I strongly believe that the person I am today has been powerfully shaped by my experiences. Soccer has been a massive part of my life since a young age and still is at 22 years of age. Playing professionally has always been my dream and the pursuit of that dream brought me to America to play college soccer and obtain a degree. Skills and lessons I have learned from soccer are universal and have no doubt shaped my own personality and value system. Dedicated practice is something that I hold as the key to the achievement of anything in life. This became clear to me as I grew older and led me to train smarter, harder and longer as my dream of playing professional soccer began to seem more like an attainable goal. Soccer was not the only area of my life I worked to improve in. The attainment of knowledge and wisdom became important to me and I have now read over 50 non-fiction books from science to self help in an attempt to be a better person and understand the world around me.
Deciding what is important to me has been an ongoing process. There is much I am unsure of and comparatively little I am sure of. One thing I do know is I want to have a positive influence on the world. To change the world for the better I am willing to sacrifice some of my own happiness because the pain of knowing I wasn’t a good person far outweighs those little pleasures I may miss. This realization came to me after some tough experiences where I felt like I was not being treated with the respect and trust I deserved. Dealing with people that have treated me this way forced me to look at my own actions. I was able to see a glimpse of myself in the behavior I was hurt by. Feeling that made me realize that I had to be the change I wished to see in the world. This now motivates me on a daily basis: Treating people how they deserve to be treated and standing up for what is right.
I have never suffered from the age old student dilemma of finding an area of study they find interesting. On the contrary, I am cursed with a thirst for knowledge in too many areas of study! This stems from my pursuit of self improvement in all areas and a mild phobia of commitment. Without the choice of a degree in interdisciplinary studies I may still be an undeclared junior. Deciding my areas of specialization was difficult but I am comfortable with the mix I have settled on. I chose business entrepreneurship as my minor because one day I will want to start my own business and be my own boss. My creative energy is powerful and I felt like learning the ropes of business entrepreneurship would focus that energy. Communications is one of my areas of focus which I was able to transfer from credits I earned at university in New Zealand. Understanding how we share ideas and mastering the art is something I see as important and useful in life. Philosophy is my final area of focus and that was selected out of my hunger for knowledge. I spend a lot of my time thinking up questions about life that have very illusive answers. Philosophy is able to satisfy my need to ask the question of; Why?
I would like to think that I have an ever increasingly broad mind. The amount of travel I have been fortunate enough to have done is certainly a factor in this. I have visited Ireland, Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Czech Republic, Malaysia, Thailand, Tahiti, Mexico, and Australia to name only some. I have lived in three countries, New Zealand from birth to 18 years old when I moved to England for close to a year. After returning to New Zealand for a year I then moved to America for college and have been here at UCF for three years. Living in and visiting such diverse environments has taught me tolerance and the importance of open mindedness.
My future has many alternate paths. All of these paths lead to the same place; happiness, fulfillment and a positive impact on the world. Narrowing these paths and planning for the future is something that I know I must do. As it stands I am still pursuing my goal of becoming a professional soccer player but as I mature other areas of my life have started to become increasingly important. Helping others is something that becomes more important as I grow older and coaching soccer is becoming more and more attractive. This would allow me to help to teach and improve the lives of the young players I coach. Starting a business that can make money and help the world is something that inspires me. The freedom to create something new appeals strongly to my creative side.
In a way, playing soccer at a high level has caused these other goals to take a back seat in my life. Soccer has always been number one and although I have had some difficult experiences it still remains one of the strongest parts of my identity and the compass for my life decisions. With one more year of college left, my dream of professional soccer will either be achieved or abandoned within the next couple of years. The accomplishment deadline is within two years. Essential to the attainment of this goal is a strong senior year of college soccer. I have a clear idea of what I must do to accomplish this goal from the long term goal of signing the contract to the short term stepping stones of constant improvement. These are things I constant reevaluate and update as time passes and my short term goals are accomplished. One day playing soccer will be over for me, whether that is two years away or fifteen. At that point I may pursue coaching and use the practical knowledge I have learned about soccer and the communication skills I studied at college. Using my creativity and entrepreneurial skills to start a business is a possibility post soccer. Whatever I do I will be seeking to live a life that contributes to the improvement of society and I don’t see this ever changing.
Through my own eyes, my future appears bright. I know my outcome: To enjoy my life and make the world a better place. My paths to this outcome are yet to be decided. I have little preference whether I change the world through creating a new innovative business, forging a memorable professional soccer career or changing the world one young soccer player at a time as a coach. The final result is the only nonnegotiable point. The means can change based on the opportunities that life presents me. I believe that my skills and personality will allow me to succeed no matter which path I choose. The best thing I can do is continue to learn and dedicate myself to whatever I do. There is no doubt that my morals, values, dreams and goals will change over time. I welcome this change with open arms