When I was 16 years old, I was selected to go to Germany as a reserve for the New Zealand Barefoot Waterski team. At that time I was also playing alot of other sports. It was rugby season and being a passionate rugby player, playing for my school, I wanted to continue to play and it helped me to stay fit.
Playing against my arch-rival school in the pre-season I was injured in a tackle and found myself in hospital for knee surgery, ruining my chances of going to the World Championships. On top of that we were thoroughly beaten in that game. I was devastated, all my dreams felt like they had gone, and as I lay there in the hospital recovering from the surgery I made a decision.
I decided that I was going to use this to get better, to support my rugby team to win the title, to train even harder to be a great skier, and one day to achieve my goal of representing New Zealand.
It is not what happens to you that determines your success or failure, it is what meaning you give it and what you do about it that does. There is no meaning out there, there is only the meaning you give things. We are the meaning makers in our lives! Decide what it should mean to you to improve your life.
You can sit back and be passive or you can take massive action to improve your situation and circumstances. Which way is going to get the best results? Who is responsible for thinking and acting this way?
The next Saturday I was at my team’s rugby game and every rugby game that whole season, with my cast and crutches, cheering them on. In the final game of the season, we were up against our arch-rivals again. If we won the game, we won the tournament and the boys played their hearts out and we took it home.
When I look back on my life, it was a pivotal year for me. Over that year I got stronger and better as a young man and used the adversity in my life to make it so. The rest is history. This year with Covid-19, lockdowns, people out of work, and rampant fear are you going to let this determine your life or are you going to use it as leverage to get better and make it a pivotal year for you.