Wasted talent … a theme which drives many of these entries.
so many exceptionally talented people … who could of and should of, but didn’t….
Tomorrow I want to re-discuss the idea…”you are only as good as your last sale…”
When I was in university, I fell 40 feet rock climbing … I broke my arm, my hand, my leg, my tail bone and had multi-skull fractures. I was in a coma for a couple of weeks and nearly died.
Stupidly, a friend and I had gone drinking beer at a place called “the rock” in the Berkeley hills one Friday afternoon. The rock is a mountain cliff with beautiful views of the S.F. bay and surrounding areas.
Stupidly, I got drunk and fell off the mountain.
After taking a year and a half off school to rehabiliate – I went back to University, but I could no longer swim at the same level as before and “retired.”
One day… the football coach heard about my accident and contacted me to speak to the football team … he wanted me to discuss the consequences of drinking, etc.
As my American readers understand … speaking to your university’s football team is a very big deal …. so I really prepared for it.
My speach was at a hotel, after an alumni dinner right before school and the season began … there was the team and their parents as well as several alumni.
After the dinner, the coach called me on stage ….
I explained to the team that I had been just a fairly good swimmer…. although I had dreams/goals of becoming great, I never achieved close to my talent …. one of the several reasons why I never achieved my full potential was because I let drinking, partying, and picking up girls (superfiscial pleasures) get in the way of my focus and goals.
I got really into the speech….it all clicked for me….because I was speaking from the heart.
I said to them something like:
“some of you guys have the potential to become NFL players and make a career with football and potentially millions of dollars playing the game you love … so do not let something as stupid as drinking/partying get in the way of your focus.”
At the end of my speech, I got a long standing ovasion and invited to have dessert and coffee with the Captains of the team.
I remember one of the captains … a “brad pitt” look a like that was built like Zeus…6’6″ (2 meters) and 240 lbs of pure muscle (120 kilos) a stud …
definately, this guy could pick up just about any girl he wanted… but he asked me, “how do you “not” drink….? don’t you feel uncomfortable?” I was shocked …. here is the ultimate male specimen basically telling me that he drinks because he needs to be “buzzed” to have the confidence to speak to women….. unbelievable.
at the same table listening to our conversation was the star player and his mother…. another guy built like Zeus, but even bigger …. he explained as well that drinking a couple beers made him more “loose” ….. and made several jokes and we all laughed.
I left that evening very proud … and over the season got invited to VIP parties with the team, and became friends with several of the players.
Sadly, around 9 months later, the guy who was bigger than Zeus… the star of the team who was projected to be the 4th overall pick in the NFL draft which was only a week away ….
without question this man was soon to be a multi-multi millionare, broke his neck in a drunk driving accident and is paralyzed from the neck down for the rest of his life.
I reitterate: The accident happened about 10 days before the NFL draft and he was expected to be the 4th person picked in the draft.
Surely, this man and his mother (whom was at that dinner and table that night I spoke to the team), surely they have thought about my speech and our discussion at their table that night. It is a terribly sad story.
Don’t let anything get in the way of your focus.
Up until that football players accident … I spoke to most of the sports teams including the basketball team where Jason Kidd was the star, I also spoke to high schools… but after this guy’s accident, I lost the drive and I never agreed to speak again.
The world is full of exceptional people …. people who have the talent to be great football players; great salesman; great leaders; etc.
but how many people fail to achieve their full potential because something gets in the way of their focus?