I’ve been following football (/soccer) for 13 years now. Many of the young stars I started out admiring have now retired. Football has taught me a lot about life and careers. I’ve seen careers torn apart due to bad life decisions, personal lives messed up due to hubris and seen innumerable cases of “the next big thing” never turning out to be the next big thing.
There are, however, a handful of legends who did manage to stay true to their status as the “next big thing,” And, every single time, they did so not just because of their incredible technical abilities but because they were willing to adapt and reinvent themselves. They understood their physical make up and changed their game to suit them as they grew older. Many changed positions and styles. And, what is telling is that they found new strengths as they grew older. If they were pacy in their youth, they impressed with their reading of the game a decade later.
Careers in sport at the highest level are rarely longer than 15 years and, yet, top players probably reinvent themselves 2-3 times in that period.
Careers in the professional world are 30-40 years long generally. How many people reinvent themselves by adding new skills and abilities 6-8 times in that period?