Stop Saying If Only and Start Living Now: Lessons from an NFL ProPick the Brain


If only I had more money… if only I had chosen that job instead of this job… if only I had not done or said so. Each of us has spent time in the land Hopefully. I came there long after my NFL career when I wanted it to happen long ago. I told myself that if only I had taken different decisions, and if only I had not made some mistakes, I would still keep playing. I beat myself up to them all if only consistently.

I was so trapped in the world what could have happened that I pushed myself out of the world. But in time I realized that if only by choosing to live at all, I could not enjoy the present moment. And the present moment is where miracles happen, and happiness.

The more I could live in the present, the better I felt, I realized. So I started practicing letting them all go, if only – and that’s when my whole world changed for the better.

Here are 4 proven methods with the help of which you can leave yourself only if:

1 is Let go of the past and forgive yourself.

Easy to look back on I shouldn’t have done that, or, I should have done this instead, or, How i didn’t know any betterThe My football career ended prematurely due to injuries caused by overtraining, for which I blamed myself. I was so strict on myself for training too much. But there is a Zener proverb: “Let go or be dragged.” For a very long time, I let myself be dragged out of my mind.

Rigret is a waste of time, though: living with it keeps us from enjoying all the precious moments around us. If it is okay to just reflect and learn from it, but you need to be able to forgive yourself, then remind yourself that you made the best decision at that time, and move on.

Verb Item: Forgiveness Meditation.

Forgive yourself for your past decisions with daily meditation. Sit comfortably and close your eyes. Take a deep breath and then let it go slowly. Breathe in naturally and slowly. Allow your shoulder blades to rest. Make your face soft. Bring your attention to the area of ​​your heart. Feel any emotion inside you in your heart because you have not forgiven yourself. Keep breathing slowly.

Now, pay attention to the times and ways by which you have hurt yourself, and allow yourself to forgive yourself for them. Fill your heart with forgiveness, effortlessness and warmth. Focus on forgiving yourself for everything, honestly. Then increase that forgiveness each time you hurt yourself one by one. As you do this, repeat yourself: I forgive myself.

I realized that the faster we forgive, the faster we will be happy. When we make forgiveness a daily habit, we open ourselves up to endless possibilities. Anger is a wall around our heart and makes us fully experience life. The more we can forgive, the more energy we release to create the life we ​​really want.

2. Think about all the positives that came out of that situation / decision.

Every time I was cut off by an NFL team or dismissed by a coach, I think it was the worst thing that could happen to me. But looking back, I’ve come to know that I was building resilience: rejection made me stronger. Best of all, when my career soon ended what I had planned, it created an opening for me to discover yoga and meditation – and made them a profession. It is a role that has allowed me to give back to others and help with my challenges, and it has changed my life. If things went according to plan, I would never have discovered this opportunity.

Action Item: Writing the Good.

It’s simple: In your journal, write down a list of five positives that came out of your previous position. This may sound like a challenge, but I’m sure you have to stop yourself at number five.

3. You do not need to find out all this.

For me, it was always the NFL or bust, with no back-up plan. My goal setting and vision served me well: I was able to accomplish that goal. But when it was over, I didn’t know what would happen next, and I panicked. I had always worked with an eccentric plan, and I was stuck in my belief that I had to know what I was going to do next. I lost sight of the present and lost sight of myself. I remember that I am constantly worrying about the future, so afraid of the uncertainty that I cannot focus on the moment I was actually living.

But it is okay to know what you want to do, or have no plans for your next career. You can make a future by enjoying that moment. When one door closes, another one opens, as we have all heard. We have to stop staring at the closed door and keep our eyes open.

Action Item: Allow your door to open.

Remember: that your story is unwritten. Nobody knows what happens next, but our hearts know that what we want can happen. Find a quiet place and sit with your magazine. What do you want you can try? You can take yourself where you want? Write down five things that your heart is encouraging you to consider.

4. Remember that the best time to plant trees is now.

For about 15 years, I felt that I am one thing: a football player. This was the label I applied to myself. Once I was taken away, I found it useless and dreamless. But once I realized that living in the past is preventing me from enjoying it now, I was able to move on.

One of my favorite lines comes from the film, The Shawshank Redemption: “get busy living or get busy dying.” The proverb becomes a mantra, and it sustains Andy Dufresne (Tim Robbins) and “Red” Redding (Morgan Freeman) despite impossible odds and disappointments.

Verb object: Find your mantra.

If and only in the present tense, which phrase do you get? You might want to try get busy living, Or come with your own. It’s not complicated, just obvious. We all have our own personal mantra that prevents us from living in the past and brings us back now. Take time to find one that works for you.

These four actions made a big change in my life. I practiced them as I would practice a practice, and gradually they became a part of who I am. And I realized that I had not completely lost myself after football – I still had some similar positive habits. When I was younger, I used to go to the field myself and practice just and only kicking. It was a form of meditation, although I did not know it at the time. Realizing that, I had a strong sensation: my if only one thanks turned into goodness. I still have a lot to thank for.


X-nfl kicker Sean conley (Detroit Lions, Indianapolis Colts, New York Jets) suffered career-ending injuries from overtraining. He began practicing yoga as part of his rehabilitation, and soon adopted yoga as a new life direction of meditation, meditation and philosophy. Now himself a yoga teacher, he owns Amazing Yoga in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with his wife. His new book, The Point After: How One Resilient Kicker Learned from the NFL for More Lives (Lyon Press, 2020). Learn more at seanconley.net


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