I used to think that you were either born with hustle or you weren't. Now I know that it starts in your heart.
I can't tell you how old I was when I first heard the word, "hustle," but I can tell you that I've loved it ever since. I wear hoodies with it on it, I use it as a compliment, I look for it in a teammate, I teach youth players the importance of it, and I use it every day. Because it's more than just hard work, it's your heart's drive.
Give your all.
I used to think I had to have it all. Now I know that I don't have it all, but I can always give all I have.
For so many years my mind was set on doing it all. Every skill I had to perfect, each team I had to make, every class I had to get an A, every opportunity I had to say "yes" to. Through overcommitments and overwhelming, mistakes and failures, I've learned that I don't have it all and I can't do it all. It's just about saying the right yes's and giving them your all.
I used to think there was a time for everything. Now I know you don't have to wait for the right time to do right with your time.
You know, that perfect time. So often it's easy to excuse ourselves from an opportunity, obligation, or responsibility for timing's sake. But time doesn't wait for us – it keeps moving. We can't hold off making ourselves better until the timing is "right". There is no off-season for getting better.
I used to think the things I did would make me. Now I know it's my purpose that propels me.
I've played soccer for 28 of my 32 years. They say 10,000 hours and you become an expert and I used to put my identity into it. It was who I was, where you could find me, and mostly all I would talk about. We become so enthralled and entwined into what we do that we make it who we are. I've learned that my purpose is who I am and the things I do should reflect that, not the other way around. My dedication to the game is now just a glimpse of my dedication to my purpose.
I used to think that my win-loss record mattered. Now I know that I can be undefeated.
Fear is strong. It tries to hold you back, it builds walls in front of you, and it tells you, you won't make it. In fact, in the Oola book it's one of the main blockers that gets in the way of the life you dream of and deserve. And it's true. Fear makes us walk away from things we should run towards. I say, run anyways.
I used to think the numbers added up to my success. Now I know, my influence matters most.
Success isn't just determined by your stats. Yeah, it's cool to say you've had this many goals, assists, or wins. But it's cooler to know that what you believe in and how you act as a result of your beliefs, is what really sets your example. Play your best always, and in all ways, put your best influence forward.
I used to think my value was based on what I had. Now I know, my value shows most when I don't have anything.
Have you ever had those days (or months) where it felt like nothing is going right? No matter what you do, or how hard you work, you keep losing. Losing games, losing jobs, losing loved ones, losing your faith in life? I've been there.
I've been in that place where I've had to make the crucial decision time and time again – do I do what's right even though I'm being wronged? The times it's easiest to do what's wrong are the times it's most important to do what's right. Choosing to act out of love will always lengthen your stride out of the pain. Never let being wronged keep you from doing right.
BUBBA DERBY (Rookie Pitcher, Milwaukee Brewers)
I could sit here and talk all day about Life Lessons I've Learned In Sports. One thing I always try to remember is that no just in sports, but in all aspects of life, there are only a certain amount of things you can control. For baseball, I can only control so much. I can't control if the batter hits it or not, or if a guy makes an error behind me. So I keep my thinking simple and that is, one pitch at a time. I believe God has a plan for you and for everyone so I try my best to stick to His plan. So at the end of the day, I try not to think about the uncontrollable thinks and focus more on the things I can control like my work ethic and just being a good person and teammate.
ALEX KIRILOFF (Rookie Outfielder, Minnesota Twins)
One of the biggest life lessons that I have learned through baseball is dealing with failure. In baseball if you succeed 3 out of 10 times at the plate your whole career, you're likely to be in the Hall of Fame.
In life we are all going to fail, sin, and strike out. More importantly though is how you deal with those failures and strikeouts. That is what makes a person who they are. Anyone has the option to give up and get upset over a strike out. It is the few people that learn from it and make the change that succeed.