We have all heard the saying “practice makes perfect” and that “greatness requires 90% sweat and 10% talent”. But as every athlete knows, you also need a great amount of God given talent and good luck to become one of the best.
For those of us that have practiced some sort of sport know that when we begin training, every single muscle in our body aches and we ask ourselves if it’s all worth it. Experience tells us that if we put in the time and do the work, the results from our first game are going to reflect our work. As the season progresses, it becomes easier and we don’t hurt as much. We begin to enjoy the hard work and want to be challenged to the best of our abilities.
Life is a little bit like that, but not only do we have to exercise our bodies, we need to work on our intellect and our soul. In life, real success and happiness is achieved by working on our virtues: Prudence, Justice, Fortitude and Temperance. Unlike sports, the season is not 4 or 8 months long, but the game of life lasts a lifetime and virtues need to be exercised permanently (“if you don’t use it you lose it”). The good news is that as we become better athletes of life and virtues become habits, they become part of who we are; they are engraved in our decision making process and we act on them naturally.
Now, if we really want to be happy and successful, we can ask for that talent and extra 10% that makes the difference. These are the virtues of Faith, Hope and Charity. They are freely given and all we have to do is ask. Then our job is to practice these virtues.
As in any sport, if we love what we do, we accept the pain, the hard work and do it with a smile! We enjoy the moment and we are happy, even if it only lasts for a brief moment. In the game of life, we also feel the pain, have to work hard and many times feel disappointed by our performance. The difference is the price. In sports we get a trophy. By living a virtuous life we win eternal love and we are coached and helped by the best team; The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit.