Last night I watched (for the second time) the movie “The Legend of Bagger Vance.” I was enthralled with the movie when it came out in 2000. Last night I was enchanted. So much so, I looked up quotes from the movie in order to write an article about it. You see, in my business, the primordial concept I go by and what I guide my clients to understand is that each of us is born and are here on earth to exemplify their unique knowledge. Each of us is here with knowledge that we were born with and are to use. We cannot be taught this knowledge, we only remember it. I respect and have a great education. This uniqueness I refer to is beyond education, in fact, I would argue that education is a tool for discovering or remembering our unique knowledge.
When I decided to watch Bagger Vance, I had forgotten the movie. I only remembered that one of my modern day hero writers is Steven Pressfield, who wrote the book the screenplay is based on. Pressfied wrote several books I relate to in my consulting, including, The War of Art, Turning Pro, and Do The Work.
The movie is spiritual in nature. It uses the metaphor of the game of golf for life. I was floored when the character played by Will Smith (Bagger Vance) makes his speech, saying,
“Inside each and every one of us is one true authentic swing. Somethin’ we was born with. Somethin’ that’s ours and ours alone. Somethin’ that can’t be taught to you or learned. Somethin’ that got to be remembered. Over time the world can rob us of that swing. It gets buried inside us under all our wouldas and couldas and shouldas. Some folk even forget what their swing was like.” – The Legend of Bagger Vance (2000)
Of course, in the movie, the subject is golf. And, Bagger also tells us that golf is a game that cannot be won, it can only be played. He is talking about life. Our swing is that unique knowledge we are born with.
Today I was intuitively led to get on the train and head for Chicago, where life began for me. (I live in the suburbs of Chicago) I did not know where to go, but it was important to be there. I found myself in the Grand Hall of Union Station and remembered that my first trip to Chicago consciously (I was in Chicago many times as a baby) was when my mother and I were in that hall getting off a train from Mt. Vernon, Illinois, when I was in high school to have my father’s French horn repaired. She and I were alone, and we walked down Adams Street towards Orchestra Hall with that horn.
I went straight to Symphony Center (which is Orchestra Hall renovated) and walked the hallowed halls of the Arcade seeing photos of the musicians of that great symphony orchestra. I found myself remembering in that space every recording I worshiped growing up, with Sir Georg Solti, Fritz Reiner, Philip Farkas and Dale Clevenger. I remembered that my father performed there, and I felt and experienced every note of Richard Strauss, Beethoven and Mozart I ever heard all at once. This is a real thing, gentle reader. I felt every note. Then I felt the presence of my mother and father, both deceased, walking with me. I almost broke down right there (I was alone) but I kept allowing the energy of the experience to permeate me. I chose not to control the moment. I wanted the “perfect unique swing,” as in Bagger Vance, to find me again.
I was there only 15 minutes and it was time to return. I walked slowly and profoundly changed back to Union Station where an express train was ready to depart with me.
“There’s a perfect shot out there tryin’ to find each and every one of us. All we got to do is get ourselves out of its way, to let it choose us. Can’t see that flag as some dragon you got to slay. You got to look with soft eyes, see the place where the tides and the seasons and the turnin’ of the Earth all come together., where everything that is, becomes one. You got to seek that place with your soul Seek it with your hands–don’t think about it – feel it. Your hands are wiser than your head ever gonna be. Now I can’t take you there, Junuh… just hope I can help you find a way. Just you, that ball, that flag, and all you are.” – The Legend of Bagger Vance (2000)
You are here with unique knowledge. Perhaps you “have lost your swing.” I feel as though I found mine again. So my advice to you is to go back to your roots, where it all started for you in your mind, and in your heart. Take the time to remember it. Take the time to do something totally out of the blue that might steer you towards your roots. Then just let it happen.
Get Unstuck Principle No. 6: Go Back To Your Roots