Simply everything, play the way you’re facing, pick your spot, and explode into that space.
Growing up I had the opportunity to play for one of the top club soccer clubs in the nation. The San Diego Nomads. Back then, we were known as the La Jolla Nomads. That’s where the club’s founders were from. Those individuals had the kind of vision necessary to cultivate a lasting legacy and a club today that develops some of the best talent you can find.
One of the most important decisions they made early on was in hiring Derek Armstrong, who still runs the club today, more than thirty years later.
Derek taught me many important things about the game, about life, and about what it means to be a champion. We had a tremendous amount of success while I was there. We played the kind of game people didn’t even recognize or understand at that time here in the United States, and in fact, we dominated many or our opponents and won many championships.
Our success included two runs at the national championship where we finished second and fourth in the country. A truly amazing and bitter sweet experience. Still, it would be a lot better story if I could tell you we had achieved a national championship.
Here’s my point today, though. Derek used to have a phrase he liked to use often. In many ways, this mantra has fit nicely into many other parts of my life, both day to day, and as I’ve weathered some very tough storms in my career.
“Play the way you’re facing.”
Simple. Straight-forward. Impossible to mis-interpret, and guaranteed to simplify the game you’re playing by simply picking up your head, looking around, and moving the ball in the direction you’re facing right now.
Don’t try to get cute and cut the ball back, and attempt some fancy move that sends you in the opposite direction, hopefully in possession of the ball, and now moving with an entirely different purpose. Sure, there will always be time for that. It will be needed. But for the moment, what might happen in your life, career, or relationships if you simply started focusing on playing in the direction you’re facing right now?
Starting right now, simplify your life. Focus on playing in the direction you face, and keeping your head-up, and your vision keen. For the direction you face still holds a very wide field of view with many opportunities.
When you do this, and you abandon unnecessary complexities and frivolous ideas – especially the stuff that’s holding you back, and the ideas and dreams that don’t seem to be moving ahead – you will create the space you need to open your game in a way that allows you to more clearly and confidently pick your spot and move toward your truest and most important and fulfilling dreams.
What might those be?
I look forward to hearing about them.