This fall we enrolled our six-year-old son Eddie in soccer for the first time (being from Brazil, most of my friends are surprised we waited this long, but that’s a story for a different post). He is on a team with six other little boys and my husband is the coach. They practice and play once per week and they love it! We are in our 7th week of the season, and it is amazing to see the progress they have made in this short period of time. It is also remarkable to see the passion, drive and determination that this little group brings to the field each week.
Watching their progress and drive has gotten me thinking:
What if we approached everything in life with the motivation of a 6-year old who wants to “kick-butt” (to quote my Eddie) in soccer?
These boys are really motivated. They want to get on that field each week and play their hearts out. They want to win their game. But more than that, they really want to learn. They want to get out there, have fun and try new skills. And they do it, week after week. And little by little, they are learning and becoming better.
Les Brown stated, “Wanting something is not enough. You must hunger for it. Your motivation must be absolutely compelling in order to overcome the obstacles that will invariably come your way.”
I often see clients and colleagues giving up on a goal after a few stumbles. I wonder what would happen if they kept at it, day after day, week after week. Just like Eddie’s soccer team, I bet they would continue making progress.
What if we weren’t afraid to try new “tricks?” What could we do if we didn’t hold ourselves back?
Last week, Eddie was playing against a group of older boys who were doing tricks that he had never seen before. The next time Eddie got the ball, he jumped right into trying the new tricks. He failed, but that didn’t stop him. After we got home, he went right outside to practice the tricks, until he felt he had it right.
I couldn’t help but wonder if I would have been so quick to try something that I had never done before, right in front of a big group of people.
Last year, I saw Brené Brown speak at the MA Conference for Women. During her talk about vulnerability, she read us this Theodore Roosevelt quote:
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
She defined vulnerability as “the willingness to put yourself out there and do something where there are no guarantees.” She also explained that vulnerability allows us to feel joy, creativity and connection.
If we embrace vulnerability and stop holding ourselves back, we can face situations with the courage and determination of a six-year old learning to play soccer. And it will be great to see how far we can go!