Aspire Learning Space
Sep 28, 2020

“Excuse me, my name’s spelled wrong.”
“Nothin personal but by the time I’m through with it, is it really gonna matter.”

There is a story that is as old as time. It’s a story that has reverberated across thousands of years, hundreds of cultures and millions of people. It is simply this, that someone says you’re not good enough.

There isn’t a place or time that hasn’t seen this transpire; someone being rejected. Whether it’s a fair reason or not, we’ve all experienced being turned down. We’ve all been told we’re a failure, or not successful enough.

So, a movie like Invincible is a breath of fresh air, not only because it’s a great film, but because it’s based on a true story.

“Do you mind if I ask how old you are?”
“No I don’t mind; do you mind if I ask how old you are?”

In the 70s, the US was facing some economic problems and it largely affected industrial work and factories. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania was one of the hardest hit cities at the time. To make matters worse, their NFL team, the Philadelphia Eagles had a string of losing seasons.

When the team hires a new head coach, he announces an open tryout, a chance for anyone in the city to try and join the team. No one meets the rigorous standards of the sport, except for one man; Vince Papale. The 30-year-old was a substitute teacher who had been recently laid off unexpectedly. After being encouraged by his friends, he reluctantly goes to the tryouts and against all the odds, is picked as the only candidate but the coach.

The rest of the story follows his struggle to make the team. The man was left by his wife who didn’t want to stick around during his time of “failure”, and he is normally deemed too old to start a sports career, particularly in the NFL.

Yet the more you see Vince, the more you understand what it is to persevere. The great thing about Vince is, he’s not a superhero. He’s not someone who has super strengths or qualities that are impossible to find or replicate. He’s just a normal guy who finds himself in a bad spot, the same way so many of us have before and still are maybe.

Nothing was going for him, not his age, not his home life, not his psychological state or his career. Yet he went on to become the oldest rookie every to begin an NFL career and is remembered as a legend by Philadelphians.

We need to learn that our success will never come easy. Not only that, we need to learn that it is impossible to always be supported. So many dreams and aspirations were thwarted by naysayers and doubters, and because the dreamer couldn’t deal with the negativity, they stopped. But the few who persevered and pursed their dream, who fought and clawed their way to success, they weren’t waiting for someone to tell them that they can do it, because otherwise they would have waited their whole lives and never done anything.

To be self-motivated is crucial. It’s a blessing to be supported by others around you in your pursuit of your dreams and goals. But that’s just what it is, a blessing, not a given.

That’s why you have to work on being your own driver. You have to learn to push yourself, it’s so much easier said than done, but the fact remains, no one ever amounted to anything really amazing just because they were pushed up. You have to do your part.

The way it should be is, you do your part, and someone helps you. But life isn’t fair like that at all. More often than not, you will have to pick yourself up when no one else is around.

It sounds bleak and harsh. It is. The world is not a forgiving place. But the rewards are there. The victory that awaits those who can overcome these hurdles, is unlike any other.

Don’t be disheartened, this doesn’t happen overnight, and your journey of success, is not limited to only one aspect in your life. Your whole life should be seen as your journey, and to that effect, have faith in knowing that you’re not alone, and that you can reach wherever you want to go, no matter how late you start.

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