I used to think that you were either born with it 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 yes. 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 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 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.
Life Lessons I Learned in Sports
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