Today, I would like to talk to you about how we are going to grow the sport of Disc Golf, but first I want to talk to you about something I call “investments in the spirit.” I first mentioned this term “investments in the spirit” in my book Zen and the Art of Disc Golf and I identified this concept as any activity that you do that only requires small amounts of your time or resources in which you give to others and that will eventually come back to you with much higher returns than you initially gave.

I want you to picture yourself as a vessel that holds all the good things that want out of life. This vessel grows as you receive more and more of the good stuff. I’m talking about love, affection, friendship, wisdom, but also success and money as well. There is room for all of this good stuff in your vessel. Until it gets full.

Now, what I want you to understand about this vessel is that it can always grow to allow for more of the good stuff. There really is no limit to how much it can grow, but at a certain point of filling this vessel, it’s growth begins to stagnate. It begins to slow down and stops letting more good stuff in.

The good news is there is a secret to get you through that stagnation so that your vessel can continue to grow to get what you want out of life. This secret may sound a little counterintuitive but hear me out. You have to let some of that good stuff out.

That’s right, you have got to make a little space in that vessel to let the universe know that you are ready to be refilled again and to grow some more. You have got to give away some of that good stuff and have faith that it not only will be returned but it will be returned more abundantly.

So if you want more love, you’re going to have to be more loving. If you want more affection you’re going to have to be more affectionate. If you want more friends, you will need to be a better friend. If you want more wisdom, you’re gonna have to share your wisdom. If you want more success you’re going to have to help other people find their success. And if you want more money (which all of us really do), you’re going to have to let some money go to a cause of your choosing with unrelenting faith that it’s going to come back to you.

It’s no secret that we (zendiscgolf) gives a lot of things away through social media, through this podcast, through our blogs and I am often asked how I can afford to give so many things away. The answer is simple: for everything I give away I get back at least tenfold from you guys – my listeners, readers, and followers, therefore my small investment reaps much higher rewards than its initial dollar value.

But let me explain this to you: Your return on investment is not going to come immediately. Sometimes it takes time. Sometimes we’ve been taking for so long that we have to let a lot out of our vessels before we can start receiving again. But when you start getting it back, it will be no mystery as to why it has come back into your life.

This law of giving, (and it is a law) works every time, but unfortunately as we get so wrapped up
in our own lives, it becomes very easy to get into the habit of taking more than we give.

As our vessel becomes full, it won’t allow anymore good stuff to get in. In fact with a lack of gratitude and appreciation for what we have, the vessel begins to shrink and actually pushes some good stuff out and we become self destructive. We spend more than we make, we go into debt, taking more than we give. We eat more calories than we burn, we get fat, taking more than we give. We expect more out of others without giving them more of ourselves, we cause our own suffering, taking more than we give.

Now don’t misunderstand me, you don’t need to empty your vessel in order to get more out of life. In other words, you don’t have to donate all of your money or all of your time to expect better out of life. It actually takes very little giving to get the process going and it’s not all about money as I mentioned above.

As a matter of fact the easiest way for you to give is to use the talents that you have and make the world a better place.

There is an old Zen proverb that tells of a student going to his master and asking him “How we bring about world peace?” Unexpectedly, the Zen master simply says “sweep the floor.” You see, it’s not always the big things we do that make huge differences. It’s the little things that we can do every day that make our lives better and other people’s lives better as well that multiply and make the world a better place.

So how does this relate to Disc Golf?

We often talk about growing the sport and the reason we want to do this is because Disc Golf gives so much to us. It is fun, peaceful, meditative, we enjoy the competition, and it comes very often with little to no cost to play. It gives us so much and yet expects so little.

If you truly want to grow the sport of Disc Golf you’re going to have to give something to grow Disc Golf.

When we talk about giving something to grow disc golf we were aren’t just talking about money. You can just as easily grow the sport using any talent that you have.

– Donate your time to other people, teaching them how to play.
– If you’re talented and working with children, develop a program to get children involved in Disc Golf.
– Sacrifice some of your game time to collect trash on the course.
– If you’re a writer, start a blog, write a book, even if you don’t have any Web development abilities, write to any of the bloggers on this cast we can all use additional writer on our blogs.
– If you are good at landscaping, volunteer to assist with course maintenance.
– If you are good at organizing, organize a team for your college or school, organize a club for your locality
– If you are good at photography, show the world the beauty that you see on the disc off course. (don’t forget to post and #zendiscgolf)

Your options are limitless. We all have talents that if used with the right amount of focus we will not only grow the sport and make the world a better place.

And that’s another tool for your Disc Golf bag.

Patrick McCormick

This blog originally appeared in ZDGP EP23.

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