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Jesse Bradley | Former Professional Soccer Goalie; Author

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence
The Truth Network Radio
November 8, 2023 6:10 am

Jesse Bradley | Former Professional Soccer Goalie; Author

Amy Lawrence Show / Amy Lawrence

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November 8, 2023 6:10 am

Former Professional Soccer Goalie, Author, & motivational speaker Jesse Bradley joins the show.

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That's betterhelp.com slash positive. Our friend Jesse Bradley. He is amazing. He's a former pro soccer goalie internationally, of course, and now based in Seattle with his family. He and his wife have four teenagers.

He leads a church. He does all kinds of speaking engagements, and he is an author, which blows me away because I have no idea how he would ever have time to write books along with everything else he's juggling. But he's always got something new that he's working on, and whenever we have you on the show, Jesse, it seems like you have another book or another project that we get to talk about. This is a brand new book, and how many is this now for you? Amy, books don't come naturally for me, so this is a stretch. It's a labor of love. If anyone's written a book, you know how many edits there are, and then once you bring the book and you rethink it, and if you have a book in you, I encourage you to keep moving forward because there's so many ways. Self-publishing, publishers. If you have a book in you, it's going to bring value.

It's going to change people's lives. Keep going with the process. Don't give up.

That's my encouragement. But how many have you written so far? Because it feels like every time I talk to you, you have a new book.

This is probably five. How? How with four teenagers, a church that you lead, all types of media appearances. How do you have time to write another book?

When there's a burning passion in your soul, you just can't sleep on it, and you like you can't contain it. And I look at what's happening in the world today and the challenges we're facing and where we are as a nation, we need hope. And this is a practical roadmap for hope. These are habits you can cultivate for hope. Hope is also relational, so talk about relationships. But I wanted to give a book where people could pick it up and say, yes, I didn't just read the book, but now I'm starting to do things each day.

I'm cultivating hope and my life's changing. And that's what the book's all about. And that's the message.

It just couldn't stay quiet. It's titled The Power of the Second Thought. What does that mean? All of us have thousands of first thoughts every day. Our minds are active.

Our minds are wonderful. The question is, what do you do with all of those thoughts? It's good to think about what you're thinking about. And when those first thoughts that come in, if they're not true, they're not good.

If they're mean, resentful, if they're selfish, all those impure thoughts that come into our mind during the day, first step, recognize them. Pay attention to what's coming in and is it good? Second, you're going to reject them because the majority of them, the National Science Foundation says, are not actually helpful. So you're rejecting thoughts. I was a goalkeeper, professional goalkeeper, right?

After Dartmouth, I got to play overseas, Scotland, Africa. I was paid to keep the ball out of the back of the net. First thoughts that come in, they want to lodge like in the back of the net and you don't have to believe, harbor or entertain those. I call those hope thieves. We have thoughts. Sometimes it's the old tapes of failures and we keep replaying them. There's guilt and shame.

Our mistakes were so hard on ourselves. And it's like, no, you have to say not in my house because if a hope thief is coming in and if a thief showed up at your house today, you wouldn't open the front door and say, come on in. So nice to see you have a seat. Stay for the night. Here's the guest bedroom.

What would you like for dinner? Hey, here's my credit card. If you want to buy anything, you know, do you know where our safe is?

You wouldn't go down that road. You would say not in my house and you would lock the door. Well, you're the real estate between your ears. This battle of the mind is even more valuable than your home. And there's a lot of negative thoughts that want to come in and take over. And you either take your thoughts captive or your thoughts take you captive.

And you have a choice, encourage and empower you. And as you're kind of like that air traffic controller, all right, what gets to land? What doesn't? You intentionally replace it. So that's the third part. Recognize, reject, and then replace. Replace it with an intentional second thought. Second thoughts are better than first thoughts.

And when you do that, there's a renewing of the mind. You're in a lot of situations in sports. You're in situations all the time. As a goalkeeper, I make one mistake. We might lose the game because of that one mistake. But if I can keep my head in the game and instead of continuing to think failure, failure, instead I'm like, my second thought is I'm looking for the next opportunity because I can make a play that can still make a difference. The game's not over. We can still win.

I've got to bounce back because that's going to inspire my team. Now I'm winning the mental game. And in sports, it's so much a mental game. Same is true in life, whether you're at work, at home, in conflict, whatever it is, it's the habit that you start to form where you quickly recognize your thought. Then you reject it.

