Blogpost, self-reliance

Find the Wave and Ride It

In one of my favorite places on earth, I love to do a semi-“childish” activity. While at the beach on Topsail Island, I enjoy “riding the waves.” I’ve never learned to surf or boogie board. My brothers and I got into the habit of swimming with the waves until their momentum carries you to the shoreline. It’s nothing overly difficult nor do I imagine that the payoff is as good as riding a wave on a surfboard. Despite its shortcomings, it is an enjoyable diversion.

Not every wave is worth riding and even the ones that are worth it can come at the wrong time or you just miss them. It’s nothing to get overly upset about. There will be another opportunity coming within moments. No one is keeping score of how many rides, distance, frequency or anything else. The effort put into catching the wave is payed off through the individual rides. Often the joy also comes from the waiting and trying.

At the moment, I know that I need to embrace this thought process in so many places other than the beach. Opportunities seem like unicorns, hard to find and unwilling to be saddled. They aren’t, they just seem that way. Expectation is too high and measuring everything against past experience or other people saps the joy out of the moment. I need to remember that some of the best rides I’ve had ended with my face in the sand.

Most of life isn’t meant to be measured, graded or judged, it’s simply meant to be lived. Often that comes with a lot of waiting for that next opportunity. The thing is that if we cannot find joy in the waiting, the riding also loses some of its luster. It’s all part of the package deal and the perfect ride is probably not coming anytime soon. So take some half chances and see how they go!

Get ready, the next one is coming!


Blogpost, self-reliance

Just Say It!

One of the more embarrassing moments that I had in high school was during my sophomore year. I did not possess anywhere near the self-confidence that I have today. There was a girl in my grade that I was interested in. I was walking down the hall during class time and serendipitously she was getting things out of her locker. It was just she and I in the hallway. NO ONE ELSE. The moment was perfect for me to strike up a minor conversation. Ask her about homework. Compliment her backpack. Say hello. Any one of those options would have been completely reasonable and probably effective. What did I choose to do? I ran into her with my shoulder as I walked by. We were the only two people in the hall! This was well before everyone had a cellphone, so I was not distracted by technology. I was just an unconfident boy who didn’t know how to get my message across. So I did something that made no sense other than it protected me from telling the truth out-loud.

High School Soccer from Senior Year
It may look foolish now but at the time, we LOVED these jerseys!

These types of situations happen everyday. The question is not whether you’ll have opportunities to act on the things that you want in this world. You absolutely will! More than anything, the question is whether you will succumb to the fear that surrounds that opportunity or will you act? I’ve not done a statistical analysis but anecdotally I can confidently say that I rarely regret acting fully rather than hiding regardless of the result.

Regret is the leftover debris from a losing battle with fear. Sometimes that debris is easy to sweep away because another moment comes to replace it. Other times that regret lasts a lifetime. Being true to yourself and putting efforts out into the world honestly is rarely a mistake in my experience. When we hedge to protect the little coward inside, we actually only make him feel smaller. Not because anything has really happened to us in the real world. It is because in that internal world we live a half life that is strewn with failures and successes but none of them truly happened. So we don’t get to know the truth about what was possible, if we had just given it a shot! Life is meant to be lived. Not dreamt about.

So let me be clear here! This is a call to action for you to push your best self in the direction of the things that you want. Not to be an a$$hole just because you’re being “authentic.” Consider the people around you. Whatever that thing is that is calling you, you may need help or you’ll want to share it or at least have people around to enjoy the time with. The real world does not revolve around you like the internal world does but you need to jump on the train before it passes you by. The opportunities are there. You just need to take them!

Go get ’em!


P.S. – Just in case you’re wondering, the situation from above is an embarrassing moment, not a major regret on the relationship side. We both ended up where we needed to be.

Blogpost, self-reliance, SoccerLifeBalance

The New POSH Path

The POSH path has been relatively well defined for over a decade. They recruit “young and hungry” players from the lower leagues with a sprinkling of experience for good measure. Especially under Ferguson, those young players who follow “the POSH path” end up developing into good professionals. Usually they move on to the Championship or even the Premiership. It has been consistent enough that it is not a surprise. Players know it and so do owners/managers from other clubs. The unfortunate thing about the POSH path is that the players who follow it end up moving up the leagues while the team has been consistently rooted to League 1. It could have been different but we cannot change the past, only use the present to create a brighter future.

