Have you ever heard it said, in one form or another, that; at any point in life, we are either down, falling down or getting up after falling down? I don’t know if that sounds like it’s a little overly negative or not, but as I look at my life and where I am now, I can see a lot of truth in that statement. It’s not negative, it’s the truth. It shouldn’t discourage you, it should instead absolutely encourage you. A great mentor of mine puts it another way, after hearing it herself at a seminar. She now lives by the principle that, the pendulum swings.
So, what does that mean? It means that if you are down, it won’t be long – with the right attitude and actions – until you are up again. If you look at the motion of a pendulum, you will know that it starts high and swings to the lowest point possible and then it begins to rise again to the top, before it heads back down. If we subscribe to the principle of the pendulum, we will know that, as I suggested at the start of this blog; at any point in life we are either down, falling down, or getting up after falling down. It seems to be how life works, have you experienced it? I want you to know this week, that, whilst this may be a common and predictable pattern of life for us all, we can shorten the time at the bottom of the swing and lengthen the time at the top by our thoughts, emotions, attitudes and actions.

Firstly, to anyone reading this who is feeling discouraged, flat and unhappy about where you are currently at in life, be encouraged knowing that the pendulum is swinging, and, you will be back on top soon, if you believe it and focus on it. I truly believe we are meant to be happy, healthy, wealthy and purpose-driven people. I know you and I have been put on this planet for a reason, to make a positive impact. Our lives are meant to be joy-filled and bring joy to others. I also believe that we can easily get complacent at times when things are going well, which can start the downward swing sending us back to the bottom of the curve.

I worked hard for many years to get myself to the top of my professional football career. From the age of 16, starting at the bottom of the pile as a fresh-faced kid with aspirations of being a star, to the age of 21, when I finally cracked the senior team to stay, I had to work, climb and trust that the pendulum would swing up to the top. I struggled in the under 19 team and improved over the first couple of years. I was knocked unconscious and carried off on a stretcher in my first senior level reserve grade game. I worked gut-bustingly hard to make it to the top and play my first senior A-grade game, and, then tumbled back down as I then missed out on selection, despite playing well every week, for the next 20 months. When I finally worked back up and played that second senior A-grade game I was strong, prepared and ready to make my mark, which I did for 2 years, but just as the pendulum was at the top of its swing, I got complacent and it started swinging down again.

Master the fast turnaround
In that period of complacency, I naively and ignorantly thought I had made it to stay. I stopped training with the same intensity, I started getting distracted and tempted and my performances started to decline. Over the next two years the pendulum hit rock bottom. On this particular bottom of the swing moment, it was a Saturday morning in October 1987. I had just played in a reserve grade grand final two weeks earlier, and I read something in the newspaper that morning shattering my world. I saw my name in the paper. Normally seeing your name in the newspaper would be an exciting thing, unless it is amongst a group of players sacked from the club!

I knew my football career was going to come to end at some time, and, I knew the pendulum would eventually swing through the bottom point. I just didn’t expect it or want it to occur when it did. But it happened predictably, at that time, because of my thoughts, attitudes and actions. I was a mess. I was shattered. I was only 24 years old and had planned a long and successful professional football career, for at least another ten years. What would I do now? I stayed far too long in the pits, because I didn’t understand, at that time of my life, that the pendulum always swings, and I would eventually be out of the pits and be back on top again. Again, my thinking, attitudes and actions kept me at the bottom for far too long.

It was a long time before I was able to pick myself up, turn myself around and use this time of my life as a positive foundation for greater things. Looking back, two things are glaringly obvious. The first; in the context of my life today, that event was the best thing that could have happened. If I had stayed in football, would I have gone on the become an author and do the things I am able to today? I doubt it. So, it really was a good thing, not the earth-shattering event I perceived it to be at the time. Secondly, I took far too long to pick myself up, get my attitude right, find the positive and get the pendulum swinging up more quickly. I needed to master the fast turnaround. Let me tell you, these days I have mastered it and my pendulum is swinging up, and, staying there far more and far longer than it is at the bottom of the motion.

Where are you in your pendulum cycle at the moment? Are you flying high and living the life you dream of? I hope you are, and I hope you continue to do so. It is my strongest encouragement that you keep focusing on the great work you are doing and keep your attitude and thinking in line with success. That way, when you experience the downward swing of the pendulum, you will be able to master the fast turnaround and be back on top as fast as is possible. Are you struggling, feeling down-and-out or in the pits at the moment? As my wonderful mentor says to me, it’s okay because the pendulum swings and you will on top again soon. The secret is to learn the lessons and find the good, while you are down there, then, take positive action and, in no time at all, you will off the bottom and swinging back up to the top.

In each of my blogs I want you to know three things. Firstly, I want you to know, very clearly, that I am not perfect, I muck up at times, and I am always learning. Secondly, I don’t portray life to be all roses and cream and give you the impression that you won’t experience challenges. Thirdly, and most importantly, I want you to know that, no matter what circumstances come your way, you are good enough, strong enough, capable enough and resilient enough to handle it, and, turn the most devastating adversity into the most wonderous joy and success. All you need to know, is that the pendulum swings.