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Paul Harragon – 7 life lessons that the footy field taught me

3 minute read
Paul Harragon catching an NRL football in 2018

The footy field probably isn’t the first place you look to when thinking of life lessons, but after more than 200 NRL games spanning over a decade, Paul ‘The Chief’ Harragon has grown-up with an on-field education.

So, we sat down over a breakfast of cold-pressed juice and eggs benny to get the lowdown from the man himself on what rugby league has taught him.

1. Preparation

One thing that sport has taught me is that preparation is essential.

In mathematics you know that two plus two equals four; on the field and in life, if you put in the preparation and put in the work, you will reap the rewards – it’s the most simple equation. The amount of effort you put in is all in proportion to what your success will be.

2. Diversity is good

In some of the footy teams I played in, we had the most eclectic group of individuals you would’ve ever seen - weird and wonderful personalities to say the least. We were so different, but once you put us together, we made a great team.

3. Bonding happens under pressure

You really don’t know someone until you’ve been in a situation in which you’re totally vulnerable - you can see the whites of your mate’s eyes and he can see yours.

When you go through something like that, you end up with tremendous respect for each other and a special bond. Respect is the glue that makes a great team.

Credit: NRL

4. You are stronger than you think

With any large goal you’ll want to give up at least two or three times, but just when you think you’re done for and there’s no hope, you’ll find another layer of yourself and you’ll get through.

It’s a massive breakthrough when you feel empowered to overcome your own obstacles.

5. Live and breathe your goal

To succeed in a highly competitive arena you need to live and breathe your goal. Why? Because everyone else is. You need to match their passion and commitment – and then go beyond.

Mentally turn the ether over and over, make a blueprint in your mind of the outcome you want, affirm and go over it again and again until you have become one with the goal.

Once you start to focus your energy into your goal, you’ll find like-minded people. Things start to fall into line when you have powerful thoughts - and that’s when the magic starts to happen.

There’s a time and a place for genuine skill, but often it all comes down to how badly you want it.

6. It’s not so much about skill as it is will

There’s a time and a place for genuine skill and ability, however there’s also a time and a place when skill flies out the window and it all comes down to willpower - how much you want it. Willpower is king when you’re trying to achieve the big goals.

7. It’s not where you start that counts, it’s where you finish

Don’t sweat the little things when you first start out on a new project or new goal; everyone has different starting lines in life. You may have to work harder or give more up than the person beside you, but perseverance is what evens out the playing field. Believe in your unique journey to success and never give up.

Keen to read more from Paul Harragon? Check out our video with The Chief on footy mates, injuries and training.

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