I confess that until today I didn’t know anything about the game of cricket and had certainly never heard of Hansie Cronje. Then I stumbled about a powerful movie titled “Journey to Grace: The Hansie Cronje Story” that was so inspiring.
In the 1990s, South Africa was in seventh place in World Cricket circles. The team and country were eager to improve their standings and develop respect in this sport. Hansie, a man who had always wanted to be a good leader was appointed as the team Captain. He and fellow players set goals and were given wise advice from their new coach.
The coach explained that if they only improved by ten percent, they could be the best team in the world. His theory was this: “You do not get 100% better by doing one thing 100% better. You get there by doing 100 things 1% better.”
The coach then encouraged his team to identify and concentrate on 100 things that they could improve a little bit every single day through discipline.
For many years, the team practiced and played against other countries. Hansie became known and respected as a good leader. He was even recognized by Nelson Mandela.
But becoming skilled at things does not always guarantee success.
Time working out, being away from family for long periods of time, and temptations placed demands on all the team members. Failure in not reaching the 1995 finals discouraged them and yet Hansie reminded them to hold their heads high for what they had accomplished.
And then Hansie, himself, had to face his own human fallibility.
I remember a lawyer once telling me “You can spend your whole life building your reputation and then lose it in one minute.”
This movie that tells the story of Hansie Cronje is one that I believe everyone would benefit from watching. It goes beyond the struggle to become physically fit and famous. In fact, it is an honest accounting of life with its temptations, opportunities to make bad choices, fall from grace and ultimate restoration of well-being through forgiveness.
Every single person on earth has made poor choices and suffered consequences because of these. Not everyone, however, has been able to recover with dignity and regain respect.
I strongly recommend this movie as it gets to the core of what really matters in life and how each of us can deal with trouble caused by our own personal choices in a manner that inspires and encouraged others.
The bottom line is that no matter what you have done in the past, there is a way to live with integrity!
Hansie Cronje’s story clearly shows us how one can rise, fall and finally figure out how to grasp true success!
The best news is that if Hansie can do it, so can you!