Life always has its ups and downs, even for the rich and famous. As always it is how adversity is tackled that determines eventual success or failure. This is a short article I wrote this week for The Best You magazine.
What makes David Beckham one of the greatest soccer players the world has ever seen? It is an exquisite balance of mind, body, and soul, working in perfect harmony.
Beckham’s mental strength has been tested on numerous occasions by adversity, including serious injuries, and he describes his red card against Argentina in the 1998 World Cup as the lowest point of his life. He was vilified by both the English press and the fans and was widely blamed for England’s defeat. During this time he received numerous death threats, and did not feel safe for over three years.
Beckham’s humble view of a ‘round world’ where success at the top is always followed by failure at the bottom was his solid foundation. He knew that success would inexorably follow failure as long as he remained grounded by the three qualities he considered to be the most valuable. They were belief, strength, and family.
An example of his belief is his expression ‘impossible is nothing.’ His strength flows from his application. One of his previous managers, Alex Ferguson, stated,
David Beckham is Britain’s finest striker of a football, not because of god-given talent but because he practices with a relentless application that the vast majority of less-gifted players wouldn’t contemplate.
The importance that Beckham places on his family to his success is also legendary.
Beckham loves drawing and painting, and it is clear from his interviews that he has highly developed visualisation skills, which are essential for all top athletes. He has over twenty tattoos, and he has chosen them carefully. Each makes a visual statement that resonates deeply with him. They include tattoos relating to his family, and intriguingly, an angel on his right shoulder, with the words ‘In the face of adversity.’
Beckham’s career has had more than its share of ups and downs, and my vote for the one quality that that makes him such a special person is the way that he has handled adversity. He has demonstrated role model mastery of the importance of belief, strength, and family to his success.