It is not about the awards that we receive, but about the people we encourage, motivate, and inspire as we walk beside them on the winding road of life.” ~Charles Thomas Jr.
During the offseason, I’ve taken a little time off from writing. Well, I was kind of forced into taking some time off as the result of having to deal with some health issues; but I’m back and better than ever. I was able to catch up on one thing during my weeks and weeks (and what seemed like an eternity!) of recovery, and that is reading. One of the books I’m currently reading is “Breakthrough,” by former Notre Dame Basketball player, Charles Thomas Jr.
As I make my way through the chapters, each one filled with stories of resilience, tragedy and triumph; the stories not only resonate with me and my own personal journeys and experiences, they also seem to have vast applications for Notre Dame Football.
Be Thankful For Detours
The second chapter talks about being thankful for detours, which I myself have experienced firsthand. If I had not lost my job in 2009, I would not have started blogging, I would not have been selected to participate in the “Biggest Fan of the Big East” contest, and would not have gone on to write two books on Notre Dame football. What, at the time, seemed like such an overwhelming situation (I had never been “let go” from a job before, and I was absolutely devastated), ended up being a very significant turning point in my life.
“Resilience can be defined as the capacity to recover quickly and bounce back from difficult situations. Resilience means that while you might be willing to bend, you are not willing to break. Resilience means that despite the odds (what though the odds?) against you, whether real or perceived, you will carry on.”
“Failure can be disastrous for some people. Even the fear of failure is, oftentimes, enough to paralyze individuals from attempting to move forward.”
Can you see the themes I’m building here? I know that very few of us are thankful for the 4-8 detour that Notre Dame Football experienced last fall; or the failures that happened on and off the field. But if this team is resilient, they will find a way to regroup, rebound, and reinvigorate themselves to excel against their opponents on a weekly basis.
“Talent is overrated.” ~Geoff Colvin
This one is one of my favorites. Hard work. “Being the artisan of one’s own fortune does not come easily. Being alive gives us the opportunity to acquire our heart’s desires if we put in the requisite level of work to achieve them.” Yes, this is where it all begins, with hard work. Putting in the time, on and off the field. Developing not only your body, but your mind as well. Practicing to the point where you know what your reaction to a situation is going to be, long before it even happens.
Believe That You Believe
“Let your heart guide you. It whispers, so listen closely.” ~Walt Disney
I don’t want to give away too much of this outstanding book, but I do want to end with this. Sometimes believing in yourself is one of the hardest, most complicated things to do. But having that belief in yourself is what gets you over the hump, gets you across the finish line, and gets you to the “W.” And if, by chance, you’re not at a point where you can believe in yourself; find someone who believes in you until you can do it yourself. Oftentimes, that ounce of support can give you the confidence to not only achieve your goals, but surpass them. As I’ve been told, time and time again, “find your tribe and love them hard.”
Hopefully the Notre Dame Football players are being taught this summer how to believe in themselves. How to win, not only on the field, but off the field as well, because that is what will carry them through the rest of their lives.
And, if you’re going to be in South Bend for the ND vs. Georgia game … stop by Hammes Notre Dame Bookstore on Friday afternoon and meet us both! Event details here.
52 days and counting … in case you were wondering.
Cheers & Go Irish!