Last week we worked with the Year 9’s at Frederick Bremer School, and as always it was a wonderful experience and I feel truly blessed and honoured to do what I love and love what I do!
Do you believe in the beauty of your dreams? That’s how I started the talk off.
At which point I asked for a show of hands, only a few shot up, some rose gradually and the majority were very half-hearted. The question caught them by surprise, so most of them probably put their hands up because they felt it was the right thing to do. I explained to them that if this was a primary school, or better yet, reception, or even a nursery, everyone’s hands would’ve shot up straight away! Which is sad, because all it means is that the older we get the less we believe in the beauty of our imagination, and for a lot of people they’ve actually lost their imagination all together.
The key is to stay as young and foolish as possible, the wisdom and knowledge will come with age anyway, so why lose your imagination whilst you’re at it? Keep it, and exercise it every day through visualizations of the amazing things you want to achieve in your life, picture yourself in the wonderful places you want to travel to. I don’t care if you have a penny in the bank or a million pounds, if you don’t think about it and if you don’t see it, you can’t get it and you’ll never get there. Remember, I said everything is created twice, once in your mind and second in reality.
I told these year 9s about the beautiful story of my football career in school, starting out as the best player in my primary school and getting to secondary school and not even making the team!
Devastating? Yes. A full gone conclusion? No. One of my life shaping moments? Definitely!
Ultimately, through hard work and dedication I went from being nicknamed ‘The bench’ (because I sat on the substitute’s bench every game… Children are so mean haha) to being vice-captain of the team, winning trophies and scoring against Norwich in the FA Youth Cup.
My most important football moment for me never came on the pitch, it came on a bus ride home from a game after I never got to play. A friend turned to me and said, ‘why do you still come? I don’t know how you do it, you never get selected and you’re still here every game, you even cheer us on from the side lines.’ At which point I turned to him and said, ‘I think it’s because I’m naïve’. At the time I didn’t quite know what I meant, but I knew how I felt. I didn’t acknowledge the same barriers other people did, I didn’t see myself as a loser, I saw myself as a winner and hence I turned up at every game and every training session ready to improve and ready to play, and most importantly I saw myself as part of the team and one of the most important players. I always say you become who you are, and at that time I played my heart out even if I only got five minutes, because I saw myself as one of the best players, and hence it became true.
Now this isn’t only just true of my football experience, it’s true of education, it’s true of my career so far and it’s pretty much true of every single area of my life. The quicker you wake up to it, the easier it becomes to believe in the beauty of your dreams…
I left those year 9s with 3 pieces of advice, and I’m going to leave them with you too:
- Create a vision board – find a bunch of magazines and newspapers and cut out pictures of all the great things you want in your life, places you want to live, holiday destinations, cars, homes, money, words that you want to describe you, anything. There is a lot of power in seeing what you want in front of you every day
- Find a book or a documentary about someone who has been successful in your field, watch it or read it. You can have any role model you want, you’ve just gotta be pro-active. They have a lot to teach you and a lot of it can be found for free on YouTube or for a couple pounds from a book shop or online.
- Write your goals down and look at them as often as you can, I recommend everyday but you won’t get into that routine over-night, so just start by writing them down and reading them aloud whenever you can.
And like I’ve said at many of my talks, there’s two types of people in this world, people who look at information like this and dismiss it, laugh or worse; acknowledge it and do absolutely nothing about it. Then, there’s the open minded people who are willing to do something a little different. If the things you’ve done in your life so far has not brought you what you want… To continue doing them is not going to make your results any different hunny-bun.
Be a go-getter, go and get what you want!