Everytime I question my sanity and the goals that I have set myself up God seems to be giving me signs all over the place for me to not lose focus.
Pictured below is me with the legendary former All Black Michael Jones (played for All Black from 1989-1999) who has been said to have revolutionize the loose forward position in Rugby. I was feeling really down and not up to my usual gung ho ness and was not particularly that interested in going to the half day conference that work insisted was compulsory for all employees to join. They had the usual long winded speeches and the usual “where we are headed in the next 5 years and we need your help…” Some parts were mighty interesting while some parts could have been some form of water torture as I tried oh so valiantly to keep my eyes open. So I digress, to be honest I had no idea who the man was when he first step onto the stage. In his a size to small collared shirt, his large frame seeming to fill the stage up as he stood there and then he spoke. An eloquent man it seems, eyes steady and making eye contact with the crowd and what he said next would be what I think the turning point of my life. As cheesy as it sounds it made sense in my head and it made sense in my heart.
Below is a short excerpt from his speech
I had a dream when I was about 7 years old and in it I was surrounded by all my heroes (Legendary Rugby players of his time) and in the last minute where they were down by a point as shown on the score board the main man passed the ball to me and I ran for my life to the goal post and just as I was going to do a spectacular touchdown I woke up! After realizing it was a dream I pulled my wee 7 year old self from the bed and went to tell my mother about that wonderful dream and she said “That’s good boy its good to dream big”. The next words she told me were the words that have kept me going through out my career as a rugby player. “It’s good to dream big boy, just aim for the moon and even if you don’t get there you will be among the stars”. I admit that when I was seven years old whatever she said just went over my head but as I went through life and did all the things I did her wisdom would always come back to me and I always knew what I had to do.
So he was kind enough to share some thoughts of what one must do to chase ones dreams or goals.
1. Be prepared to say no
2. Be prepared to stand alone and not follow the crowd
3. Don’t make any excuses when the going gets rough.
He then went on to explain what he meant
1. There will be times in life when you will be surrounded many temptations that will sway you from your goals. It will be the easy way out. Say no, say no and move on, stick to your purpose and even if you fail you will still be much better off then if you had not even tried
2. Standing alone means not being swayed by other people opinions. Choose your friends wisely let go of the ones that hold you down or stop you fro achieving what you need to do. Sometimes being firm in your goals means that you will have to stand against a popular opinion held by others. Being alone is hard to do.
3. He broke his leg in so many places during one rugby match that the doctor told him that he would never be able to play rugby again. He said “I could have used this as an excuse and drop my dream right there and live life without trying and when i was ready to give up I remembered what my mother said that I should aim for the moon and even if I fail I would be with the stars. So I decided to go for therapy and try to play professional rugby again”. According to him it was a long hard journey and he had to learn how to walk again, then run, then start from the bottom of the ranks of the rugby league to coming back to play for the All Blacks once again.
I can tell you now with nary a shame that I sat there with tears threatening to spill down my cheecks. Here was this man who stood in front of me telling me that I should just aim high and roll with the punches. Whatever comes my way don’t let it stop me from achieving what I set out to do.
I loved it.
“Son, Aim for the moon and even if you fail you will find yourself amongst the stars”.