Aaron McLean (jumping) congratulates Craig Mackail-Smith after he scored the winning goal for Peterborough during the FA Cup First Round game between AFC Hornchurch and Peterborough United at Bridge Avenue. Photo Credit Max Flego

Paths are caused by consistent foot traffic along the same track. Nothing will create a new path faster than crowd, in this particular case, a squad. The reason for the possibility of the new path is the academy players who are pressing their way forward to help blaze the trail. The young and hungry model is still in full force. However these young guns do not particularly see Peterborough as a stepping stone but rather their home. So moving to the Championship is still the goal but they’d rather bring their friends with them. Ferguson forecasted the direction of this journey before his last departure. Now all of the pieces are in place but as Morpheus said, “There is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.” POSH are in an ideal position to do what had always been the vision of owner, Darragh MacAnthony. They can get promoted to the Championship where they can keep most of their talent and stabilize at that level. That’s been the dream for over a decade. 2021 is a perfect time for the POSH and each of us to live into our dreams.

Even when the timing and ingredients are right, it can be difficult to break old patterns. After a certain amount of time, past results can seem like they are linked to the future like destiny. THE PAST IS NOT PREDICTIVE. The results of a moment ago have no bearing on the future. However our past can invade our future through our thoughts and action. Almost nothing else can hold us back from whatever heights that we want to reach. Our thoughts and actions need to be focused on the desired future rather than that unsatisfactory past. The path that will get each of us where we want to go is directly in front of us. We simply need to believe it, see it and then do it. One step at a time!

This year is a brand new opportunity for each of us. Whether you are a POSH fan or not, we all have the ability to tread a new POSH path. One that can take us to new heights. The other option to stay on the path that you are on. I am not here to judge. Only here to point out what is possible for those who are looking for a bit more. Today is a new opportunity. What are you going to do with it?

Up the POSH!



All That He Can Give

Tomorrow’s match against MK Dons represents a variety of storylines that impact the approach to the game and the eventual result. The shuffling of the squad did the trick against Rochdale. Many fans have commented that Rochdale’s poor performance was more relevant than the POSH’s youthful lineup. Nothing in life or football exists in a vacuum. Assumptions can never be made about the preparation or outcome of a match. The match is won by the stacking of moments.

My ticket from my first match at London Road. POSH dismantled MK Dons!

Having watched to both managers’ preview interviews, it is obvious that these two clubs are in a different space at the moment. There was a time when MK and POSH were competing with each other. Now each is competing with their own set of circumstances. POSH needs to live up to the expectation of promotion, while MK are looking to find the path back to their former glory. Russell Martin’s time under Darren Ferguson was short but in many ways seems to have been a springboard to a successful playing career. Regardless of the past or future of each club, team and manager, the match is the 90+ minutes between the whistles. All of these variable coalesce into thousands of individual opportunities. Last match Ferguson gave those opportunities to a handful of young players and they took them with great results. The past is now behind them. As many in the dressing room were recently reminded, if you don’t consistently make the best of your opportunities, they are taken from you.

All that either manager can give in tomorrow’s match is opportunities. Each individual has to do the best that they can with it. Russell Martin is a good example of a player who took the opportunities in front of him and ran with them. Players and people usually run into issues when they think that they deserve something. Being a language person, I love to break words apart. That word, DE-SERVE, meaning from service. Players who put an effort in for their teammates will eventually receive opportunities in turn because they are deserved. I refer to it as “soccer karma.” If you give a good ball, you’ll get a good ball. If everyone believes in that ethos, then the chances are much higher that good passes and opportunities will make their way around to everyone. The two cannot be separated though. You need to give first. Regardless of how young or experienced of a lineup Ferguson names tomorrow, those individuals need to take the opportunity that they’ve been given and give back with passion and persistence.

The match will be won by the team who effectively wins the right moments. Since it is impossible to know which moments are crucial, respecting them all is the only strategy. The opportunity is all that a manager can give. It is up to the player to take it! The past means nothing in those 90+ minutes.

Up the POSH!



