Success in life is all about finding an opportunity, and then pushing that chance to the limit with honest dedication and passion. Shortcuts and divergent paths are always present, and staying on the straight and narrow is a constant battle in our society. Keeping your sights set on the bigger picture is easier said than done, but it’s still the best way that I know to make good on your lot in life.
Photo Credit: High Point Lacrosse (No problems at HPU this fall! Keep it up, fellas!)
This Fall, we’ve seen hazing suspensions at Cornell, a Marquette player arrested for assaulting an officer, and an Auburn club player reportedly arrested for playing a real life version of Grand Theft Auto. These are not the first times we’ve heard of lacrosse players behaving badly, and I don’t think they will be the last times either. Some people will attempt to paint all lacrosse players with a broad and negative brush stroke because of these stories, and I don’t know that we can stop them. Acting indignant probably won’t do much either.
So what can we do?
We can acknowledge what happened, we can take care of ourselves, and our teammates, and we can work to be better in our own communities.
Many people learn best from their own mistakes. There is no replacement for experiencing something firsthand, but if you sit down and think about some of the above situations, you may be able to take away some big life lessons, even if these will likely be different for each of us. The point is to sit and think about it. Decide what is right, and what is wrong. Decide who you want to be. It’s about coming up with a general set of principles and actions, and what you find acceptable. Then find a way to make that set of principles play a larger role in your life…
- Put a list of daily goals next to your door, so you see it every day when you leave your room. Check them off in your head when you come home.
- Find an inspirational quote, print it out, and hang it in your locker. Read it out loud every day before practice.
- Do something kind and altruistic every single day. It can be small, but do it.
- Buy a homeless person a meal once a week. Try talking to them!
- Write “be better” on your undershirts or your socks. Believe it every time you put them on.
- Teach someone something every day. Learn something every day.
- Forgive someone. Don’t hold on to anger, let it go, be honest, and move on. Forgiveness gives you perspective!
- Create a list of things you do NOT want to do. Things that would bring you shame. Think about how these things could impact your goals in life, whatever they are.
- Talk to someone. Listen. Conversation with a friend can be a life saver.
The above ideas are not guaranteed to keep you safe. They are not guaranteed to work. They are simply tools you can use to make yourself better. There are probably thousands of other ways that you can guide yourself, but the general idea is to think about what you are doing, just a little bit more.
The Cornell men’s team will likely bounce back and be just fine. They are still practicing and will play a full schedule this Spring. Hopefully, if the reports are true, the team has learned some lessons, and will be better off moving forward. It seems like no one was permanently hurt, and the opportunity to learn is present.
With the Marquette and Auburn situations, things went further. Lives have been impacted in big ways, and serious penalties are sure to be handed down. The lacrosse community doesn’t need any more stories like this, but more importantly, you don’t need all this negativity in your life. The best bet to avoid it is to actively work against it.
Good luck, be better, and help those around you, especially those who need it most. It’s a solid recipe for success.
If you have tips on how to stay on the straight and narrow, drop them below in the comments!