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If your life is currently chaotic, challenging or at best very frustrating, then you may be feeling very isolated and that the world doesn’t care? I know how this feels and can massively empathize.

Feelings of hopelessness and despair can often come from the most bizarre of sources – in my early years, mine was from my attachment to a football club, and ‘The Beautiful Game’ (of football).

As I reflect upon my life-long association with this passion-fuelled sport, I see many similarities between the sporting game and the one relating to life in general, such as pain, pleasure, goals and purpose, to name just four considerations.

On the pitch, attack-minded players use their creative instincts to achieve goals. Those who are more cautious and defensively-minded look to prevent goals being reached.

Surely this principle can also apply in the Game of Life? I know I’ve certainly spent a lot of my life defensively camped in my own fear-driven mind – afraid to be more creative and strike out for exciting new goals.

As a young lad growing up on a rough council estate in Nottingham in the 60’s and 70’s, my loyalty and passion were firmly anchored on the red & white side of the River Trent, with Nottingham Forest Football Club

We all need to know what role we play best and ultimately, why we are playing (purpose). Anthony Robbins teaches that we all have Six Human Needs – these being – Certainty, Variety, Significance, Love & Connection, Growth and ultimately, Contribution. In this context, it’s not hard to imagine how football could meet all 6 needs in one go.

Just before blowing for full-time, I’d like to offer one final insight that applies equally to both beautiful games: the need for detachment…

As a youngster, all my beliefs and focus were wrapped-up in Nottingham Forest; I gave all my power away to them. Results in life – and football – only matter because of the meaning and significance we choose to give them, and I let my world be controlled by the outcome of their results.

If they won, I was elated…if they lost, I was depressed and even attempted suicide – in 1974 – on the back of them having two consecutive defeats.

One thing I have painstakingly learnt is to take back control of my own life; let go of the pain from the past – but not the lessons learnt – and move on quickly. We have to treat life as a game and enjoy every moment of this most precious of gifts.

I now have the confidence to play with creativity, courage and commitment, knowing that I’m part of the biggest and best club in the world – the Beautiful Game Of Life Club!

They say that behind every successful player and team, there’s a good coach…reach out – I’m here to help!