I don’t know about you but sometimes I can get so fixated about reaching an accomplishment or goal and forget to enjoy the journey I’m on to get there, when in reality the journey is the best bit! And when I actually reach the destination it’s a little anticlimactic and I feel it takes the wind out of my sails to a certain extent. We learn so much more on the journey if we take the time to appreciate it than we ever do when we get there.
We are all on a journey each end everyday and of course the journey is incredibly linear, there are ups and downs, bumps in the road with plenty of success and failure. There have been times in my life where the failures felt like the end of the world and left me feeling down and pessimistic about the future, but when I look back and really reflect on them they were actually the best things that could have happened and allowed me to develop as a human being.
Life as a footballer magnified the ups and down on an extreme scale during my career in the game. I could go from being on top of the world to my lowest ebb on a regular basis. One minute I was playing well, living the dream thinking I was untouchable, the next I would pick up an injury or play terribly and I would feel the walls closing in. I really struggled to find a happy medium, I was either up or down and nothing in between.
Looking back now this was because I would forget about the journey I was on. It was all about the next destination and being in such a rush to get there every challenge would feel like a catastrophe! But although I wouldn’t have thought so at the time, I wouldn’t change any of the challenges I went through because everyone was subconsciously developing my human qualities, I was growing resilience, I was forced to accept tough times and learn from them.
These days as a slightly older, dare I say wiser man! I’ve accepted that life will throw me curve balls and things will never work out perfectly, that’s just how life is, and I’m incredibly grateful for that as it would be quite boring if it wasn’t! My responsibility is to roll with the punches that life inevitably dishes out and use them to learn. I’ve certainly learnt a heck of alot more about myself from failure than success! To use a mantra we have at the Football Fun Factory that ‘Every challenge is an opportunity’ and if you live by that the journey becomes everything and the destination will become the byproduct of it!