Life Fitness

Friday 20 January 2017

Declan Coyle: My 11 rules to a better you

Mind Your Step

Declan Coyle

Published 01/07/2014 | 02:30

Teenage kicks so hard to beat: Only one person will help you achieve your athletic potential. You. Picture: Depositphotos
Teenage kicks so hard to beat: Only one person will help you achieve your athletic potential. You. Picture: Depositphotos

He was what you would call a stressed athlete. He had talent and ability but he wasn't achieving his athletic potential. He was, as he said, "mostly ticking over".

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He was what you would call a typical teenager. We give our children everything in life except perhaps the ability to handle adversity.

He was definitely of the opinion the world owed him a living. He was blaming other people, events and situations for his own fitness and motivational problems.

I shared with him my version of 'The 11 Rules of Life' based on a book by Charles Sykes called 'Dumbing Down Our Kids.'


1 Life is not fair Get used to it. The average teenager uses the phrase "It's not fair" 8.6 times a day. Expect difficulty! Life is complicated. Get good at it.

2 The Real World won't care about your self-esteem It will expect you to accomplish something before you feel good about yourself. This may come as a shock.

3 Sorry, you won't make €30,000 a year right out of school You may even have to wear a uniform. The key is to understand challenges are how we learn. Expect interesting situations! Taking them in your stride builds your confidence. Never fear trouble. Just learn to triumph over it!

4 It's not your parents' fault If you make a mess of things, you are responsible. This is the flip side of "It's my life," and "You're not the boss of me," and other eloquent proclamations of your generation. Learn from every experience. Learn from difficulties, make changes, and move on. Never repeat the same life-lesson. Attitudes of optimism and enthusiasm are essential.

5 Think your teacher is tough? wait until you get a boss When you mess things up, he or she's not going to ask you how you feel about it.

6 Flipping burgers is not beneath your dignity Your grandparents had a different word for burger-flipping. They called it opportunity. They weren't embarrassed making minimum wage either.

7 Before you were born, your parents weren't as boring as they are now They got that way from paying your bills, cleaning up your room and listening to you tell them how idealistic you are. And by the way, before you save the rainforest try tidying your bedroom.

8 Your school may have done away with winners and losers Life hasn't. Effort matters.

9 Life is not divided into semesters And you don't get summers off. They expect you to show up every day at work. While we're at it, very few jobs are interested in fostering your self-expression or helping you find yourself.

10 Television is not real life Your life is not a sitcom. Your problems will not all be solved in 30 minutes, minus the commercials time. In real life, people actually have to leave the coffee shop to go to jobs.

11 Be nice to nerds You may end up working for one.

Only one person will help you achieve your athletic potential. You.

If not you, who?

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