Love this quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson – Don’t die with your music still in you! Listen to your intuitive inner voice and find out what passion stirs your soul. Listen to that inner voice and don’t get to the end of your life and say “what if my whole life has been wrong?”
I have to admit that prior to last week, my care factor on the whole MotoGP thing was limited to feigning understanding whilst competing alongside Wayne Gardner on Channel Seven’s Survivor back in 2006.
All I really remember is that this sport seems to result in having hands a bit like a crab claws, and having little to no fear of a broken back.
But last week, while reading about Casey Stoner’s shock departure from the sport that made him a champion, or the other way around, I just couldn’t get over what an absolute hero this guy clearly is.
How rare is it for someone with the earning power that Casey has, and the worldwide adoration he has, to have the guts to honour yourself, knowing how many people will be devastated by your departure?
Now that is what I call world-class dignity and discipline!
And it reminded me so much of what made me so but so sad while watching the Ayrton Senna documentary last year.
As the documentary moved through his rise to superstardom, it also showed that period when his heart was no longer in the sport. Stating similar reasons to Casey, who says he’s become increasingly frustrated at technical changes in the championship.
Ayrton Senna never made that move that I felt he shouldn’t have done that would have kept him alive. He stayed with it but his spirit seemed to die.
At the risk of sounding distasteful, I truly believe if you don’t acknowledge when your passion has left something, you will get your car crash moment. Maybe not as literally as poor Ayrton’s, but symbolically whether it be a relationship, a career, or a whatever, something will go really bad.
The thing that Casey has shown is that all the things that feed the ego, money, power, fame did not rule him, and that is just a strength way beyond anything else he’s achieved.
If you’re heart and your head isn’t in something, then you’re completely throwing your self-esteem to the wolves. And once you start depleting that, then everything else around you suffers and a lot of the time you don’t even realise it.
I remember being in a job I knew I’d moved on from in my head, and I kept thinking, “don’t be institutionalised by a pay packet and the perks.” Had it not ended when it did, all the good work I’d done would have gone down the gurgler.
After being so committed to the job and enjoying it for so long, I knew I was cruising into dangerous terrain when I threw my first sickie after staying out well past my bedtime and partying like it was 1999. But it wasn’t fun; it was all about running away from a decision I needed to kick myself in the butt to properly make.
But as for Casey Stoner, who showed the ultimate respect to those around him explained in his press conference “I made my decision this early in the season out of respect for Honda. If I had waited until the last race I could have left a lot of people embarrassed,” he said. It’s what lesser mortals usually do.
So he may have won his share of races and championships, but Casey Stoner has displayed, a true hero is knowing winning is sometimes about walking away.
WHAT HAVE YOU WALKED AWAY FROM THAT WASN’T EASY TO DO? COULD YOU DO A CASEY?