the older i get, the better i was!

the older i get, the better i was!

There is one resource we have no control over. You know what it is, don’t you? Have you ever asked; where has the time gone? Have you ever said; I can’t believe another year has passed? Have you ever declared; it seems like it was yesterday? We all have. No matter what we say, how much we lament, or what we wish, we cannot change the fact that time just keeps marching on. What we can do is be proud of what we have done, and then make the most of the moment we have.

I am very grateful to have another opportunity to appear on Weekend Sunrise, an Australian breakfast television program, this weekend. By the time you are reading this, it may well have happened. The producer of the show asked me for some footage of my professional footballing days to use in the introduction of the segment. Well, that has sent me off on a journey of fossicking, exploring, memories, reminiscing, and pleasant surprises. Why do I say surprises? Because, as I watched some of the video footage, I realised I was better than I had always thought I was.

I have been watching video footage from the mid 1980’s. Yes, that is getting towards 40 years ago, as I am writing this blog. For much of that time, my memories of myself as a footballer were less than impressive, to me anyway. The words and phrases I have previously used to describe myself as an athlete, included battler, lacking-ability, skinny, ill-equipped and several other less than complimentary expressions. The picture of myself was that I was never as good as the other players and that, if it wasn’t for persistence, effort, and naivety, I never would have made it.

Don’t get me wrong, I still believe persistence, effort, and naivety were a large part of the reason for my seven years of professional sport. However, I now realise that I had more ability than I believed, and I even impress myself as I re-watch some of the games I played in many decades ago. The older I am getting, the better I believe I was. It is a shame it has taken me almost forty years to realise the fact that I was good enough, I am good enough, and I will always be good enough.

The message is, you don’t have to wait until you get older to realise how good you are now. You are amazing, you were amazing, and you will always be amazing! The one thing I know about pretty much every human being on the planet is that we are our harshest critics by far. Not only that, but we are also ridiculously harsh and often unfair in the conclusions we draw about ourselves. We seem only to think about the mistakes, failures, and imperfections from our past, what we should be doing better in the present, and how we are not enough to achieve what we want in the future. I hope, for your sake, you are ready to stop that rubbish today.

If you were to evaluate your life honestly and objectively, to this point, I know you would find many things that you have done much better than you may have previously thought. If you can get to that place, then you will realise that what you are doing now is also impressive. Then, the magic starts to happen, because with pride in your previous performances, more belief in your ability now, the future for you, my friend, is looking very bright. Just don’t wait till you get older to discover how amazing you truly are.

In my podcast this week with Jonathan McLernon called Compassionate awareness, I was totally inspired by a man who has made this realisation about himself. His past is littered with trauma, from an attempted murder on his life, losing all his money in a failed business venture, and being 100 lbs or 45 kg overweight. He learned to love himself and recognise how amazing he was, he is, and he will be. It is an incredible podcast which I encourage you to listen to.

As I am writing this blog, I am 57 years old. My professional football career started when I was 16. That was a long time ago and getting longer with each day that passes. I can’t go back and change anything, but what I can do is identify the truth. The truth is that I was good enough then, I am good enough now and I will always be good enough. It is my greatest desire that you will not wait many decades into the future to recognise how good you are now. You are already amazing, and when you believe that, the great news is that the older you get, the ‘even’ better you will become.

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