Happy Monday All!
I am getting straight to the point this week. If you want to be successful, you must sacrifice many things in order to get ahead. This weeks blog has the ability to reach a whole range of age groups. For the youth, I hope the story I am about to tell will give you food for thought. For adults, you may be looking at a lifestyle change or engaging challenges preventing yourself from being the best form of yourself.
There is something special about being alone. We are created and exist in a womb for around 9 months on our own. During that time we grow, with help and care from our mothers and those around her. When born into the big wide world, we rely on help from others to continue in our physical and mental development. We lay alone at night when we are young and it is in that state of mind where dreams are created. Our mind is a powerful tool, even at such a young age.
I remember as a young boy, my father would tuck me in on new years eve and would comment on the year ahead, what it might bring and the endless possibilities that lie ahead. It was subtle, yet powerful. As I drifted off to sleep, I would imagine all the great things the year could bring. They were mainly aspirations and visions of being SUCCESSFUL in football/soccer. I was being wired to endure the challenges that life would throw at me.
My father was a police officer and that meant moving around a fair bit when I was in school. In a sense, it didn’t allow me to become stagnant. The down side to this was not having any real long term friends. In fact, most of the time from a young age of around 9-10 and through high school I was bullied. I remember rocking up to new schools as a half decent soccer player and showing up the top dog. As a family, we relocated a handful of times and playing soccer was a way for me to fit in and gain respect with people I knew little about. I was not popular and consequently had to stick up for myself when I was picked on and pushed. Thankfully, I had a father that always told me, if someone hits you, hit them back twice as hard. Now I realize that was the 90’s into 2000’s back home in England. There is a difference in culture compared to nowadays and in the U.S perhaps, depending on where you live. I never started a fight in my life, but I always finished one.
In England, we start high school at age 12 and attend for 4 years. Compared to my middle school environment, things were no different. New school, same target on my back and same challenges. I remember the school bully kicking the younger kids ball away at lunchtime. I knew how this felt and decided to say something. The lad though it funny to tell me to shut up and threw a lazy punch that barely connected. I told him to stop and to leave the youngers alone. He threw a second effort but this time with more intent. I warned him one final time before he went for me. I evaded his third and final attempt, jab, jab, right hook and down he went, unable to get up swiftly. That was the end of the school bully. I wouldn’t say I was proud but the story got around and the best part was the entire event had been caught on camera. The bully was off to hospital and faced a suspension from the school for poor behavior. I have no doubt that I was hardened throughout these experiences. I was brought up to be polite, use my please and thank you’s and treat others with respect. The school bully was unfortunate. I had been boxing for two years and had kept it to myself. It kept me in great shape for soccer and disciplined me. Please note, I am not condoning aggressive behavior, but simply relating my story to the challenges I face to this very day and to encourage you all to stand up for yourselves, fight for what you believe in and be resilient on your journey to the top.
For many years I had been alone. I didn’t have video games, I didn’t hang out with friends. I had team mates but seldom spent time with them outside of training and games. As I grew older and into my high school years there would be party’s, get togethers and drinking on the park bench. I was different, I was alone, I had a plan. I spent hours under my fathers encouragement, running, sprinting, and most importantly, spending time with the ball. I would work outside my house on the red road, under the street light in all types of weather. Rain, snow, hot and cold, it did not matter. I juggled, practiced skills and tricks, all the while some of the lads that had been selected to be in professional youth academies from ages 11-15 were living it up. They thought they had made it. I knew for a fact that I was a rare breed and would get my opportunity IF I continued to put the work in.
I sit here today and I look back on the opportunities I was afforded for many years of sacrifice and many hours alone. I don’t look back with regret. I still face the same challenges today, I always have and I always will. Perhaps I can touch on these next week and follow up on this powerful notion of being alone and also the importance of having the right people around you.
Happy belated mothers day!
Hoping all the mothers out there felt the love and felt special yesterday!
helping others in our summit up! community
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I encourage you all to look forward to a positive week ahead. Stay engaged and commit to yourselves. Very few will fight your battles for you, nobody else can put the work in on your behalf. Make your own luck and have fun doing it. Until next week, Summit Up! You've got this.
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Quote for the week
"Without great solitude no serious work is possible."
Dan Bulley has dedicated his life to youth development through his own experiences and living in football/soccer. Having played at professional clubs in England and been on 4 continents, Dan has settled in the U.S and is currently the owner of DBSS (Dan Bulley Soccer School). He carries a bachelors degree in sociology and a masters degree in coaching sports performance. Dan created Summit Up! to motivate and inspire both youth and adults to maximize their potential and to spark a strength of mind when the going gets tough. "The journey to your summit has only just began." Summit Up!