Lessons from the World Cup

Taking a chance when the odds are against you 

Sometimes the odds are against you. Sometimes the likely outcome of failure is enough that most people wouldn’t even try or take the chance…

That is not true of successful people.

Successful people take that chance. No matter how small the glimmer of winning is, they play the odds and go for it.

This was evident in the final match of the World Cup of soccer. The match up of France and Croatia was exciting and full of shocking moments. It left me drawing comparisons to the approach of the Croatian team and people who are successful in life.

I’m not a soccer fan. I admire the athletes, but I never watch soccer until the World Cup comes on. In fact, if I’m being truly honest (apologizes to soccer lovers reading this), I don’t even watch the World Cup until the final game.

Nothing about that changed this year. I got the highlights of who was winning from the news and friends but only tuned in for the final.

It was a great match to watch. Although France was the predicted winner, Croatia held their own for the first part of the game.

After the half, France came out with an abundance of energy and took a 4-1 lead. I thought that was it for the small country of beach lovers however, there was a final goal from a Croatian player that was brilliant display of how persistence can win.

The ball was kicked to the France goalie with no players around. The goalie, Lloris, took the ball into his control and looked for someone to kick or throw it to. All he had to do was pick it up.

A Croatia player came running at full sprint toward the goalie. Considering the average soccer player runs the equivalent of a marathon each game, one would think they would use moments like this to catch their breath. There was almost no point to running at the goalie when he obviously had full control of the ball.


Successful people will view an “almost no point in doing…” in the same light others view “Sure chance of win if you…”

They go for it.

The Croatian player, Mario Mandzukic, saw the possibility of that moment. He sprinted toward the goalie. Lloris was not expecting anyone to do so – he was calmly looking around when Mandzukic kicked the ball from under his nose and right into the net.

The moment was both exhilarating and shocking.

How many opportunities are missed in life because we don’t think we can succeed?

I’m positive that was not the only time a soccer player made that move against the odds and ended with the goalie simply picking up the ball. A pointless exercise that wasted valuable breath and energy – and yet the player persisted, knowing that one day, the goalie wouldn’t pick it up.

Are there opportunities every day for you to take a chance?

  • Maybe it’s suggesting a new approach for a problem to your leader at work 
  • Maybe it’s saying yes to the adventure you’ve been nervous about it
  • Maybe it’s as simple as trying a new hobby with your family.

It may not work out.

It may be a terrible experience.

Your family may not want to…

But what if they do? What if your leader is forever thankful for your suggestion and that event changes the course of your career?

What if the trip is the best experience you’ve ever had?

Taking a chance when the odds are against you could lead to the greatest moment of your life or a small fail that you’ll get over quickly.

Don’t let the possibility of the goalie picking up the ball stop you from the possibility of a huge success.

If you keep trying, one day you’ll kick the ball right into the net.   


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About the Author

Like most people, Christy has taken many paths. On the officially documented life list, she is a certified yoga teacher, an advanced open water diver, a financial adviser, a Harley rider and owner, an author, a community advocate.

She has been trained in coaching, negotiations and communication studies. She competed at a provincial level in competitive swimming and now has a passion for overall fitness.

On the un-documented list, Christy’s diverse experience is both positive and full of pot holes. She is the founder and CEO of a start-up company that never made it past the start-up phase. She has enough tattoos to classify as a walking adult colouring book. 

She has gone through all the identity phases at different times in her life: hippie, gothic, classy professional, biker... and is now a unique blend of them all. She a spiritual junkie and is addicted to adrenalin, learning and travel.

The bottom line: She is full of love and lessons with a hope that those who read this and connect with her will benefit from what she learned and be inspired to reach for the limitless possibilities of life.

Connect with her at:[email protected]

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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