Then you replace it. Intentional second thought. Now you've got a renewed mind.

Now you're ready to go. It's interesting that you say that about sports because more and more, I would say over the last 10 years, Jesse, so maybe even since you played professionally, teams employ mental health coaches. They employ even psychological coaches, trained professionals who work with athletes on how to control their minds and how to become more mentally tough, not just more physically strong. And athletes are using that to gain an edge.

Absolutely. And you see it in baseball time. People go into slumps. Then you see it in other sports where you see an athlete who you know has so much potential and they're only performing at a fraction of that.

And what's really happening is, and that's why they invest, teams, it's business, they know if they're going to invest, there's going to be change in the player, change in the performance. We all have an outer story and inner story. In sports, we see the outer story.

How are they playing? But the inner story is what drives the outer story. The inner story is more important. And so how do you have health? And then you think about mental health and wellness right now in our country. And American Psychological Association says we've never been more stressed. We've got anxiety, depression. See, I went through this and it's a longer story, but my career ended. I took a medication to prevent malaria, fighting for my life for a year, 10 years to fully recover.

Well, part of the side effects, not only with my heart and all kinds of serious symptoms, but also psychologically. And it was that anxiety, the panic attacks, the depression I never experienced before. And I had no idea how to cope with it. A lot of people don't have the tools and they don't teach you in school. How do you handle your mental game? I went to Dartmouth and Ivy League College. I never had this training. I didn't really get interested until I had to learn, until I hit those depths.

And fruit comes in the valley, not the mountain tops. So for athletes, for everyday people, what are the tools? What's your practical roadmap? What's your plan? Like every day you're going to face temptation. Every day you're going to face challenges. What's your plan in terms of your mind to overcome, to refocus, to be inspired? Because if you're weighed down, if you're brought down low in terms of your thinking, you got all the stinking thinking going on and you're not managing it, you know what? Everything else is going to fall down with it.

So as you think, that's going to be the trajectory of your life in many cases. It's great to have Jesse Bradley back on the show with us. He always comes with some type of hopeful message and inspiring words. And the new book is called The Power of the Second Thought, How to Live with Indestructible Hope.

It's after hours with Amy Lawrence, CBS Sports Radio. I'm thinking about our society, especially young people since the pandemic and how story after story after story and the studies that are done about young people who are struggling more and more because they were isolated, they were separated, but also because of social media, because of the internet. You have four teenagers, how important is this message for them about taking thoughts captive?

I think about my kids all the time. I think about the next generation. The world is so different. They're facing challenges that we never faced in terms of, you know, peer interaction, comments, gossip, like it's 24-7 through their phones and a lot of them just feel stuck. UCLA came out with a research recently that said a quarter of high school students are seriously contemplating suicide.

And I had a cousin who died by suicide during the pandemic, and it caught us all off guard. And it's such a tragedy and my heart goes out to those who just feel hopeless. And one of the things about hope that's not true is that many people feel like hope randomly comes and goes, it's just a feeling, or hope's not available to me, or because of my past mistakes, I'm not going to have the same levels of hope as everyone else. But actually hope involves a choice. Hope is available to everyone in abundance. Hope is a confident and joyful trust in someone or something. So a lot of it depends on where you put your hope and where you're going to drop that anchor.

Now, hope is available. Hope is relational. You know, what changed my life is a relationship with God. You know, I never saw that coming, but at Dartmouth I learned about Jesus and I ended up, you know, following Him, but knowing I'm loved by God. We all need each other.

We, I know, value our independence, but the truth is we need family, we need friends, we need to give and receive love. All of us were designed to give and receive love, to give and receive hope, and that's when we come alive. So the relationships, the quality of our relationships is significant, and investing in those, making wise choices with your friends, people who bring out the best in you, people who inspire you. Then also the habits you can cultivate. A gritty gratitude, giving thanks every day, making gratitude lists, 10 things. For a lot of people, prayer, meditation.

You know, I know when I pray I start out anxious and then I give God burdens and then I have peace. The habits we have, and I was a goalkeeper working all the time on habits and its skills, skills and habits, tools. How do I dive and then how do I distribute the ball? How do I kick the ball?

How much in terms of my punches am I clearing the 18-yard box? You know, just down to the details. And habits take time. So I like to say there's four stages to a habit in terms of developing it so you don't get discouraged. Because if you're hearing about power of the second thought, I think I can do this.

