Ricardo Kaká

23 Jul

“Defeat is part of our careers. It’s what we make of it that matters.

“Kaká, you may no longer be able to play football.”

When this was said to me, I was only 18 and already a featured player in the São Paulo base team. I had just injured a vertebra in an accident at a water slide. I didn’t know it back then, but I was about to learn one of the biggest lessons I could ever learn in life.

But let us go back a bit.

I was born in the city of Brasilia, where I spent the first four years of my life. However, it was in the city of Cuiabá, where I lived the three following years, that I handled a football for the first time. I was only a child, but I was already showing signs that I was gifted in this regard. My physical education teacher saw my talent and encouraged me to go and look for a club where I could train. When I was seven, my family and I moved to São Paulo. For the first time, I had to put up a fight with my body just to be able to do the thing I most loved doing. With two years of delay in bone age, it was tough for me to compete with the other boys.

Imagine the following scenario: I was 14 years old, but my size was that of a 12 year-old.

Even so, I didn’t give up. I had this single dream: To become a professional player at SPFC and play at least one single match as a member of the Brazilian national football team. Now, when I put this longing in perspective with my career, it seems to me that I was thinking too little. How many people dream of becoming a soccer player in our country? And how many of wearing the yellow jersey?!

By the age of 15, with the help of nutritional supplementation and hard training with physical exercises, I was determined to pursue my goal with all my mind and heart.

An athlete’s career is very demanding. We need to leave our families, deprive ourselves of our freedom, of our weekends, and so much more. What motivated me to play football was the love I had for the sport and my dream of becoming a great player, as well as the the fun I had playing with my friends and doing something I loved. But those who only have an external perspective are unable to realize how painful it is to be a professional player.

Two months after hearing that I may never be able to play football again, I began my career in the São Paulo professional team. Not long after that, I scored the two goals that earned my team the Rio-São Paulo Tournament’s title. What was the lesson learned? There are no final defeats in our careers. Each fall brings with it a big lesson to be learned. It is up to us to grow as much as possible with the falls that we experience, just to keep getting back on our feet as better people.

My final understanding regarding how to deal with the unavoidable ups and downs came with time. You may know that we got to the final match of the 2004/05 UEFA Champions League when we played against Liverpool. In the first half, we lead with a 3-0 score. After the break, our game went down the drain. The British tied the match and won the trophy in the penalty shoot-outs. No one seemed to understand what had just happened. Do you know why? Because there was nothing to understand.

All I knew is that I had to prepare myself better. I had to focus to increase my chances of winning. It meant improving how I worked on my physical and mental skills, my technique, my tactics and my spirituality, too.

In 2007, we once again got to the final match of that tournament. Liverpool was, once again, our rival. We beat them 2 to 1 and, at the end of that year, I was chosen by FIFA as the World’s Best Player.

Winning or losing, both in life and in sports, is out of our control. I learned that losing is part of the game and that all we need to do is to learn the great lessons hidden behind it. Indeed, this is the only way through which we can improve ourselves.”

― Ricardo Kaká, Defeat is part of our careers. It’s what we make of it that matters, July 21, 2016

Source: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/defeat-part-our-career-we-have-learn-how-improve-ourselves-kak%C3%A1

Can you believe Kaká in Linkedin?  I was delighted to read this  piece from a favorite footballer. Every one knows Kaká.  I will not write more about the great soccer star who is still active in MLS ( Orlando City) and Brazil national team. I though wondered why in recent times he was not played in Brazil national team like the other great  AC Milan player Andrea Pirlo who kept playing  with distinction for Italy. He could have given so much leadership.

I will stick to the message. The great star shares in this Linkedin piece  and let me quote:

” Two months after hearing that I may never be able to play football again, I began my career in the São Paulo professional team. Not long after that, I scored the two goals that earned my team the Rio-São Paulo Tournament’s title. What was the lesson learned? There are no final defeats in our careers. Each fall brings with it a big lesson to be learned. It is up to us to grow as much as possible with the falls that we experience, just to keep getting back on our feet as better people.”

” Winning or losing, both in life and in sports, is out of our control. I learned that losing is part of the game and that all we need to do is to learn the great lessons hidden behind it. Indeed, this is the only way through which we can improve ourselves.”

I think this is a great message. There are no final defeats and we must learn and keep striving to be the best we can. I tried to share my experiences in this context in many a posts and let me think through from humble journey..

I once went to meet a school mate after twenty plus years, some one whom was fond of and with vivid memories, he said ” I have done three companies….”  Two successful exits and  in a remarkable third venture. I have nothing but admiration for my class mate.

I once read a interview of a CEO whom met once and he had said same ” I have done three companies…”  In his third CEO role now…

Those are excellent credentials and remarkable success stories..

Mine has been failure + failure +  failure + start up  success +  Corporate path

I have written about this in many posts and will refresh some of the learning:

– You succeed only with right effort.

– You succeed only when you are prepared for failure.

– You succeed only with right people.

– You succeed only with right attitude.

Life is not just about success or failure in a a field of study or chosen profession. We all do not have the same challenges. The same circumstances. That’s why we make different choices and foster a different path.

A professor once told me you need to remember three people always : Gandhi, Marx and Buddha. I think Gandhi and Buddha are very good.  I read Gandhi, Helen Keller and Eckhart Tolle when am in a spot..

My friends late father had said ” He is wise..” I had no choice. I had no mentors. I had no support. I had two friends. I had a family.  I had to learn.

Some of the other leanings have been ” good vibes” and ” seeing positive side of every one” and ” giving up anger”  am 80 percent better than before, though do worry if have lost some of the early drive and courage, you see Satan is more passionate..

Spirituality is a function of self awareness. I decided on mindfulness. “Religion is cheap Psychiatry”  a guru said as he laughed himself. If I become a Guru would like to become like him. Throw a Frisbee and laugh.  Enough of me.

I think  the great Kaká is very right ” All I knew is that I had to prepare myself better. I had to focus to increase my chances of winning. It meant improving how I worked on my physical and mental skills, my technique, my tactics and my spirituality, too.”

We must do the same and try getting better at every aspect of our lives. I wish to leave you with another favorite of mine, Malcolm Gladwell..

“It’s not how much money we make that ultimately makes us happy between nine and five. It’s whether or not our work fulfills us. Being a teacher is meaningful.”

―  Malcolm Gladwell, Outliers: The Story of Success 

Think about that…

My current lesson is patience.  Please do remember the great Kaká’. As for the  Brazilian superstar..

” I remember how badly we took it as a team when Kaka left Milan. For two or three years he was the best player in the world. There was a point when teams just had no idea how to stop him.’

— Milan teammate and Italian legend Andrea Pirlo

Have a good day dear friends!

Love, suresh

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