I was watching Wimbledon and marveling at Roger Federer’s play. It seems all of life for me has lessons about being on-purpose and this was no exception…
Men’s #1 Player in the World
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In the 1970s and 1980s I was a member of the United States Professional Tennis Association as a teaching pro. (If you’ve read The On-Purpose Person, that will shed some light on the want list and tournament process.) Allow me to draw upon this dormant expertise to explain what life is like before and after you’ve written your purpose.
Look at Roger Federer striking the tennis ball at Wimbledon in the above photo. Here is an awesome display of athleticism and focus. Can you imagine his impact and follow-through? Let’s consider what it takes to be positioned to play on the greatest stage in tennis. For this analogy, the ball is your life purpose.
- Preparation: Most of us are living in this stage – getting ready to strike the ball or find our purpose. We’re learning in life but not well prepared to get the racket on the ball. We have the equipment but we just can’t get the racket on the ball consistently to deliver the performance we imagine. Sure we have moments when we make contact and we feel a sense of joy and satisfaction. As we mature, we get to the point where we can make regular contact and play the game of life with a certain measure of competency and fun. But, for sure, we’re not a pro. We get by playing an OK game of life. Then one day it happens! You say to yourself, "Something has to change! I can’t go on living like this. I want my life to matter and make a difference." You’re no longer content to keep hacking at the ball. Great, but now what do you do? You go to a pro and you get help on your game. That’s where an on-purpose coach comes into play.
- Contact: Contact is the critical moment of impact. What happens here determines the trajectory of the ball. A poor contact and it is a misdirected or weakly hit ball that is ineffective. Too many people settle for a "mission statement" instead of going to the depth of writing a purpose statement. Here is solid contact, but a solid purpose statement isn’t enough…
- Follow Through: Watch the average tennis player and you’ll see an inadequate follow through after making ball contact. Poor preparation and contact results in an inadequate result in tennis and in life. Being on your purpose, i.e being on-purpose, is the follow through that comes from taking your life preparation, focusing it on your articulated purpose, and following through.
If the game of life is good, but not great, then take a look at your preparation, contact, and follow through. Perhaps, you’re ready for a new swing?