In my last post, I was able to share 3 of the lessons I took away from the movie on the life of Bobby Jones. Should I say in another way, lessons he taught me, even though we never met. This is often the case in life though, further enhanced by technology, the internet and social media. People we have never met and would never meet are influencing us and we them. More people can watch you, more can listen to you, more can read from you..., so what information are you sharing, what lessons are you teaching?
As Bobby grew older, he got involved in informal plays and then competitions. People began to notice him more, especially because he was so young compared to those he played with. On one of his trips at the early stages of his exposure to the limelight he said "I don't think I want to be famous...I just want to play". That definitely challenged me. One may say, he was just a kid, what did he know. But then, approaching life from a kid's perspective...innocent and pure (even in motivation) is usually a healthy approach. He saw what he did and was more into it for the fun he derived, he thoroughly enjoyed himself. That was why it turned out so differently for him. Later in life, he said again, 'once you play for money, you can't call it amateur'; he preferred to be referred to as an amateur. I like to use the word passion to describe this. I feel it's a differentiating factor and also a sustaining one. What you do now, is it fun? Do you enjoy it? If you never got a dime or recognition for it, would you continue all the same?... mhh, time will tell.
At one of the opens he played in, Bobby reported an infraction which set him back in the game and eventually affected his win. At that point, he displayed the height of sportsmanship. He was more concerned about doing it right than winning. We also do get to those points in life, when we have to make tough choices. Do we choose to show integrity or win (knowing, we've broken the rules)? If we become so overtaken by the sense of always competing, always wanting to be the first or the only ones achieving some feats, it's so easy to fall into this error. Sometimes never learning the rules (but then ignorance is no excuse), or knowing them and never truly valuing them. In addition to the dent to one's name or personality, what's the use of breasting the tapes and then getting disqualified for running so wrong? On the long run, truth, sincerity and fairplay always win. Some famous personalities especially athletes have suffered falls from this too....if only they had known. Learn the rules, play by it, sometimes it hurts, but then it pays.
Bobby played more, won more, and became very famous. This involved traveling more, practicing more...it started to tell on his health, and even on his marriage. Tell -tale signs were blinking red lights...and then he stopped. He retired. He stepped out of competitions. Simply putting it, he knew when to stop. This is another challenge all of us face. The question 'when will you stop?' Or 'when will you say no'. If we get carried away by fame, always putting up a show, always being there, or perhaps the idea that without us, some things will never be, then we allow the more important aspects of our lives to deteriorate, and we eventually lose out. Watch your relationships, watch your health; those are usually the first to give warning signs. Do not take them for granted, besides, it's better to leave the scenes when you're still being celebrated. You really don't have to take up just any and every opportunity. Let's be careful and be bold enough to identify when to say no when we have to. Do you know when you've had enough, done enough and when to step out completely? ‘Cos truly, life never ends when this happens.