Ooh La La – Life Lessons from Nick Foles

Ooh La La – “I wish that I knew what I know now, when I was younger.” Actually, I wish I knew what Nick Foles already knows when I was his age (29).  A month after the Philadelphia Eagles won the 2018 Super Bowl, I still am amazed by his insights in a press conference the day after the Super Bowl.

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Nick was the Eagle’s backup quarterback and had not played all season. Carson Wentz, the Eagle’s starting quarterback and likely league MVP, finally gave Philly fans reason to believe a championship was possible…until he had a devastating, season-ending injury.  Pretty much everyone figured the Eagle’s season was doomed without Wentz. All the “pundits” and most of us diehard fans felt the Eagles had no chance of even winning a playoff game and forget about getting to the Super Bowl.  But Foles was absolutely amazing!  The Eagles were underdogs in all 3 playoff games, but Foles was pretty much perfect.  The season ended with an amazing Super Bowl victory over the New England Patriots.  Foles’ postseason was one of the greatest in NFL history. He completed 72.6 percent of his passes (2nd highest ever) and was the Super Bowl MVP.

THE WISDOM OF NICK FOLES:

Reuben Frank (reporter) asked Nick, “What he wants people to take from his journey, … from being unwanted by three teams to standing there with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell posing for pictures with the Super Bowl MVP trophy.”  Foles’ responded, “I think the big thing is don’t be afraid to fail.  I think in our society today, Instagram, Twitter, it’s a highlight reel, it’s all the good things. And then when you look at it, when you think like, wow, when you have a rough day, ‘My life’s not as good as that,’ (you think) you’re failing.  Failure is a part of life. It’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.  I’ve made mistakes. We all are human, we all have weaknesses, and I think throughout this, (it’s been important) to be able to share that and be transparent. I know when I listen to people speak and they share their weaknesses, I’m listening. Because (it) resonates. So I’m not perfect. I’m not Superman. I might be in the NFL, I might have just won a Super Bowl, but, hey, we still have daily struggles, I still have daily struggles. And that’s where my faith comes in, that’s where my family comes in. I think when you look at a struggle in your life, just know that’s just an opportunity for your character to grow. And that’s just been the message. Simple. If something’s going on in your life and you’re struggling, embrace it, because you’re growing.” WOW!!! [Watch Nick Foles respond: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZeAcWhCrls].  I think that is pretty amazing insight and very meaningful to me.  I sure wish I had that wisdom when I was 29.

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Even in the most difficult situations, you can find gratitude (See related blog).  This message keeps popping up in my life, like the universe is talking to me.  Even a Dove chocolate candy wrapper was speaking to me recently.

JUST BECAUSE LIFE ISN’T FAIR DOESN’T MEAN IT ISN’T GOOD!

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Adversity provides an opportunity to build character, to grow, to learn, and to have pride when you work through it.  We all know, life isn’t fair and some people have many more hardships and daily struggles than others.  Using the wisdom of Foles, “Embrace your adversity!”  That is not always easy when you are feeling like your life is a sh&t storm. The key is to take ownership for your circumstances rather than choosing to feel like a victim.  Your situation may not be your fault, but it’s up to you to find your way out of it.  And working through adversity is where we gain insight, perspective and meaning in life.

So, making myself a little vulnerable, I’m dealing with some adversity now.  Several months ago, my work situation changed.  I was in a very challenging role as a VP of Professional Services at a software company.  However, for a variety of reasons, it was time to move on.  I had a great run, met some wonderful colleagues, learned, grew and I’m truly grateful for the time I spent there.  But, I was also happy and ready to move on and quite confident I would land a great new permanent position fairly quickly.  I am taking on contract work for now, but I would prefer to find a leadership role at a good company.  I haven’t lost my confidence or optimism, but finding the right opportunity is taking longer than I expected.  However, per the advice of Nick Foles, I am “embracing” this situation. During this journey, I’ve learned a lot. In addition to patience (not my best virtue), I’ve learned that I have so many reasons to be grateful, including:

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  • I have a wonderful network of friends and former colleagues who have been supportive and helpful.
  • I’ve made time to exercise, practice yoga, and meditate. I’m in great health, probably the best shape I’ve been in since my 30’s.
  • Regular exercise, yoga and meditation have given me tools to help calm my very active mind, be more present and mindful.
  • I have a fantastic family that gives me great pride.
  • I live with Kris Chiappa – she rocks my world.
  • I am happy and feeling very confident.
  • I know it will be ok in the end, and if it’s not ok, it’s not the end!

When I do land my next awesome career position, I will benefit from this journey and be even more motivated, insightful and positive than ever, and probably a little more humble too. This experience has helped me better understand what’s important to me in my next job.  My priorities are as follows:

  1. The company must be a good cultural fit. For me, that implies a highly collaborative environment, smart & friendly colleagues, ethical business practices, and products & services I believe in.  I want to work where everyone has an opportunity to shine.  I don’t care who gets credit, I want the company to win!
  2. I need to be in a role that is challenging and interesting where I can continue to learn and grow.
  3. I need to be in a role where I am tangibly adding value for my company by effectively serving my customers and colleagues.  I also desire a role where my skills and experience are appreciated and I can contribute to the success of the company in ways not strictly confined to my job description.
  4. I need to feel appreciated for my contributions to the growth and success of the company.
  5. I expect to be compensated fairly.

I welcome your feedback.

Dan

https://www.linkedin.com/in/dgsaltzman/

2 thoughts on “Ooh La La – Life Lessons from Nick Foles

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