What is that? The first stage is you don't know anything about the habit. You've never heard about the power of the second thought. Before I was a goalkeeper, I had no idea that as a goalkeeper you catch the ball with a W. You got your thumbs together, you got the W. I had no idea. That's how you catch a soccer ball. So that was the first stage.

Now I got some information. Then fast shots would come in, I'd try to catch the ball. I would catch it, not very well. And I'd look at my hands and it didn't look like a W. It wasn't even close. You know what the right thing to do is, but you don't have the skills yet. It's not flowing. The third stage is when you can do it, but now it's a little forced. It's a little stiff. And during the game, I'm thinking W, W, W, W, W. And I'm holding my thumbs together. It's like, no, no, no. The goal, you can't over focus on the W. But that's all I knew to try to catch it properly. And eventually that fourth stage is when it feels natural. It feels fun. Now I'm diving into the corner.

I'm not even thinking W and I'm, it's sticking because I've got the W there. Same with tying your shoes. As an infant, you had no idea even what shoes were. And then, you know, your parents kind of show you just like, oh, you can tie shoes. You try it. You can't get it.

Then you can get it, but you're so careful. You're really making that bow and you're trying to get it tight and you got it, but it took a long time. And then finally now you don't even think about tying your shoes. Every habit's like that. And we need to cultivate habits because habits are powerful and the habits you cultivate, they shape your future. And if you form the wrong habits, you get into a negative pattern. You get into addiction, you get into despair.

If you are intentional about your habits and you pick a few habits. And I can't think of one more important in my recovery, 10 years to fully recover than the power of the second thought. And I started, for me, it was, you know, taking Bible verses like perfect love drives out fear. Cause I had so much anxiety. I believe, you know, the lies that my life's never going to get better. I'll never going to recover. The doctors said they have no guarantees it's going to get any better. I would just start to think I don't have a second career.

How am I going to make friends when I'm at such a low place? Like just bombarded waves of it. So I needed to have phrases like perfect love drives out fear. And I would literally say that, uh, for you, it might be a poem.

It could be a lyric from a verse in a song you really like, like it could be whatever that quote is. That second thought you get a few there's situations specific and you'd be amazed. If I'm talking to any parents, there's going to be moments during the week where you feel like your first thought is my kids are frustrating me so much. Like, you know, I'm just feeling so annoyed right now. And then when you shift and you say, my kids are a gift.

My kids are truly a gift. It changes the way you see them. And then it changes the way you respond to them. And I'm telling you a gentle answer. It drives out wrath and you might be in a conflict with your spouse, your boyfriend and girlfriend, and things are getting heated. And then you remember a gentle answer.

What does it do? It pacifies, it drives away a wrath. And so instead of retaliating and like screaming at somebody, you come up with a gentle answer because you had that thought thoughts lead to action. And then as you do that, the quality of your relationship changes. Thoughts are so powerful, habits are so powerful.

I'm just trying to get real and specific. So it's not just like, Oh, the power of the second thought sounds kind of nice. No, this is like for every day. This is, this is a game changer. My thought or my phrase, my verse that I try to remember is speak the truth in love when I'm angry or when I'm frustrated, speak the truth, but do it in love.

Jesse Bradley here on After Hours, CBS Sports Radio. Even as you're talking about habits for me, and this is so important as we get close to Thanksgiving, a lot of times my second thought is where can I be thankful? This part sucks, or this is something that's tough to deal with, but where can I be thankful? Because what I found is that negative and thankfulness don't coexist. And so I can drive out those negative thoughts, the fear, the anxiety, the insecurity, by remembering reasons I have to be thankful.

Absolutely. Gratitude is so powerful and there's studies done. What happens physically when we start to give thanks and have gratitude, it activates so many different parts of our brain or immune system.

Like it's incredibly powerful. It also drives away complaining. It's really hard to complain and be thankful.

It protects us from over focusing on what we don't have. You know, I thought I'd be married in my twenties. It's like, no, that didn't happen. And it's like, wow, I was single way longer than I thought. Well, I can complain. I'm still single, isn't this? Or I can just be, I'm thankful. I'm thankful for my friends. I'm thankful for the freedoms I have that I'm single. I'm thankful that I'm growing. I'm thankful that I'm getting ready, you know, to be married at some point. I'm thankful I'm waiting for the right person.

I'm not getting desperate and dating the wrong people. Like you start to do that stuff and it really makes a difference. And that gratitude is contagious. If you're around someone that's thankful, pretty soon it starts to rub off on you.

