If you are not a football fan ( and I’m not talking about the silly sport that the rest of the world plays, where they can’t use their hands and is really called “soccer” kind of football), the quarterback who led the Philadelphia Eagles to their first Super Bowl victory, Nick Foles, is an inspiration. Foles, a backup quarterback, who only took the lead job from starter, Carson Wentz, a couple of months ago, brought the team to an improbable victory over the Patriots.
While that is a great athletic feat, I am a big believer that football, as well as baseball, hockey, and basketball are sports made for kids that grown-ups co-opted, and now play and earn incredible fortunes from it. It always strikes me as weird that grown men will wear a jersey with another guy’s name on it, and root more for their idols and teams than focus on improving their own lives. When was the last time Tom Brady came to your Boston office and cheered you on before the big client meeting?
Foles, a down-to-earth and modest guy, who was about to quit football, in a recent interview, attributed his success to his ability to embrace failure.
“I think the big thing is don’t be afraid to fail. I think in our society today, Instagram, Twitter, it’s a highlight reel. It’s all the good things. And then when you look at it, you think like, wow, when you have a rough day or [you think] your life is not as good as that, you know, you’re failing.
“You know, failure is a part of life. It’s a part of building character and growing. Without failure, who would you be? I wouldn’t be up here if I hadn’t fallen thousands of times. Made mistakes.
“We all are human, we all have weaknesses, and I think throughout this, just being able to share that and be transparent [is important]. I know when I listen to people speak and they share their weaknesses, I’m listening. Because [it] resonates.
“So, I’m not perfect. I’m not Superman. I might be in the NFL, and we might have just won the Super Bowl, but, hey, we still have daily struggles, I still have daily struggles. But that’s where my faith comes in, that’s where my family comes in.
“I think when you look at a struggle in your life, just know that’s just an opportunity for your character to grow. And that’s really just been the message. Simple. If something’s going on in your life and you’re struggling? Embrace it. Because you’re growing.”
Usually, I could not care less about what athletes, rock stars, or actors have to say. Why should we listen to their inane, economic forecasts or political opinions simply because they can sing well, hit a baseball, or were in a popular movie? Yes, they deserve to have their own opinions, but there is no reason why the mass media and the public should fawn all over their usually ill-informed utterances. If the same thing was said by your weird uncle, you wouldn’t even give it a listen, and would, ultimately, just roll your eyes.
Foles drives the point home that, to succeed, you will invariably fail and most likely, fail often and spectacularly. But that is okay. That is how you learn. Mistakes, poor career choices, bad luck, bad breaks, dead-ends, and failures aren’t the end of the world, according to Foles. Instead they should be embraced and used as a learning technique to grow and then, ultimately, succeed in the future. This is one athlete that I suggest you listen to, as he offers a real, genuine, and uplifting positive message – especially for the kids that sports were supposed to be for and about.