A personal story…
When I was in high school, I looked past graduation day to the moment I would walk on to my college campus and begin the rest of my life.
Walking the line to get my diploma was an emotional one for me. I knew I wanted out. I didn’t know what was next. Except college. And with college came the wonderful idea of fulfilling my dream since I was 5 years old. Playing for my college soccer team.
All summer I trained for soccer and worked for money and trained for soccer and worked for money…and played basketball.
It was a week before I was to head off to my college of choice to show the coaches and players who they were missing. Me!
Except I was playing basketball at an elementary school. With 8 foot goals. I dunked, and spun and shot three’s. Yeah, I was pretty sweet on an 8 foot rim. You should have seen me!
You should have seen me drive the lane and slam down some monster dunk on some dude who thought he had it in him to block my junk. He didn’t.
As I hung on the rim, I didn’t know what was coming.
I knew it was over…or was it? My plans. My dreams. My goals. Over?
A week later, I walked on to that college campus, gingerly walking on my slightly recovered ankle. And I played in a pick up game with all of the college players and hopefuls the day before preseason.
I had fun. I played well. I tried to take the ball from someone with my bad ankle. He stepped on my foot.
It was over.
Life changed in one step, as many times it does.
I knew playing college soccer was not in my cards. I ended up coming home a little later and began coaching soccer, and have been ever since.
A couple years after this fateful day, I spoke with a coach that I was learning from and that I trusted. I was vulnerable with him and let him know my dashed dreams on hopes. I asked him if I had a chance at playing professionally.
In as many words he said that I had failed.
It was not possible to play professionally with my story. I felt like a failure. My dreams were worthless.
Fast-forward a few years later I have been able to look back at events from a distance and realize something. It came up in a conversation recently and I wanted to share it with you.
I was not a failure.
There was a path that I had predetermined. I put it up on a pedestal, hoping for that path to be mine.
I have since discovered what that time in my life was about. I discovered another path.
I have been nothing BUT successful with the path that is front of me. Sometimes I make plans and goals based off of my experiences and hopes. Sometimes I am off track of my goals. I discover a path that is there for me to walk.
This path is much more fulfilling than any path I could have pieced together from the stories of other people. They have cool stories, but those stories are theirs, not mine.
You have a cool story. You have a cool path. You are successful. You are not a failure.
I hope your discovery of your journey gives you life, gives you joy. It is your journey.
To your success!