Is it enough to be great?

By Meghan Tetwiler, Brand Planner @ NYCA

Yesterday the No. 1 player in women’s professional golf, Lorena Ochoa, at just 28 announced that she is retiring. I suspect her unexpected announcement is stirring debate amongst, not only LPGA followers and Ochoa fans but also, professional athletes everywhere.

Lorena Ochoa

Athletes of Ochoa’s caliber rarely leave their succession of achievements to pursue other passions. In Ochoa’s case she has said, after getting married last winter, she wants to focus on her family and charitable programs she believes in. I can only imagine how laborious it must be to feel torn choosing between what she wants to do and she is extremely good at.

In my lifetime I’ve watched pros like Michael Jordan, Brett Favre and Dana Torres attempt to retire but been unable to walk away from needing the intensity of the competition or the high global esteem that professional athletics satisfy.

Let’s think beyond athletics, for a moment. How often do successful business people admit to being unfulfilled by their wealth of achievements? This common lack of acknowledgment, prevalent in so many professionals, feeds our culture with false hope. We think being great is enough, but is it?

Success, whether in monetary value or championship trophies, doesn’t necessarily lend itself to self-fulfillment. It takes courage to walk away. As a competitive woman, it takes devotion to put family first. I admire Ochoa’s talent and also her great conviction. I hope she finds the fulfillment she is looking for in her next stage of life.

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