Recently on a trip to Europe I stayed with my cousin in Fribourg, Switzerland. The family have recently moved from southern Italy to seek a better future in Switzerland. There was one moment that stood out for me the most, where I was demonstrated the power of attitude and confirmed for me why these children have adapted so well to the life changing experience of moving country, learning a new language and fitting in to a very different culture. Actually it took me back to the same journey I had experienced at the age of 8 when we moved from Switzerland to Australia.

For my cousin's 9 year old son, football (soccer) is his passion and his biggest coping tool. It had been two years since I had seen the kids in Italy and I was pleasantly surprised that they had adjusted so well after just one year in Switzerland.

At the end-of-season football BBQ, the coach was telling the parents about scouts that have been looking at their son's football skills. In the days that followed, one morning my cousin mentioned to her son that this was the case. His immediate response was “Well of course! So did Pele, it’s normal for that to happen” (in Italian of course). My cousin was floored by the conviction in her son’s tone. Clearly her son’s mentor, Pele, has had a profound impact on his attitude and how he sees himself (he had been watching Pele’s biographical movie over and over). According to her son he is following Pele’s steps and that is completely normal.

When she told me, I was impressed, something more will come from this fantastic attitude. The confidence and self-belief my nephew exudes has already allowed him to combat the fears and obstacles that have presented themselves in his young life. The future can only be bright when he has harnessed this valuable tool of self-belief. Don't we all wish we could master this much earlier than we did?

He is passionate about his football and his attitude IS everything. Instead of doubting himself and thinking that there are so many other possible good players out there (which is what any adult would tend to reason with) he has no doubts that the possibility can be more than just pie in the sky. 

Now none of us know if anything serious will come of this but regardless the outcome will be positive. Of that I'm sure because you cannot go through life with that kind of positive attitude and not succeed at whatever you do.

Imagine if we all attacked life with such conviction and self-belief? What could we achieve when doubt is not a factor? How much faster would our road to fulfilling our purpose be travelled if we could see ourselves in that success already?

It is often said (and I think it's true), we learn the biggest lessons in life from children. Their innocence is so pure, it is the truth. Make your attitude everything too, and see the results for sure. Mindset DOES matter.

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