As a first generation immigrant, I know the tenacity, mental toughness and the need to adapt to a new country. I am raising children who are second generation Americans. They witness and hear the difference between life in America and another country, the country of their grandparents. It is my hope and belief that they will be raised to know and cherish the American possibilities, generosity, adventurous spirit…
Vince Lombardi, one of the greatest football coaches in history must have had first hand knowledge of the mental toughness needed to succeed. I can imagine the days when he saw his parents and neighbors struggle in the new country, language and culture. The tales he heard from his parents about their exit from Italy and why they came to America.
The oldest child of an Italian immigrant, I guess much was expected from him while he was growing up in Brooklyn, New York. Could you imagine telling his parents he was quitting priesthood education to become a football coach? No one played football in Italy in the early 1900s where his parents were raised. And here they were in America and the son was leaving his ‘calling’ of priesthood to serve his community for another career outside their realm.
America is a land of immigrants. Most immigrants worked hard and achieved their American dream. How about the generations after? Did we lose the mental toughness, discipline and hard work that our forefathers had when they left their homeland for ‘The New World”?
Lombardi, an American icon died at an early age of 57 from colon cancer. Could it be his workaholic lifestyle and the lack of self-care that tragedy struck and he was gone? Would a balanced lifestyle of work and play have made a difference and gave him a longer life?
Is that one of the downfalls of immigrants and sons and daughters of immigrants? Forgetting the balance of work and play?
Though Lombardi is gone, his legacy remains and his words are still inspiring many of us. Here are 10 quotes to help you develop mental toughness, discipline and habit from an Italian immigrant son, Vince Lombardi:
In order to succeed in anything including building a business or parenting, we need mental toughness and discipline. There are no other ways around it. Many times I flake. How about you?
Mental toughness is many things and rather difficult to explain. Its qualities are sacrifice and self-denial. Also, most importantly, it is combined with a perfectly disciplined will that refuses to give in. It’s a state of mind – you could call it ‘character in action- Lombardi
Play by the rules:
It is a reality of life that men are competitive and the most competitive games draw the most competitive men. That's why they are there – to compete. The object is to win fairly, squarely, by the rules – but to win.
Winning is a habit. Watch your thoughts, they become your beliefs. Watch your beliefs, they become your words. Watch your words, they become your actions. Watch your actions, they become your habits. Watch your habits, they become your character.
He has faith:
I believe in God. – Lombardi
You have to believe:
If you don’t think you’re a winner, you don’t belong here- Lombardi