This is what I'd have to do is literally make a list of 10 things because gritty gratitude is when you feel thankful, you choose to give thanks when, you know, the feelings aren't there, the blessings haven't come in. And it's like, no, this is what I'm going to do because you always have a choice. No one can take away the most important things in your life. They can never stop you from loving other people, from being a good listener. They can't stop you from praying, from being thankful, like your relationships and loving one another, family. No one can just take that away. Love by God.

Like there's things about you, your attitude, where you get to choose and that's empowering. And if you're going through a season where you've lost a lot, job change, finances are down, you moved, you're starting over. You got to remember what you still have in gratitude.

You build on the islands of strength and it's a choice. It's a habit. And when you do that, doors start to open and your perspective gets right. It's a paradigm shift. So choose gratitude today. If you're hanging around with a bunch of grumblers, gossipers, complainers, slanderers, like just say, hey y'all, let's do this instead and start to shift. Redirect the people.

Redirect the conversations. What is your favorite Thanksgiving tradition with your family? I just love everyone at our big long table and then also thinking, who are you going to invite this year? Because we just, we bring different people. You know, we have a lot of international students where we live and it's so fun that they get to celebrate kind of an American home, an American Thanksgiving. A lot of international students never come in someone's house. Like they would love to be in someone's house. So if you know people from other countries, international students, and you have a chance to invite them in for Thanksgiving, it's a special memory.

And that's one thing that stands out. But what beats, of course, the assuming families can get spicy, families can get interesting. You might even put some limits on some politics and religion and whatever topics go the wrong direction.

But overall, like when you're sitting together at a table and you're just enjoying each other, you're laughing and you're eating together, it's a great meal. There's just something about that day where life slows down. I mean, don't we live in such a fast paced, hurried, chase the next thing, culture, what's trendy? We can barely wait for the sales to start up at the end of Thanksgiving, right? We're back out again.

You can make that fun. But overall, for things to slow down for a day and be thankful and just enjoy the food and enjoy the people. That should maybe remind us to do that once a week, you know, just slow the thing down, enjoy the people, let your body and mind rest and recover.

That for me is what makes it just so refreshing. Like it, you just look forward to Thanksgiving because it's just like, yes, that's what I get to enjoy. Family, friends, faith, food, football, fun. Those are the F's that I use for Thanksgiving. All right, so then before I let you go, Jesse, what's your favorite Thanksgiving dish?

This is one of our favorite conversations on the air, by the way. Oh, nice. Nice. You know, pecan pie with vanilla ice cream. I know that comes afterwards, but I'll wait for it. Otherwise I usually go for the white meat. So I'm going to say I'm going to go for the turkey breast and then the pecan pie. That's it right there. Now, see, I pronounce it pecan, pecan and, and people yell at me.

Let's just get Twitter going, right? How do you really pronounce it? Let's hear from everybody tonight. What's proper, put YouTube links. We want to know what's the proper way to do it. It's regional too, isn't it? Different people in different parts of the country. It's good though.

Taste good. Powerthought.org. It's a brand new book from Jesse Bradley and he's doing the media blitz. So he's been awake for a long time in the Seattle area, having done TV earlier this morning, the power of the second thought, how to live with indestructible hope. And in my opinion, it coincides perfectly with Thanksgiving and you can find him on Twitter at Jesse J. Bradley. We've actually got conversations with Jesse on our YouTube channel about his career as a professional goalie, going back to the World Cup. Jesse, it's always great to catch up with you. Thank you so much. Thank you, Amy.

Love what you do. And we appreciate how you blend stories, life, sports, and you know, for people who are listening today, just say no to the status quo. If you've got a pattern of negative thinking, get out of that ditch. It doesn't take that much. It's a power of a second thought. And the renewing of your mind is going to change all parts of your life. So let's do it together.

It's my daily habit. And listen, let's not only receive hope, but give hope in America right now. Let's change the culture together. This episode is brought to you by FX is a murder at the end of the world. Starring Emma Corrin, Clive Owen and Britt Marling. Emma plays Darby Hart, a sleuth and tech savvy hacker. She joins an exclusive group invited to a retreat. When one of the guests is found dead. Darby must prove it was murder before the killer takes another life. FX is a murder at the end of the world.

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Whisper: medium.en / 2023-11-08 08:46:09 / 2023-11-08 08:56:27 / 10

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