Ronaldinho’s Success From Living Outside the Mold

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In life, there are people that fit inside the mold of society, and people who simply do not.  The people who often find themselves outside the mold of the average person are unique. These are the few people that through their thoughts, words, and actions have the opportunity to change the way people think.
Sports are no different. At any level of organized sports there are players who fit inside the mold. They are the average players who have the same way of thinking and athletic ability. As athletes rise through the ranks in their given sports, they come in contact with players who tend to be different than the rest for numerous reasons.  This level is where the most elite players thrive.  Among those elite players are certain individuals that are so good at what they do that their gifts put them in a league of their own.
Ronaldinho, a midfielder and soccer icon embodies this description.  At no point in his life did he ever want to do what everyone else was doing.  Despite coming from a poor background in the favelas of Brazil, Ronaldinho’s parents raised him and his brother to be different, unlike anyone else.  Ronaldinho’s brother, Roberto, played for the senior team at the hometown soccer club, Grêmio. Despite his father’s death early on in his life, Ronaldinho remembers the most important thing he had ever taught him; creativity is more important than calculation.
He approached every new step in life with an enthusiasm and humility that is hard to rival.  The soccer star remembers his humble upbringing at the core of everything he has accomplished. The defining aspect of Ronaldinho as a soccer player is not the skill that he has, the goals that he scores or even the accolades that he receives; it is the happiness he bring with the ball at his feet.  His father loved the sport of soccer because it was something that made him genuinely happy.
Ronaldinho brought this mentality of genuine joy and happiness for his craft into every game he played in.  His style of play, outside of a select few members of the soccer community, was disliked initially.  Whenever there was a loss, or negative time in his life people would point to his style of play as the reason for the problem. He never got discouraged because he knew that some people wouldn’t understand it. Not everyone was going to appreciate the joy he got from playing soccer – he was not playing for those people.  Instead, he was playing for the people who needed joy and the people in life who needed help finding peace in something outside the traditional norm. 
Ronaldinho’s journey through football is the story of a man that never game up on his dream. At no point did he waver from the way that he decided to live his life.  He had a goal in mind and stopped at nothing to achieve it. All of this was done while feeling so comfortable doing something he loved. This love allowed his creativity to overcome any issue he would have had that was due to any issues like anxiety or fear.
Discipline to a routine in order to achieve a goal is not the issue, neither is thinking critically in order to solve a goal. The issue with calculation that creativity solves is the aspect of fear.  Over calculation and analysis of a situation can cause an individual to develop anxiety or fear because deep down they do not have faith in what they are doing. Ronaldinho’s story challenges us as athletes and people to have unwavering discipline and commitment to a goal. It more importantly challenges us to have enough confidence in ourselves that we do not over calculate a dream or goal we have. We must believe in ourselves and our goal so much that we find happiness in it and allow for our creativity lead us to success.
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