Reading time: 4 minutes Jun 2nd 2014

Brian O’Driscoll can be annoying. Not personally as I don’t know him personally. Not professionally either as I haven’t worked with him. In terms of what he has achieved and what he has in his life, it can be annoying that someone can be so successful. He is adored all over Ireland. He is respected by rugby fans worldwide as one of the best of all time. In his chosen sport, he is regarded as one of the greatest athletes Ireland has ever produced. He has a beautiful and talented wife and a cute baby. He is probably not short of a few euro. He is very physically fit. He does lots of charity work and anyone I know who has met him tells me that he is astute, kind, friendly and fun. That is why he is annoying to certain people. It’s very difficult to find something wrong with him.

There will always be haters of course. Trolls and such that will say nasty things. And that is their way. Their own stuff. But the truth is, the guy is a legend and someone Irish people everywhere can be very proud of. I’m proud of him and so… well… actually he doesn’t annoy me. To me, he is someone to look up to. An inspiration. He got to where he is now only by disciplining himself and working hard on his talent. Like Katie Taylor or any of our sporting heroes.

So why don’t I want to be Brian O’Driscoll? Very simple. I don’t want to be anyone else. Not because there aren’t things that they might have that I want. But because I wouldn’t be prepared to give up everything I do have for everything that he has. Often, we look at how ‘lucky’ someone else is. If only we were born that tall or that good looking or that rich. If only we had the opportunities they had. But then we wouldn’t be ourselves. We wouldn’t have our minds and our hearts and our families and friends. We wouldn’t have our memories. We wouldn’t have what we have. Those things that we far too often take for granted.

To me, the key is to never want to be someone else but to want to be the best version of yourself. To look at great inspirations as what they are… inspiring. All so that we can start the process of learning from them and what they do. Far too often, we look outside of ourselves for the greener grass or the better life or the ‘luck’ that someone else has. We forget how lucky we are and what we have. And if you aren’t feeling so lucky right now, remember that every success you will achieve in the future is going to be so much nicer given what you have been going through. Find what you do have and recognise it. It’s the key to battling back.

Wherever you live in the world, there are role models. People to look up to. But maybe it’s time not to look up at them but to look over at them and appreciate their success and why they got there. I believe it’s only in doing so that we can find our own path and make our own lives happier and better.

So, I don’t want to be BOD, but I do want to learn from how he has managed to succeed as well as he has. That way, I still get to be me and have all the things I’m blessed to have, especially the experiences and memories. And I get to have even better ones. To me, that’s what’s important. 

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