I move my left foot an inch, if I keep my arms locked more, if I slow down the swing a tad – the ball will still be sitting there.

Unless I swing, nothing moves.  I can’t even find out if I’ve lifted my head because nothing will have occured.

I love academic thought.  I love theory.  In the areas of philanthropy and social enterprise, we have our fair share of theory.  What matters is that someone swings.  Without that ball moving somewhere, we have no idea what is possible.

When the bucket of balls is gone, my husband tells me, “Well, you hit some really good ones, and you hit some ones that didn’t work.  That happens to everyone.”

And then Yoda-husband disappeared.

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