When Nothing Goes Right, Go Left

In Health & Fitness, Life & Travel, Soccer by Jackie Cruz

Think different.Steve Jobs

After reading Elinor Stutz’s article on Why You Should Embrace The Power of Thinking Differently, I immediately thought of how I applied those concepts and open-mindedness to my own life. Whenever I needed to change my situation or solve a problem, I had to think differently. I had to make my own paths from unknown resources – paths that no one had yet discovered. It was hard – I doubted myself, I struggled and I had emotional pitfalls. However, as soon as I overcame the actual obstacle and took power over my feelings, I felt stronger. I learned to let my body and mind feel emotions, but to let them go and not let them take over after 5 minutes.

Life is about succeeding at higher levels than your mind believes is possible. It’s about pushing your personal boundaries and breaking glass ceilings. Nobody will remember how many times you fell, missed passes or came in second. They will remember the times you stood up, dusted yourself off and kept trying. They will remember how hungry you were amidst adversity and they will remember the fire in your eyes.

How does one succeed? Find your dreams, keep working every day and don’t stop until you get there. Little by little chip away at the sculpture made of your dreams and goals. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe had a point: “What is not started today is never finished tomorrow.” There is never a right moment to start, but as soon as you feel the fire burning inside, use your passion to fuel and motivate you!

Regardless of how passionate you are, too many of us can hesitate in our daily battles. We think, I can’t make that high jump, I can’t make that pregame speech to my teammates or I can’t sprint faster than the other player. Sometimes it’s not our own minds that hinder us.

Maybe it is a friend who never got to your athletic level and wants to hold you down based on jealousy, maybe it’s the parent who never played sports themselves who doesn’t understand your hunger or it could even be your coach who doesn’t think you have the potential to perform. We all have problems, and when they can’t be solved in one way, we need to go take a detour in the other direction to find solutions.

This when one of my favorite quotes comes in:

When nothing goes right, go left.Unknown

Everyone has heard of the quote from Katherine Paterson – “a dream without a plan is just a thought.” Of course, you need a road map of your ultimate goals. However, (I have been guilty of this before) focusing too much in the beginning stages on the details could hinder your creative, out-of-the-box thinking. When there seems to be too many obstacles on the road toward your goals, take the detour. “When nothing goes right, go left” to find another way to achieve.

Another comment from the article that inspiring is “doing things like everyone else will only produce average results.” On a basic level, an athlete has to train harder, run faster and lift heavier weights in order to be better than the rest. However, coming up with fresh, unorthodox methods to be better might make that small difference during competition.

If your coach suggest to do more sprints, don’t just do sprints. Buy a weight vest and sprint up hills. If your coach says you need to jump higher, don’t just train vertical jumps. Do explosive weight training and test yourself against the tallest person you know. Going above and beyond will get you above and beyond results.

My whole life I heard the quote about working hard and waiting for good things in your life. Sooner or later, destiny will put things in your life when you are ready for them. I believed it…somewhat…until I heard the real quote, and it was engraved in my mind ever since.

“Things may come to those who wait,
but only the things left by those who hustle.”Abraham Lincoln

There is no time like the present to start. The first step is writing down your goals. Yes, write them down and read them daily. The more you read them, the more you will believe in them and willing to start achieving. It will always feel like the time is never right, but dive fully in and ride the rollercoaster! Robert Frost was on to something when he said “the best way out is through.”

All of this mumbo jumbo is sweet, but absolutely pointless if you – the reader, the athlete, the businesswoman, the entrepreneur, the graduate student – never apply these lessons. You have the passion already for your goals, so what is the worst that can happen? You have a bunch of “Oh well, I tried” rather than “What if I tried” thoughts.

If I never took risks, I would never know where I stood or if I could succeed, and I would certainly not be as confident as I am today. The feelings of uncertainty and doubt suck – your heart is pumping, body is sweaty, mind is racing, thinking is foggy and feelings are doubtful. The emotional affect of risks can come in all physical and psychological forms, but how you react once you feel those emotions determines your results.

I will guarantee, after taking on your feelings directly and attempting your dreams, despite all the risks and obstacles, you feel alleviated, calm, ready to take on the world, forceful, powerful and (the funniest) crazy for thinking you actually got in a frenzy for nothing. No one is in control of your life except you! Accept the challenges and charge full force ahead!