We’ve all heard the saying “success is being in the right place at the right time.” Well my late grandpa had a different take on this saying. His version of this saying is a piece of advice I work to live by each day…it’s a simple addition: “success is knowing when you are in the right place at the right time.”
My dad tells a great ‘would’ve/should’ve/could’ve’ story that occurred during his college days that fits perfectly into this topic.
A college friend of my dad’s proposed a new invention that he came up with. A device that people would use in their lawns for weed prevention; it would chop weeds up effectively and help with lawn maintenance…crazy idea, right? Well, his friend needed a modest investment in return for a partnership in this new invention. The investment opportunity was turned down by my dad and many others. What is the conclusion of this story? The “Weed-Whacker” was invented and eventually sold for MILLIONS of dollars. A perfect example of the difference between “being in the right place at the right time” and “knowing when you are in the right place at the right time!” My dad was certainly in the right place at the right time, but he didn’t know that he was there!
My contention is that we are all in the right place at the right time; we just have to push ourselves to “know” that we are. As each of us wake up each day we all have the unique and individual opportunity to change the world we live in. We have the opportunity to live our best day and reach our personal next level of success…whatever that success may be!
This lesson is especially important in youth athletics and should be conveyed to all youth athletes. Too often we all get caught up in how things did not work out for us and who is to blame for that ‘failure.’ We must push youth athletes to focus on what they can control, keep their eyes open to every opportunity and seize the unique opportunities that each athlete has in front of them.
I was fortunate to hear the great College Football Coach Nick Saban speak. One thing he said was he looks at every single individual play as having a life of its own. He is obsessed with winning each and every play of a football game; whether it is a kick return, an extra point attempt or a quarter back kneel, his team has to win it! He acknowledged that he loses many plays, but he learns from them quickly and focuses on seizing a victory on the very next opportunity.
In closing, attack today! Attack the opportunities that are in front of you and live your best life. Pass this teaching on to your friends, family and children and watch the impact it has on their lives!
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