In 2016, quarterback Nick Foles almost made the decision to quit the NFL. He had just been released from his contract. But he decided to stay and this season, ended up as back-up quarterback for the Philadelphia Eagles. The first NFL team he played for when he was initially drafted.
That all changed when his team’s starting quarterback tore his ACL in December. Nick Foles was pulled into the spotlight and he made the most of it. Helping his team make it to the Super Bowl as the underdog and then bringing home the top prize.
In his victory speech he spoke of embracing failure. He said, “I think the big thing is don’t be afraid to fail. In our society today, with Instagram and Twitter, it’s a highlight reel. You know, it’s all the good things. And then, when you look at it, you think wow, when you have a rough day or your life is not as good as that, you know, you’re failing. You know, failure is a part of life. That’s a part of building character and growing. Without failure, who would you be? I wouldn’t be up here if I hadn’t fallen thousands of times, made mistakes. We are all human. We all have weaknesses… I know when I listen to people speak and they share their weaknesses, I’m listening… I think when you look at a struggle in your life just know that that’s just an opportunity for your character to grow… If something is going on in your life and you’re struggling, embrace it. Because you’re growing.”
If we can all embrace the gift of struggle, we will climb the mountain so much faster.
As American abolitionist and author Harriet Beecher Stowe once said, “When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hang on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.”
A bad day, a bad diagnosis, a bad boss or a bad breakup does not define you. You have the power to use each moment as a stepping stone towards greatness. Never stop growing towards where you are going.