Last week, I did something I’m not sure I’ve done since high school. I played a full round of golf by myself.

Eighteen holes. Middle of a nice, crisp, and later sunny day.

My playing partner had to cancel at the last minute. When I told the pro shop attendant that she could add people to my now empty group, she pointed to the two-some teeing off on the first hole. She said, “there’s nobody waiting to play, you can follow them.” I asked about groups behind me. Nobody for nearly an hour.

So I began my round solo. I thought when I caught up to the two people in front of me, perhaps we would just join up. It became apparent that they were satisfied playing on their own, and that was fine. Without anyone behind me, and without wanting to push the two-some in front of me, I just took my time, played ,multiple balls, and practiced shots I might not normally attempt in a “real” game.

I spoke to nobody but myself for four hours. I didn’t think about anything else but my game and being out on a pretty day.

And of course, that made me think…

I found the experience somewhat cathartic.  It forced me to be silent; to be present with only me; and to to be singular in purpose, even if that simply meant walking to my next play.

While I don’t really want to do that on a regular basis, it was a refreshing change and probably worth attempting at least once a year. It’s an opportunity to be self-aware and to purge any extraneous garbage that may be rooting around in my head.

We should all be purposeful in doing this regularly.

We must find opportunities to engage in extensive “solo time.” For me on this day, it was four hours. You might only be able to find an hour or so, but I do now suggest finding even more time like I accidentally did.

And let’s be clear…I’m not talking about your “work.”

While you may – and hopefully do – find energy in your career and business, it’s imperative to find personal time for “cleansing” your mind and spirit. In my book, Back 9 Walking, The 11th Hole Chapter is dedicated to hobbies. Many hobbies require being solo. And as I found out last week, even those that don’t normally allow for it can unexpectedly emerge.

Embrace it. Seek it out. Make it a priority.

Being solo – even for us extroverts – is an opportunity to clean out the junk in our heads and make room for a whole bunch of things that will give us energy, life, and happiness.

When was the last time you “purged” your own mind and spirit?

Maybe it’s time to go “play a round” on your own, however that looks for you.

Quote of the Week:

“It is the dim haze of mystery that adds enchantment to pursuit.”

~ Antione Rivarol, 18th century French Journalist

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