“Thank you to all the players and coaches that helped me reach this amazing number, thank you to all my loyal opponents that made me work harder and harder everyday.”
– Ronaldo, Star Soccer Player for Juventus & Portugal
This quote from the soccer super-star caught my eye recently as he celebrated scoring his 750th goal in his career. An incredible achievement from one of the greatest players ever and it gives an insight into the mindset behind his incredible success.
It’s said that Ronaldo didn’t have the natural talent that someone like Lionel Messi had but he potentially had something more valuable – the mindset to ‘work harder everyday’ – and he is known for his incredible work ethic and commitment to excellence.
This kind of mindset welcomes challenges as opportunities in disguise – opportunities to get better.
As we come into the closing parts of 2020, and start reflecting on the year that was, perhaps we can also check our mindset.
The best I’ve seen this year have used the incredible challenges that 2020 has brought to ‘get better’. And as you know, there have been plenty of challenges to deal with. Every one of us was knocked out of our comfort zones and tested in new ways.
If I reflect on the toughest challenges of my life, they all helped in some way to make me better. But it usually wasn’t without pain.
If I could go back in time and have the opportunity to change some of those events, I don’t think I would – because then I may not learned the invaluable lessons they gave me.
For some reason, Ronaldo’s quote reminds me of a time I was walking by the sea in Dublin years ago. It was a wild day and I came across a man in his 60s, standing by the shore watching his labrador jump in and out of the large waves with sheer delight. He was completely soaked but pure joy was leaping out of his every pore. You couldn’t but smile at something so natural and amazing.
I stopped to enjoy the sight and really take it in.
The man turned to me and said:
“It’s funny. The rougher it is the more he enjoys it.”
One person’s rough is another person’s opportunity. The only difference is how we look at it.
This week, look for where your ‘pain’ is and change your frame of reference by asking:
How can I use this to get better?
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