Defining Your Legacy: Vince Luciani
I was introduced to Vince Luciani's work through a mutual friend and was immediately captivated by his passion and drive to help others define themselves and their purpose. His company, The Legacy Coaching, provides mental skills training to help athletes improve their mental clarity and define their legacy outside of sport. Vince guides his clients to turn big questions into meaningful and powerful statements and he will make you want to do the same- even if you aren't an athlete! I have been so inspired by Vince's work and can't wait for you all to get to know him today too. Take it away Vince!
As an athlete, what did you struggle with? Were you able to overcome it during your own career?
As an athlete, I really struggled mentally – in the sense that when I was performing well, it wasn’t consistent, and if I wasn’t performing well, I didn’t have that resilience to pick myself back up the way I wanted to.
I never fully celebrated myself, I always sought out acknowledgement from others. I relied on external sources for motivation, whether it was a coach who didn’t believe in me or comparing myself to another athlete who I perceived as better than me.
I know that I was physically capable of competing at a high level, but my mind tended to get the best of me. What I later learned is that the mind that holds us back, when channeled properly, is the same mind that can elevate us to greatness. When I was playing and coaching, I didn’t have the resources to be able to express that nor work on it. I definitely did not maximize my playing experience as an athlete the way I would have liked.
My inner-dialogue as an athlete sounded a lot like someone who didn’t love themselves:
- “Are you kidding me? You’re terrible”
- “Only crappy players make mistakes like that”
- “You’re not good enough”
- “How could you be so stupid?”
- “You’ll never make it!”
The craziest part? When I left the sport, these thoughts and beliefs didn’t just go away – they stuck right by my side until I became aware of the negative impact it was creating on my life.
The one thing that I really lacked was unconditional self-love. I know what a lot of people are thinking, well jeez, what does love have to do with mental toughness? I now break it down into 3 components:
Forgive (Past) – Forgiving yourself for not performing well or making mistakes.
Love (Present) – Loving, celebrating and acknowledging yourself for who you are and when you do perform well.
Trust (Future) – Trusting yourself: your thoughts, your decisions and your process.
I believe you can’t love yourself in the present if you don’t forgive yourself for the past and you can’t trust yourself unless you love yourself in the present.
This can all be simplified into one statement – when you stand for something you won’t fall for anything. When I stand for myself and truly love myself, outcomes and the opinions of others don’t even matter because my inner voice is louder than theirs.
What is the life lesson that took you the longest to learn? What is one thing you feel you still need to learn?
The lesson that took me longest to learn was that my life and legacy are not defined by what I do, they are defined by me. During my first week working at Lululemon, my then manager and now good friend, Nevena sat me down and asked me “Who are you?” I answered “I’m a football coach!”
She then told me that’s what I do, not who I am. I had no response, I immediately broke down in tears in the middle of a coffee shop. I learned so much in that moment – I learned how powerful a simple question can be and what it means to give space to someone, in the sense that she didn’t tell me who I was, she asked me and let me think about it.
That moment sparked my journey of self-discovery, the journey that I now guide athletes to experience for themselves.
The lesson that I still need to learn is the lesson that I am not aware of. You don’t know what you don’t know ;)
Describe a defining moment in your life. How did you grow/change after that?
Beyond the moment I described above, the moment I took ownership of my life and decided that coaching athletes to understand who they are beyond the sport was defining for me. After that moment, everything just kind of fell into place, you know?
The best advice I could give to people who are unsure of what they want to do for their career: Silence everyone’s opinion around you, quiet your mind and listen to your heart – it will tell you where you need to go.
What does a ‘legacy’ mean to you? What do you want your legacy to be?
A legacy to me is the shift that is created in the world after you have lived your life. A lot of people talk about how others will speak of them when they pass on, but if we live for that, we are living their life, not ours.
My key to leaving a legacy is love it, live it, leave it.
Love yourself, live your purpose and you will leave a legacy.
My legacy is to create positive shifts, whether that is within my family, my community, my friends or the culture of athletics. I am a catalyst for others to help them discover love within themselves and I do this by living in my purpose everyday of empowering others with the necessary tools to live happy and meaningful lives.
What do you encourage athletes and non-athletes to start with when trying to define their own legacy?
1. Understand that the answer to everything is unconditional love. If you unconditionally love yourself, you will give the same quality of love to those around you and that impact will directly form your legacy.
2. Define your purpose:
a. What do you love to do for others? (Example- give, inspire, empower)
b. Who do you do it for? (Example- friends, family, teammates)
c. What shift do you want to see in world?/ What is the opposite of what you complain about? (Example- if you complain about people who are stressed, you really want peace)
d. Simplify each and piece the 3 answers together (Example – Empower others to be peaceful)
3. Your purpose is the position you play on this team of 7.6 Billion. How much faith will you have in your team to win if everyone is playing in the wrong position?