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Looking Back on Looking Back


Jan. 1, 1970

Dear Fellow Former Players & Friends,

What follows is one of my first posts on YourPAF.  At the end of the year, I take some time to reflect on the year that has passed.  I wanted to repost this entry, as it seems to be relevant each year in the final few weeks.  I look forward to looking forward come the start of 2018…

Do you ever sit and think about all the things you could have done differently. Things that would make life a little sweeter now? When do I get to win in this life? When am I going to break free? It’s a tough place to be emotionally, but it’s also human nature to reflect and look back on where we’ve been. It’s easy to dwell on poor decisions of the past. But it’s never too late to win in this life.

Constantly looking back at what could have been is a dangerous practice that blocks personal growth and development. Let today be the start to making an ‘excellent’ ending.

Today is the key word here. Beyond lessons learned, digging up the old emotions connected to failure can’t help us today. Live in the present. No matter how hurtful the past has been, stop yourself from the unproductive exercise of refusing to turn the page. Take personal inventory, in this present moment, of where you are physically, emotionally, financially and psychologically. Be realistic in your assessment.

You get to write your own ending, but successfully reaching a goal takes time, patience and discipline. Discipline…that’s a word you know well. You have become a master of discipline. Just get started. Do what you can right now with the knowledge and resources you have. Quietly, over time, you will see a difference. Trust me, I’ve wasted more time than anyone. My personal rut has been well defined over the years, back and forth, same old rut. Getting better is about getting focused and making good decisions, not bad decisions that will impact your later years.

Make life simple. Figure out what’s most important in your life. Focus on the four or five good things that really matter, and build the core of your time and existence around those fundamental things first.

Everything in your life should be up for review. It doesn’t matter what age you are. With small changes you will gain confidence, and bigger changes will naturally follow.

  1. Take inventory on what’s important, who’s important and who you want to become. Think about what’s keeping you in the rut and from becoming the person you want to be.
  2. Start simple. What can I change today? The small victories will help you gain confidence.
  3. Don’t be scared. The worst thing that can happen is you stay the same. With any effort staying the same is not possible

Ready…Set…Go. Action Creates the Opportunity.

Andre Collins

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Executive Director
Professional Athletes Foundation
NFL Player 1990-1999

Gene Upshaw Player Assistance Trust Fund

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