The Chase

The bed and the couch never try to escape. There is never a shortage of food that tastes good but is horrible for you. The distractions and setbacks are all around us. Yet we act as if these were the things that were fleeting or important.   When in fact it is the opposite.

Time is fleeting and opportunity is always on the run. Catching up to our dreams takes consistent pace that often looks like a sprint. The life that we want will run until we wear it out and find it resting from exhaustion.  Are you ready to chase what you want?  Or are you looking for an excuse to rest?  One is easy to find and will always be there.  Is that for you?

Make today happen.



You Won the Lottery! Don’t Waste It!

Are you saying to yourself, “I didn’t win the lottery.  If I did, I surely wouldn’t waste it.”  YOU DID WIN THE LOTTERY but we’ll deal with that in a moment.  It’s easy to look with contempt at the people who seemed to have it and then lost it.  Examples like MC Hammer, Mike Tyson and Kim Basinger are ones that pop into my mind.  They all had millions of dollars coming in yet they went bankrupt.  How could they let this happen?  There are all kinds of reasons: mismanagement, overindulgence, lack of a defined plan or stupidity.  It seems really simple.  If I were to win the lottery, I’d be able to keep it all together.  It would be easy.

So now to the point, you did win the lottery.  You won the “Birth Lottery”.  If you’re reading this, then you have access to the internet and probably live in the US, Canada or Europe.  You weren’t born into slavery.  Through your life, you’ve probably been loved, fed and educated pretty regularly.  Although you don’t have as much as some people near the top, you’re so far ahead of the people at the bottom that it’s a joke.  Starvation, malnutrition and imminent death are probably not on your worry list for today.  So since you won the birth lottery, what are you going to do with it?

Your perspective on your life will determine heavily what you will do with it.  You can choose to see your place in life as a burden or difficult.  Or you can realize that you already won the lottery and not waste it.


The Pizza Delivery Opportunity Cost Dilemma

Other than being a teacher and coach, the longest standing job that I ever had was pizza delivery guy.  I worked for a local place, got paid under the table and worked with some of my best friends at the time.  I’ve learned a lot from the jobs that I’ve had throughout my life.  Some of the lessons that I learned as a pizza delivery guy did not become clear until later.

While working as a delivery guy, I got paid $6 per hour plus tips.  You would think that the tips portion would vary quite a bit from day to day but it didn’t.  On most nights, I would average $11 per hour between pay and tips.  So there was always a simple calculation to make.  If I worked 5 hours, I was bound to make about $55.  Fridays and Saturdays were our busiest nights but those nights are also when everyone else is being social.  There was a constant debate in my head as the weekend would approach.  Do I work and make around $150 or spend time with the girlfriend etc.?  I usually worked.

The opportunity cost was easy to calculate.  I had the opportunity to make $11 per hour or spend that time elsewhere.  These calculations are all around us but most of them are not quite as easy as my pizza delivery dilemma.  The opportunity cost is not exclusive to money.  It applies to health, fitness, relationships and so many other facets of our lives.  The problem is that we are leaving too many opportunities on the table.  There is “cash” that we are just throwing away out of laziness, habit or ignorance.

The Long and The Short

There are short and long term opportunities that we have to weigh.  Related to school, the short term opportunity to take that half an hour each day to study for the test coming up.  If the time is spent wisely, the reward will probably come.  If not, it almost definitely will not.  On  the long term side, things like learning how to read and write create long term opportunities from their short term acquisition.  Long term opportunities usually require some sacrifice of the short term.

For many opportunities, we focus solely on the short term.  The time that it would take to work out.  The fear that we feel about approaching that special person.  The effort that it would take to start that project.  The short term is almost always more real because it is right now and we can’t see past it.  The long term is out there looming but it is so far away that we believe that it isn’t going anywhere.

It is the time of year when one of my favorite films is on, A Christmas Carol.  Scrooge and his ordeal with the ghosts is a perfect representation of the short term and long term opportunity cost.  Scrooge continually overlooked long term possibilities for happiness in favor of short term profit.  In the end he had the spirits to help show him his opportunities lost and fix his future.  Do you have someone to help you?  Or do you need to learn to see past the moment for yourself?  Decide what is important to you now and in the future.  If you don’t know where you are going, you can get there by any road.  But will you be happy when you get there?