Thursday, December 17, 2009

Lessons from the Tiger Woods Scandal

Unless you have been living in a cave the last month, you must have heard the gossip-laden news about golf great Tiger Woods' escapades and so-called scandal.

If you have not heard about it and are curious, just Google "Tiger Woods" news and you will have the next 8 months of reading material covering this public debacle at your fingertips!

Tiger messed up big time - no doubt. And he is suffering the pain as a result. But as I am following this train-wreck coverage the past 3 weeks, I cannot help but think about the true overall lesson inherent in this media circus involving the once squeaky-clean, teflon golfer.

Besides the obvious "lessons" learned involving infidelity and discussed ad nauseum in the media, I cannot get past the greatest baffler of them all:

How could this happen?

Let's face it - as youngsters we ALL want to be Tiger Woods in some aspects of our lives!

Where do you begin? Tiger is materially wealthy beyond belief (estimated net worth of $1BB (pre-scandal), $100MM plus in corporate endorsements alone (anchored by his choir boy, clean, honest image), married to a beautiful ex-model and 2 wonderful children, living in a mansion in Florida, a private jet, young, attractive, marketable, exciting, a legend in the making, and he plays golf - FOR A LIVING!!

Helloooo.... Not too shabby when you lay it out there like that! It is a materialistic climber's Nirvana!

What sticks out to me - and has with many other experiences and observations in my life so far - is that if THIS GUY cannot be happy and at peace with all he has been given, granted, blessed with in this world - who can actually be Happy??

How can he not be?? How can he implode with all he has in his life? The very treasures many of us seek, dream about, covet, and desire he actually possessed and he throws them all away in search of...... What????!!!!

Peace, Joy, love, acceptance, happiness???

I am no psychologist, but I do know that there is a pattern here!

Maybe, just maybe those things we seek - the material treasures and rewards that we use to judge our value, self-worth and measure our accomplishments - are not the right things to pursue if we aim to be truly HAPPY??!!!

Could it be??

Obviously for Tiger Woods they were not enough to provide him peace and happiness and joy.

Would it be the same for us in the same circumstances??

I am willing to bet the answer is YES!! Now granted, hand me a billion dollars in order to try it out and I am darn sure I can stay happy! Lol!

History is filled with examples of wealthy and powerful individuals who, when examined closely, were miserable in their lives despite the very things most of us as humans seek and long to have!

So what can we learn from Tiger here?

Be careful what you seek and wish for - as the achievement of those material goals may not be enough to satisfy what we all need and crave - love, peace, joy and happiness.

Those four treasures above - love, peace, joy and happiness - cannot be won, or bought, or achieved through material means. They come from an understanding in our hearts and our minds of our connections with each other and our pursuit here on earth is simple in my mind:

Love, love, love - and help each other to love!

There is nothing at all wrong with achievements that bring you wealth and fame - I am all for it if that is your goal!!

Just do not expect those accomplishments and all the trappings that follow to bring you to the goal of Happiness!

For it is a long way down from that reality once you get to that pinnacle and realize it is not there waiting for you!!

The amazing fact is that without needing to sink a 50 foot putt or hit a golf ball 500 yards, we ALREADY have that Happiness, Peace and Joy available to us - We just need to recognize it and recalibrate our measurements!!

Stay Strong and learn from Tiger!

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Bonfire of the Vanities

"It has been an ancient custom in many parts of the world that those who are blessed with good fortune show gratitude and humility to the gods they felt made it possible.

They would take the items indicating the trappings of their wealth, like money, jewels, or favorite items and burn them to symbolize how good fortune could turn on them in the blink of an eye.

Anything that made them feel more important than other and fine things they coveted would be burned in this Bonfire of the Vanities in an effort to, if only temporarily, remind themselves of the pain of losing the things they hold so dear.

As is has been for thousands of years, there will be times in our own lives when a bonfire of our own vanities will humble us and remind us WHY WE ARE ACTUALLY HERE.

The souls understand how valuable it is, not only in our own journey here, but the souls' continuing journey there, to help us pick up the pieces of our lives and find HOPE again.

Sometimes it takes longer than they hoped, but no matter when it comes, they stand at the ready to show us that everything in our lives is a CHALLENGE WE WILL LEARN FROM.

Loss is not only confined to the bereaved. We will all suffer losses, of varying kinds and in varying degrees, in the course of our lifetime here.

Although we will never know where our spiritual road will take us, one thing is certain - if we are on the road here, there WILL be a challenge to face. It is the only way we can learn from our experiences here.

No matter what way the circumstances of being humbled appears in our lifetime, it is the only way for God to refocus the way we see our journey here, and to set us again to the GREATER PURPOSE for which we are here.

God has a plan for each and every one of us, and although we will mourn our losses, we must also understand that the experiences are part of the plan!

The souls promise that the struggles we endure here will be worth every second of the pain we feel, because the reward for our accomplishments is an ETERNITY of JOY!

We never know where our lives will take us, so it is impossible to curse our fate when things change suddenly for what we perceive to be the worst.

ONLY God knows the why and how of any life plan, and if we have some FAITH that EVERYTHING is a stone that will build the path of our spiritual purpose here, these bonfires of the vanities will become easier for us, and far less destructive in the course of our lives here."

- George Anderson, "Walking in the Garden of the Souls"