What does it take to achieve worthwhile goals and feel that deep sense of satisfaction and fulfillment from overcoming the odds?
I was listening to a fascinating motivational interview recently with a former NFL star called Bo Eason. His career ended at 27 in the NFL through injury and he went on to become an acclaimed playwright and Broadway actor.
In the interview he talks about the mindset it takes to succeed at the very top. What is fascinating is that he said he was already thinking about his next career whilst he was being stretchered off the pitch, from doing the only thing he had known since 9 years of age.
It's a fascinating insight as the end of an athlete's career is something which can cause a lot of problems for many athletes and in some cases it can lead them to pay the ultimate price, their own life.
Bo talks about the importance of having a long term vision and being willing to stay focused on that vision no matter what.
There is an incredibly insightful moment in the interview where he talks about his son coming to him at 7 years of age and telling him he would like to become the first athlete ever to play in the NFL and the NBA.
Bo tells his son that if that truly is his dream then he is going to have to work harder than any other 7 year old out there, then every 8 year old and so on.
But if that is truly his dream then he will help and support him to achieve it.
Then when his son was 9 years old he came to him one day looking upset and emotional and asked his Dad what will happen if he doesn't achieve his dream.
Bo said he must have forgot to have this conversation with him and proceeded to tell him that it was impossible that this would happen. He told his son that the only way out of his dream would be for him to quit.
Otherwise, it will happen.
It's do or die.
Many years after Bo's career had finished in the NFL he had a reunion with all of his teammates who he played junior football with and he asked them, why do you think we all made it?
They all responded by telling him "because you carried that damn plan with you everywhere you went, telling everybody you were going to be the best 'safety' player in the world.
And they thought, if little Bo is going to do it then I am going to do it too. Bo's confidence, his relentless focus and belief in his plan rubbed off on all of those around him and inspired them too.
When I say his plan, Bo wrote a 20 year plan at 9 years of age. A 20 year plan of how he was going to become the best safety player in the NFL.
When Bo's NFL career finished, he then created a new plan. A 15 year plan to become a Broadway actor and motivational speaker. He succeeded at that too.
Bo talks about being unreasonable. Having a long term vision and working towards it relentlessly is what it will take to get to the very top in any field.
He has already proven it in two extremely competitive fields...
Martin Robert Hall
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