Tag Archives: motivation

Advice to My Son, the Future Soccer Pro

thug

I’m back in the Middle East for my job. Before I left home, I wrote a “book” for my youngest son who is really into soccer (football). It’s a book where each page is one piece of advice on how to become a pro and how to do your best to achieve your goals.

It all started when he told me that he wanted to be a pro football player someday. The kid has talent. He’s the best player on his team, and it’s in a league where he is playing against 15 year olds. My son is only 11 by the way.

Did I mention that he is obsessed with Cristiano Ronaldo and Juventus?

I started giving him little nuggets of advice because I want him to go pro. What parent doesn’t want their child to be a professional athlete? I realized I was giving him so much advice that I decided I would write it all down to remember. Then I realized that if I had enough nuggets of dad-wisdom, I could print it out and bind it for him. I even made a cover for the “book.” It’s the image above of Cristiano as a badass.

Some of my advice in the book:

Don’t let anyone get in your head. Once you do, it’s all over.

Being a pro is 90% mental and 10% physical.

Always ask yourself: What would (Cristiano) Ronaldo do?

Live to fight another day. Is your game off? Live to fight another day. Your team lost? Live to fight another day. Don’t lose hope or give up.

I used the Notes app on my iPhone to record my little nuggets. While I’m watching my son in a game or practicing, a line of inspirational advice will come to me. I type it in my Notes and save it, sharing it with my son at a later time.

Someday, after I think of enough quotes, I’d like to find a publisher and put it out there in the world to inspire other kids. If I have to self-publish, then so be it.

What’s cool is that my advice can be applied to anyone in any situation like Sun Tzu’s Art of War.

It has really boosted my self-esteem and self-confidence. I go back and read the book full of my very own quotes (I don’t steal or rip off anyone else), and I feel proud of myself. I feel like a successful father helping his son achieve his dream.

I told my son that while I’m on the other side of the world for six months, I want him to read my book of quotes before every game. I told him it would be like daddy is right there with him, urging him on proudly.

~t

 


This Isn’t the Way

The computer screen became blurry as my mind began to shut down.  I could barely keep my head from falling onto my folded arms in front of my keyboard.  I had just finished cutting and pasting an old piece of flash fiction to my blog, and it was time to call it a day.  Never mind the fact that it was only 9:30 in the morning.

Luckily I didn’t have class.  I grabbed my bag and set off across campus, stumbling like a drunk, until I reached my car.  Behind the wheel, I felt a little better.  At least I could focus on getting home instead of having to sleep off last night’s dosage of my prescription meds inside my stifling hot car.

I knew I would come home to an empty house since my sons were on summer break, and my wife always took them to the park each morning before it got too hot.  Good.  At least I can crash.  Had my wife been home, I would’ve had to explain why I was home early yet again.  It was my fault that my wife was in a constant state of worry.  I had missed so much work over the past several years that I couldn’t blame her.

I woke to the sound of kids laughing and yelling in the next room.  I stared at my alarm clock, trying to register the numbers and which ones the hands were pointing to.  1:30.  Wow.  I had been out for nearly three hours.

As I lay there looking at the ceiling, my mind became clearer.  I turned my head to the left so that I could see the miniature wooden crucifix, all alone on the vast white wall.  “Help me, Lord…”  As usual, my prayer tapered off soon after it began.

For me, prayer sometimes means merely gazing at the crucifix, connecting my soul to God in the most primal way.  It’s funny because that’s usually when He answers me in the clearest voice.  Like just then.

Seek first my kingdom and my righteousness, and everything else will be given to you.

It clicked.

I jumped out of bed, grabbed my iPad, and quickly began to delete the flash fiction piece that I had posted.  Dude, what are you doing?!  This is what people want to read.  This is how to get more followers and comments!

Smiling at these thoughts, and finally able to see through the smoke screen, I finished my task.  I felt relieved.  The same sort of relief after I got rid of all my social media accounts.

It wasn’t the way.

I wasn’t on WordPress, paying for my own domain name, to seek out and capture more followers than other blogs.  I mean, it would be nice to have lots of people read my stuff and like it, but that wasn’t the point.

God had decided that my blog was to be a tool for Him to reach those who needed help, Christian and non-Christian alike.  Who was I to post depressing flash fiction stories with morbid endings that would hopefully appeal to the masses?  For one, that kind of negativity would end up making me worse; and second, where would God be in all of it?

Before I started blogging, I asked God to keep me from straying off the path.  I had a divine mission statement so to speak, and I knew that I could easily get sidetracked.

I lay back down, setting my iPad next to me.  Intending to rest and perhaps fall back asleep, I closed my eyes.  Instantly they opened and I gazed at the crucifix again.

The Lord still had more to tell me.

The word choice entered my mind like a bolt of lightning.

Choice.

That was it:  I wasn’t making the right choices during the course of my daily life.  There I was, moping around in bed in the middle of the week when I should have been at work.  Why was I there?  Because last night, I make the choice to take the full dosage of my medication knowing that it could affect me the following day.  And why was I taking medication in the first place?  Because of my mental illness.  Okay, but could I have made better choices to perhaps be in a situation where I didn’t have to rely so much on meds?

Yeah, I guess so…

It was all falling into place.  I get scared when the Holy Spirit grants me enlightenment because it’s like being assigned by the dean to spearhead  a committee:  I am handed a responsibility, and there is no backing out.  If I decide not to do it or do it half-heartedly, then it’s all on me; I have no one to blame but myself.

But being called higher by God is such a wonderful thing.  Like growing pains, it can be rough, but it’s natural.  Why wouldn’t I want to be called higher?

Psalm 19:8 says, “The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart.”  I know from my experience that I am happiest when I am close to God.  For me, giving up things like extreme metal music was hard at first, but then I realized that it was hindering me in my relationship with God.

I’m not saying that everyone in the world needs to give up extreme metal or that you will get struck down by lightning if you listen to it.  Since I was already on shaky ground, I felt that I had to give it up, and it was the right thing to do.

Anyway, I am very grateful for those of you who are reading my blog posts and following me.  That is why we blog in the first place.  But I may begin to alienate some of you as I “toe the line” and get back to the original purpose of this blog.

When I started, I told myself that if only one person followed my blog and was impacted by it, then it would all be worth it.  The trick is for me to keep that mindset.

~topaz