I had the absolute pleasure of attending Steve Zakuani‘s talk at the 2016 Seattle Interactive Conference (#SIC16) where he shared details about his 500 day journey to overcoming incredible adversity.
Steve led an extremely successful soccer career playing for the Seattle Sounders FC until April 22, 2011 when he was severely injured, causing many to question if he would play professional soccer ever again. His journey of overcoming adversity, however, began long before he arrived to the United States.
As a youth passionate about soccer growing up in London many coaches advised Steve that he would NEVER achieve his dreams of being a soccer star. But what he lacked in support from his coaches, Steve made up for 100-fold with incredible vision that, as he put it – “was worth dying for.”
Steve attributes much of his success to the vision he obsessed over so intensely regardless of what people said or what was happening around him. By ignoring anything negative that others called “reality” and focusing on the reality he created within himself, Steve was able to transcend the limitations put in place by those around him.
His vision of success was born long before there was any hint of success. More so, his vision was more valuable than any skills, talents, and opportunities that could help Steve achieve his goals because those things could be taken away. By elevating his vision to a level more important than life itself, he became empowered to achieve what everyone else thought was impossible – regardless of the obstacles. The lion is not the strongest or fastest animal in the jungle yet it is the king of the jungle. Why? Because it is the lion’s mind that contains a vision powerful enough to rule over the kingdom.
Steve’s insight remains a powerful reminder and inspiration to anyone grappling with the challenges of converting dreams into reality. Visit his non-profit, Kingdom Hope, to learn more about how Steve inspires greatness in youth around the world.