It’s that time of the year again; the dreaded off-season/pre-season. For the serious and committed athletes, they’ve already used their off-season time wisely and will now be transitioning into pre-season. Other are still unsure if the work is worth it.
“I worked so hard on my game last year, improved my jump shot and my ball-handling skills, and coach didn’t even seem to notice. I still came off the bench last, so why would I bother wasting my time again this year, nothing is going to change.”
I hear these arguments right across the field, even with my clients who don’t play sports.
“I’m working so much, doing over-time and really going above and beyond and who gets the promotion? That cute blonde who’s always late! I hate my workplace!”
All of us at some stage or another, have questioned why we continue doing what we’re doing and if it’s worth the grind. With that being said, I would like to share with you the “three life truths” that I live my life by. I honestly believe that if you can fully embrace these truths and accept them, then you will be a lot happier in whatever your chosen environment is.
1. Life is not easy
This one is quite simple, but yet many people fail to fully grasp it’s concept. Nobody promised you an easy life. It was never meant to be easy. Life is not about finding yourself, but rather creating yourself into the image/person that you want to be. It’s going to be full of tests and obstacles in your path and your attitude towards each obstacle is paramount in your continued happiness.
Think about how much you have to sacrifice to truly have what you want. The hours you have to spend studying to get an exam result, sacrificing going out with friends and socialising. Think about the athletes who give up a social life at a very young age, to fully engross themselves in the process of training. Hour after hour, day after day, just working out and trying to get better with no promise of what lies at the end. Nelson Mandela didn’t have an easy life, Muhammad Ali didn’t have an easy life and neither will you.
The sooner you accept this, the better your outlook on life becomes.
2. Life is not fair
Very similar to the above statement, but in my opinion, there is a difference. How many times have good things happened to bad people? How many times have bad things happened to good people? I’ve seen and experienced things happen to people who really don’t deserve it and it sucks!
“I’ve never smoked a day in my life, never drank alcohol, but yet I’m the one that gets lung cancer!! Why me?”
“I’m always first to practice, and work the hardest and get praised for doing such an excellent job, but the guy who gets played is the one who’s late and doesn’t seem to care whether he’s late or early!!”
I’ve seen people who have been punished for doing the right and moral thing and others rewarded for doing unethical thing. Life is not fair. Stop expecting it to be.
This is in all walks of life. In sport and outside sport. Life is not fair, people aren’t equal and as much as you want to fight this, the sooner you can fully accept this, the better it becomes for you.
“I’m going to work hard and become better, for me! I’ll do what I’m required to do to the best of my ability and that will make me a better person, more prepared and ready for my opportunity when it comes!”
Is it really that easy? No, it’s not!! It takes great mental strength for you to accept the above truths completely, but it will pay off when you do!
3. Life goes on
Life is not going to stop when you stop. It will go on. It always does.
Your boyfriend/girlfriend breaks up with you; you just got fired from your dream job; you’ve been evicted; you were in a car crash etc etc. so you’re feeling down, depressed and alone. I understand how you feel.
You don’t want to do anything. You don’t want to talk to anyone. You just want to be left alone and wonder why you? Why does this always seem to happen to you? If you want to sit there and wonder “why you” all by yourself, then that’s fine! If you don’t want your friends and family to help you rise back up again, that’s also fine.
When you’re in that moment, it’s hard to listen to reason from anyone else, which is why you’ve got to understand this. Take as much time as you want, but when you eventually come out, life will have gone on. It doesn’t stop for anyone!
If you were meant to be in work, then that will go on! If you were supposed to have a job interview for a new opportunity, that will still go on and somebody else might get it! Life goes on.
This applies to everything. Sport, school, personal lives, work etc. Life will always go on.
While you’re feeling down and sorry for yourself, the world doesn’t stop moving.
“I didn’t get enough court time! My coach doesn’t like me! It’s not worth it any more, so I’m not going to go to practice today!” That’s fine, Maybe, today was your meant to be your opportunity, maybe not, but either way, practice is going to go ahead with or without you, and despite how much you mean to the team, you are replaceable.
On a personal note, this one really scares me!! Despite how much you mean to an organisation, a team, a player, a person, despite everything that you may have done for them, when the time comes to separate ways, whether you like it or not, you are completely replaceable and life will just go on!!
The above three truths of life are how I approach my life and I believe that it helps me have a better outlook on things. Don’t expect life to be easy, fair or wait for you. Fully accept these and you will be happier.
John Wooden (If you don’t know who he is, stop reading this and go look him up right now) had 2 sets of threes that he lived his life by. His rules on life, if you will!
- Never Lie
- Never Cheat
- Never Steal
- Don’t Whine
- Don’t Complain
- Don’t Make Excuses
Even though, I love his two sets of three, the rules I go by are slightly different!
- If you don’t GO after what you want, then don’t expect to get it!
- If you don’t ASK, the answer will always be NO
- If you don’t step FORWARD, you will always be in the SAME place
You can make the above as complicated as you want, but they really are quite simple. If you truly want something, go after it, don’t be afraid to fail or get rejected. You may get it or you may not, but your chances of getting it have improved, simply by you choosing to go after it!
Ask for someone’s help if you need it, don’t assume that they are not interested in you or simply don’t want to help you. We often don’t ask, because we assume the answer will be a NO. It might be, but there’s always that chance, someone will say yes.
Move forward, get outside of your comfort zone, grow as a person and an individual. Your comfort zone is your enemy.
Once again, these are just how I have chosen to live my life and what I think has worked for me. It may not help you, but if you don’t try, then you’ll never know. If you agree with me, that’s okay and if you disagree with my thoughts, that’s also okay!!
Attitude – “You are the only person that has the keys to your mind. It doesn’t matter what anyone says about anything. You can choose to believe it or not. You can choose to act on it or not. You are completely in control of yourself, your mind and your body. If you don’t like something, then you can change it; if you can’t change it, then at least you can change the way you think about it!“