Why I love Lionel Messi and Edson Arantes do Nascimento!

Lionel Messi... What made the difference in his life?

I did not know who Lionel Messi was until I watched the FIFA World Soccer tournament in South Africa 2010 and clips on youtube.

In fact, I have never seen a live professional soccer game in my life.

And I have never done business with Lionel in any fashion.

But I love to watch Lionel play soccer.

I must say he reminds me of little old me when I was his age.

He is as tall as I am 5 feet 7 inches (1.69 m) and runs as fast as the Road Runner - that is with a soccer ball.

In my hay days, I played soccer at the University of Ottawa and loved the game.

The best part of the game for me was the thrill of making passes to my teammates. I played mid left, the link between defense and offense but Lionel Messi is a Speedy Gonzales attacker.

As I write this blog, I am reading the February 19, headline in The National Post... "Lionel Messi scores four goals in Barcelona win." So far this year he has tallied 27 goals.

I remember when I was a teenager, playing soccer at the local park, I was modeling Pelé (Edson Arantes do Nascimento), the best soccer player of my time. He was my role model I could look up to him. He was my heroe and he could score goals at anytime and clinch a victory for his team or country, Brazil.

I always tried to choose the best players to emulate their skills. I watched how they handled adversity and success.

Then one day I read an article about Lionel's brother Matias. When they were young they both had been better than average athletes, both were strong and both - as young boys are in their country, Argentina - were filled with ambitious dreams to play in the big leagues.

During their growing years, Matias was in better shape and stronger on the pitch.

Unfortunately Lionel suffered from a growth disorder.

But they were still very much alike and loved to play the game of soccer. Both were skilled. Both practised soccer every day with the same team. And both, it turned out, loved the game of soccer.

But there was a difference.

Matias was arrested repeatedly for weapons possession and has remained in and out of trouble with the law to this very day.

And Lionel, to overcome his disorder, needed growth hormone injections that cost $900 per month. His family could not afford the cost. At one point, his father met with Spain's Barcelona FC soccer club director and along with Lionel, the team agreed to pay for his injection if he trained and played with the Barcelona Football Club.

Ever since Lionel Messi was 13, he has been playing for the Barcelona FC soccer club.

So far, he has won the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Champions League title 3 times, won a gold medal at the Olympics and was named Fédération Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) World Player of the Year in 2009, 2010 and 2011 and... he makes a cool $40 million dollars US per year.

Now what made the difference?

Have you ever wondered, as I have, what makes this kind of difference in people's lives?

Even brothers.

It isn't always natural talent or skill level. It isn't that one person wants success and the other doesn't.

The difference lies in how each person knows how to motivate themselves. Psychologists call it intrinsic motivation.

I always wanted to understand why?

And I started on a journey to find answers. I wanted to find the process and the strategies that could help anyone succeed in role modeling their path to personal and professional success. No matter what made the difference!

I highlight all of those lessons in my Mental Training for Winning eBook.

Everytime I watch Lionel play soccer, I see fire in his eyes and determination that can bring a wall down with a kick so powerful and precise, nothing can stop him from scoring.

He has donated many of his earnings to charity and helped his brother and family through their ups and downs. Also he is an International Embassador for UNICEF.

When I finally understood self-motivation, mental training and the inner game of sports, I wanted to share my knowledge and experience with everyone. I know it sounds corny but that's little old me.

And if you ask me about the Messi brothers, "So what made their lives different?"

I would answer, "Self-motivation. Useful motivation. And most importantly its application in the right order and sequence. It's an investment in your success."

Might I add, "I can't promise you that success will be instantly yours if you start reading Mental Training for Winning. But I can guarantee that you will find the ideas always practical, always useful, and always down-to-earth."

Oh by the way I'm a hard core Lionel Messi fan. Lionel could have played elsewere but he remains faithful to his fans, just as I remain faithful to my goals.

Click below on the Mental Training for Winning cover to check it out...

Just Imagine Your Success And Do It Now,

Lionel Messi

P.S. Lionel Messi is only one of many great people you can role model in your life.