The term comes from author Steven Pressfield’s first novel The Legend of Bagger Vance (you may remember the film). In the novel, a former golfer agrees to participate in a big match against the top golfers of the time. But the protagonist is a shell of his former self. He’s suffering from PTSD and lost his swing. In order to win the match and save the day, the protagonist must rediscover his authentic swing.
The conceptual premise of The Legend of Bagger Vance…is that each one of us possesses his or her own unique golf swing. The swing is ours at birth. We can alter it a little through hard work and practice, but it is impossible to materially change it. As Tiger Woods has the Tiger Woods swing…so do you and I have our own swings, even if we’ve never picked up a golf club.
This swing is unique to each of us; it’s our body’s natural way of getting that little ball to go to where we think it should go.
In Bagger Vance, the authentic swing is the hero’s gift for playing golf. A swing that can’t be taught, bought, or sold. Something special, transcendent. A quality the hero has lost and must find in order to become whole again.
If you’re following along, the point here is the authentic swing is about more than golf. It’s something we’re born with, something that we could not get by without.
As Pressfield says, “the metaphor of course is the Authentic Self. Each one of us has one, and only one swing/self that is ‘authentic’ to us.”
That is to say, the authentic swing/self is a natural gift that only you have and that only you can exercise or embody. Your mission in life is to find your authentic self and harness it like Superman harnesses Earth’s yellow sun. Not doing so causes such displeasure and pain that it proves that quality exists in the first place and must be pursued, as Pressfield says, “at all costs”.
The pursuit of this purpose can be as simple as changing jobs. It may mean relocating to a different city or state. It may mean ditching your high-paying Sales job to start your own business from scratch. And yes, it may mean putting on a collared shirt and knocking around a tiny white ball over an exquisitely manicured landscape for half a day.
It doesn’t matter what your authentic swing is; it only matters that it’s yours, that you believe in it and that you pursue it at all costs.
Check out this awesome ebook if you’ve recently made the move to pursue your authentic swing and start your own brokerage.
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