“Be The Ball, Danny”

In the classic film Caddyshack, actor Chevy Chase gives young Danny sage advice on how the universe works and  finding your place in it.  He advises, “Be The Ball, Danny… Be The Ball”.

Søren Kierkegaard, a Danish philosopher in the 1800’s,  considered to be the first existentialist, basically said the same thing (just more eloquently).  Kierkegaard’s psychological work explored the emotions and feelings of individuals when faced with life choices.  The ultimate goal of the human experience?

“To be that self which one truly is.”

But what happens when you are working in a place that makes this really hard to do?  What if the organizational culture – the values and behaviors that contribute to the unique social and psychological environment of an organization – are essentially the wrong terrain for you?  What happens when you can’t be ‘you’ at work?

If a job does not leverage your unique talents and strengths, how can you be authentic in your daily operations?   If a company would prefer you to be something that you are not, how can you do your best work?    When choosing a role to play and a company to play it in – the WHAT, the HOW and the WHERE matter a lot.  

We each have unique talents and strengths.  Take the time to understanding – and appreciate –  what these are.  Now Discover Your Strengths is an excellent resource for this exercise.   

If an organizational culture is in essence the wrong terrain for you it is pretty tough- if not impossible- to ‘be the ball’.   Want to fix this?  Dont be afraid to seek out a new fairway.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to ““Be The Ball, Danny”

  1. Very thought provoking. And very true. Choosing your life partner and choosing your place of work are two of the most important decisions you will ever make. Those two choices will directly impact your standard of living, your life style, your stress level, your feelings of self-worth, your competence and confidence levels, and your overall happiness quotient. It’s pretty hard to “be the ball” if you find yourself playing the wrong game!

  2. Kate

    I “waited” ten years to find the right terrain for me. In the mean time, I was front and center watching my babies grow. Now I’ve found a job that allows me to have the best of both worlds and I am grateful every day for the opportunity to “be the ball”. Wonderful insight Missy!

  3. Mike

    If you work at a company that won’t let you be you, you get sick.

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