Earlier this year, I had the opportunity to play golf in one of the most beautiful settings I’ve ever laid eyes on, the Monterrey Peninsula. Playing some of the famed courses I had only seen on TV, such as Pebble Beach, Spanish Bay and Spy Glass, was truly a dream come true. But while the golf was amazing, it was not the highlight of the trip for me.

I traveled with a group of two-dozen like-minded individuals from various professions and industries, none of whom I had met prior to this trip. The conversations over dinner and on the golf course were refreshing and invigorating. It was during one of these conversations that I gained an insight that was nothing short of a pearl of wisdom for me.

Allow me to share.

That evening at dinner, I sat next to an individual named Justin, a man with an immediately obvious sense of positivity and a great energy about him. As we got to know one another over dinner, Justin told me of his involvement in numerous nonprofits and service-oriented organizations. Much of his desire to volunteer came from his various—often very difficult—life experiences.

And, almost in passing, he said “you know Brady, you just have to play the ball where it lies.”

Justin was right. Through the remainder of that trip, I reflected on that comment and on the many situations I’ve encountered over the years that would have been so much easier to navigate had I been in the middle of life’s fairway—but at times I found myself behind a tree or in the sand. I, too, had to play the ball where it lay, and in every case, I gained something irreplaceable from the experience.

A short time after my trip I needed to pick up a few items at a local sporting goods store. Upon checking out, I noticed that the individual working at the register had been born with various physical disabilities—but they did not let these challenges hold them back from embracing life. In fact, they were thriving despite these challenges. This person was the perfect example of “playing the ball where it lies” and had a wonderful spirit about them.

I’m thankful for the insight Justin gave me that day, as it has helped me to see life’s challenges differently. I strive to see a difficult lie as it is—a tremendous opportunity to make a great shot!

 

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