While I don't have the answers to why bad things happen to good people, one superstar athlete has a perspective that can help anyone experiencing a setback.
Carson Wentz was the 2nd overall pick in the 2016 NFL draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. While many people believed this was a big-time stretch, Wentz became a superstar in just two short seasons. By most expert accounts he was the favorite to win the 2017 NFL MVP after racking up 33 Touchdown passes and leading his team to a 10-2 record through 13 weeks.
When it looked like he was untouchable midway through their week 14 clash with the St. Louis Rams, adversity struck in a big way. While scrambling from the pocket and diving for a go-ahead touchdown he took an awkward hit, tearing his ACL. The injury not only ended his 2017 season but crushed his dream of leading the Philadelphia Eagles team to a Super Bowl victory.
But the lesson isn't in his setback because remember we all have had setbacks. The lesson is in how he responded:
"As a believer, I know if we got everything we wanted in life it would be a disaster. To all my fans out there, this will not stop me. Going forward I will come back stronger than ever and I will use this (setback) as motivation. While I won't be on the field anymore this year, I will be there to support and help my team in whatever way I can."
Here are a few things to take away from Wentz and a few things I have learned through the years about bouncing back from a setback:
Events don't create the outcome, how you respond does
There has been no formula more impactful on my leadership journey than a simple formula I learned from Urban Meyer and Brian Kight, E + R = O. What it means is event + response = outcome. The more power and control you give to the events that happen in your life vs. your response to those events the worse the outcomes are going to be.
In the case of Wentz he didn't act like his life was over. Instead, he focused on what he can control about his setback and that's how he responds going forward.
Believe in something greater than yourself
Wentz and many of the Eagles players are Christians and they aren't afraid to share it. Regardless of your faith background having something you believe in that is greater than yourself is an enormous key bouncing back in a positive way. At the end of the day, there is only so much you or I can control in our life. Faith and belief become critical.
Get back up and try again
Zig Ziglar said it best, "getting knocked down in life is a given. Getting up and moving forward is a choice." Ziglar is right. If you take risk and chances in life there is a good chance at some point you will have a setback but the key is getting up and doing it again.
So no matter what your setback is or will be, take the time you need to grieve then think about Wentz and his example and come back stronger than ever.