It Was Not My Whole Life

For a golfer, it was a dream come true. In 1999, after playing 71 holes Jean Van de Velde led the British Open by three strokes. There was just one hole to play. This was a seemingly insurmountable lead. What awaited at the end of this hole was his name engraved in arguably the most coveted trophy  in golf and a hero’s celebration in his home country of France. Tens of millions of people worldwide instead saw Van de Velde collapse and finish the hole tied for the lead. He would eventually lose the tournament in a playoff. Recently, Jean Van de Velde was interviewed for a documentary about the work he has done in France in the intervening years. At the end, the interviewer leaned forward and in a solemn voice asked “Do you ever think about Carnoustie [the golf course the 1999 British Open was played on]?” You can imagine what the interviewer was hoping to hear. Here is how Jean responded: “Carnoustie was one day of my life, it was not my whole life.” Read that statement again. This man who had one of the most epic golf failures on its biggest stage had not allowed his failure to define him. This was probably not a quick or easy conclusion to come to, but it was the truth the he lived in. Jean realized that he was more than his failure. All of us have pain and failure that has occurred in our lives. Some have experienced worse than others. But, this truth is the same for all of us. Your past does not define you. Your circumstances...

Gain Perspective. Live Well.

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