Along the road to fulfilling your purpose and fulfilling goals there will be a bountiful supply of learning what not to do, how to dos and what to do. With learnings comes failure. Yeah, I know that the word failure, whether it’s in the sports world or in one’s career, is one that neither I nor you want to be associated with – but sometimes it has its moments of inspiring positive responses and behavior.
Don’t regard failure with disdain
I think that it would be safe to say that we all have experienced failure and therefore we have a disdain for it being associated with us in any way. However, I can honestly say that the times failure has visited me, I chose to use it as an opportunity to get better in my athletic and work careers. Even after mulling around in self-pity for a while. The challenge is moving on from one failure with the understanding that another may be right behind it; and still getting up again to face the same opponent that I just lost to, to reach my goal.
Those were the times when my weaknesses were exposed and, instead of just perfecting my strengths, I started to work more on strengthening my weaker areas. I began to improve my skills and therefore I became more of an asset for my team, which in turn also made me stronger mentally.
In my book, ‘A Letter to My Younger Self’, I speak about a moment in my life that even to this day influences me. I was helping my father repair a doorknob, well let’s say that I was just assisting being that I was only eight at the time. My dad told me to get a tool from the shed and I came back with the wrong one.
As he began to describe his feelings towards my failure to bring back the right tool in what appeared to be a foreign language to me, @*#*^^??&#, I did capture and understand when he said, “You ain’t going to be about sh**!” You know what I mean. From that moment on I focused on proving him wrong and whenever someone would tell me that I could not do something, I was reminded of that moment and the inspiration to prove them wrong was elevated.
Measure success by the effort you put in
In whatever career or occupation that you now find yourself as part of a team, the goal is to be the best by giving your best effort. Our biggest competitor will always be ourselves as we strive to give our all. When I was playing football, I would often ask myself, “If everyone practiced like me today, would we be better?”
As that athlete, I would always measure myself by the effort that I put forth mentally and physically to get better at doing things the correct way even when sessions didn’t go as planned.
In my own career, at the end of the day as I look in the mirror brushing my teeth, I often ask myself, “If everyone worked like me today, did we get better?”
Again, it’s all about the effort that you put forth to be your best at doing your job.
There is sport and then there is life, life transcends sport. Then there is the ‘Sports Life’ that reaps moments when you demand your best effort of yourself.